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Kolb Studio

While exploring the Canyon, we suggest you visit the Kolb Studio, located right next to the start of the Bright Angel Trail,  It is filled with history of the canyon and has a germinant showing of photos and art as well as special exhibits throughout the year.


It was founded by two brothers, Emery and Ellsworth,  who took pictures of “greenhorns” going down the canyon by mule. They had the first one day film developing outfit known at the time. After taking pictures, one of the brothers would run several miles into the canyon, to Indian Gardens to develop the pictures as this is where the only running water was to be found in the Canyon at the time.

The rapport between Emery and Ellsworth was never very strong. After Emery married Blanche Bender in 1905, the brothers’ relationship became strained. With the birth of Emery and Blanche’s only child Edith in 1908, Emery began spending most of his time with his family. The business partnership between Emery and Ellsworth dissolved during the summer of 1924. Emery later claimed his brother suffered a nervous breakdown which made working (and living) with him impossible.


The brothers flipped a coin to determine which brother would leave the canyon. Emery won the coin tosses (two out of three) and the rights to the studio. Ellsworth received a monthly allotment as a settlement, but was forced to move. He died in Los Angeles in 1960, where he had made his home since 1924.


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