Bert Lauzon on Blackbird  1911
Cline Library, NAU

Bert Lauzon trained horses and worked in various mines before coming to the Grand Canyon in 1911.  While he may have been lured there by the promise of mining, he soon began working as a hired hand and guide for entrepreneur William Wallace Bass, who was catering to the burgeoning tourist industry.  Bass's daughter Edith and Bert were drawn together by their fondness for horses and the canyon, and, contrary to W.W.'s wishes, the two fell in love and were married in 1916.

Edith Bass  1916
Cline Library, NAU

Bert and Edith had three children before her life tragically ended at the age of twenty-five due to complications from surgery.  Bert and the children remained at their home on the south rim of the Grand Canyon where he was employed as caretaker of the Bright Angel Trail and Constable.

Bert Lauzon, Maurice Lauzon, Emery Kolb  1945
Cline Library, NAU

In 1927, Bert married Rosa White, the Grand Canyon school teacher, who became mother to his children and his lifelong companion.  Bert joined the National Park Service in 1929 as one of the ten permanent Grand Canyon Park Rangers.  His knowledge of the trails and river corridor was extensive, his law enforcement experience as Constable and Deputy Sheriff prepared him for sensitive and sometimes dangerous assignments, and his years guiding combined with his own affable personality made him a natural for contact with the public. Furthermore, his comprehension of geology and the history of the region was an asset to furthering scientific inquiry.  Lastly, his years as a rancher on the South Rim enabled him to understand the issues with local residents and landholders.   He retired shortly before his death in 1951.

Source material for this story: Bert Lauzon: 40 years at the Grand Canyon, 1911-1951, Cline Library, NAU.


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