People, Places and Things on US-89
These photographs document the people, the places and the things found along US 89 in Utah. It is a celebration of what is unique, unusual, extraordinary and positive along this country highway.
US-89 is one of this country’s oldest and longest North-South running highways, originally stretching from Canada to Mexico. The 503 miles of it that wind through Utah are mostly in rural areas, away from the homogenizing affects of the Interstate Highway system with its national franchises and speed-by mentality.
Congress has designated hundreds of miles of US-89 running through Sanpete, Garfield and Kane Counties as a Heritage Highway. The number of McDonalds, Wendy’s or Burger Kings found on those stretches of the Highway can be counted on one hand. However, locally owned restaurants and drive-ins are found in every community.
The circuitous path that it follows, from Garden City on the North to Kanab and Big Water on the South, pass more slowly from town to town, village to village past businesses, homes, and activities that are local, historic, and indigenous to the culture and traditions that surround this highway. These are people that are grounded by their history, their environment, and their beliefs. In their own, often-unique way they each make a positive contribution to society. Frequently that contribution has a broad impact with influence that extends far beyond the local community. National and even international clientele are the recipients of products, stories, images and services that originate beside this bucolic highway. Custom made boots; hand-made knives, paintings and other works of art originate along US-89 but arrive at destinations in many parts of the world.
Internationally known painter, Maynard Dixon, lived and found inspiration along US-89.
Avard Fairbanks sculpted the Dodge Ram, which is considered the most enduring corporate symbol in U.S. history. Later he sculpted many pieces for the LDS Church including the Angel Moroni seen on four Latter-day Saint Temples including the Jordan River and Washington D. C. Temples.
Legendary Butch Cassidy grew up in a little log cabin that still stands next to the highway.
Today’s citizens, artists and business people, continue to make significant contributions. These photographs document many of them. The gelatin silver prints are done in an unusual panorama format that measures 7 X 18 inches and are presented on a 15 X 26 inch mats.
Photographs Copyright © John Telford. All rights reserved.