Hubert Raul "Bert" Lauzon was born on January 25, 1885 in Compton, Quebec, to Francois and Mary Claire Lauzon. Francois was absent during many of his son's early years, as he had moved to western Colorado to homestead and be a miner. In 1890, Mary Claire and their five children joined Francois in Colorado. But Francois' insatiable desire to pursue minerals and precious metals soon caused him to leave his family once again, this time on their ranch along the Uncompahgre River. Nonetheless, Bert and his brothers inherited their father's passion for mining.

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 September of 1916.

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.

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, from which he retired shortly before his death in 1951. Throughout his years on the South Rim, Bert bred and raised horses and maintained an interest in mining.

During his sixty-six years, Bert Lauzon witnessed and experienced major changes that were taking place in America. He grew up in a sparsely populated West in an era when horses were still the dominant mode of transportation and ranching, farming, and mining were the primary sources of income and subsistence. Rapid growth and mechanization of the West, however, characterized his adult life. Bert's photographs and papers provide a personalized glimpse into the history and development of the southwestern United States.

Note: Some of the images in this exhibit have close-up details. These images have highlighted borders and will "hint" at the closeup when you mouse over them; click the image to see the closeup.

For the purpose of presentation, the images in this exhibit have been resized, cropped and/or digitally enhanced to improve clarity. Copies of the originals requested from Special Collections may not be as clear as the images seen here.


Content:Deb Dohm, Diane Boyer Exhibit Design:Bob Lunday, Andrew Roazen

The NAU Cline Library would like to thank the Lauzon and Bass families for donating the collections that made this exhibit possible.

Copyright © 2000, 2010 ABOR, NAU.