After the war, the Belknap clan moved to Bill's home base in Boulder City, Nevada. In 1947, along with partners Cliff and Gene Segerblom and Mark Swain, Bill opened the Photo Information Center/Belknap Photographic Services. The shop, which remained open until 1965, offered a full line of camera equipment, film processing and commercial and portrait photographs. It also served as Bill's base for his freelance work. He photographed and/or wrote articles for National Geographic, Argosy, and Life Magazine, and Boulder City area newspapers, among others. From 1950 to 1955, Bill wrote a weekly advertisement/column, "Boulder Camera", which chronicled activities of the town, the Belknap family, and Billís various personal and community endeavors, as well as announcing services and sales at the Photo Center. In addition, Bill and Fran co-authored Gunnar Widforss: Painter of the Grand Canyon, a book showcasing "Weedy's" stunning watercolors, published in 1969.

Interior of Photo Information Center

Explorer Scouts--Grand Canyon Rampart Cave Trip, February 1956

As the leader/advisor for the Rotary Club's Explorer Scouts Post #5, Bill taught numerous fortunate boys, including Buzz, outdoor skills. Together they tromped, boated, climbed, rappelled, spelunked, and explored the wonderful and vast country surrounding Boulder City, visiting areas renowned for scenic beauty and archaeological and historical significance. An enormous scrapbook bears testament to the respect and love the scouts had for Bill and to the remarkable skills they obtained under his tutelage.

Belknap and Kabotie Families at Oraibi, January 1952

From his earliest years, Bill was fascinated by Native American cultures. He made frequent trips to the Havasupai, Hopi, and Navajo lands, and his photographs reflect his respect and admiration for their residents. Among his closest friends were Fred and Alice Kabotie and their children, Michael and Hattie. Fred Kabotie: Hopi Indian Artist, published in 1977, was a collaborative result of this friendship.

Colorado River Swimmers John Daggett and Bill Beers as They Left Water 2:45 p.m., May 5, 1955, Two Miles Above Emery Falls

Belknap also continued a tradition he had started before his Navy tour: meeting and photographing Grand Canyon river runners as they completed their trips on Lake Mead. He had been on hand to greet Buzz Holmstrom, the first person to run the Grand Canyon solo, as well as botanists Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter when they emerged from the canyon in 1938 as the first women to complete a Grand Canyon trip. After his return to Boulder City, he met trips organized by many other classic early names, including Norm Nevills, Georgie White Clark, P.T. and Susie Reilly, Martin Litton, Frank Wright, Bert Loper, and Don Harris. Bill was there to meet Bill Beer and John Daggett, the only people to ever swim through the canyon, and brothers Bob and Jim Rigg, whose 1951 run set a speed record that stood until 1980.

All contents ©1998 ABOR NAU. All rights reserved.