Flashback Friday: Following Eddy, Galloway, and the Kolb Brothers

Flashback Friday: Following in the Footsteps of Clyde Eddy, Nathaniel Galloway, and the Kolb Brothers



Hatch River Expeditions shares the continuation of the interview between Ted Hatch and Elizabeth Sowards from June 20, 1984. Ted tells fascinating stories of early river runners including his father Bus, Clyde Eddy, Nathaniel Galloway (of the Galloway boat design), and the Kolb Brothers. The Kolb Brothers were fascinating on their own, so we’ll have a piece about them in the future. Bus had  great examples to follow for his very own first expedition through Grand Canyon. Read below for some juicy tidbits about the good ol’ days.


E. Sowards: Now, did [Bus Hatch] study about… like, did he read about what John Wesley Powell had done?

Ted: Oh, yes.

E. Sowards: So he would know what to take with him.

Ted: They knew exactly. They talked with Clyde Eddy who had gone about three or four years earlier. (Clyde Langston Eddy went in 1927 with the 10th expedition.) Eddy and Galloway went through. Well, Galloway had been arrested by Frank Swain who was the Sheriff over here in Vernal, and they threw Galloway in jail. He had just taken Clyde Eddy through the Grand Canyon, so he told Frank Swain about it. Clyde Eddy owed Galloway two hundred and fifty dollars for taking him through. So, they go the money wired or sent, I don’t know how, to Galloway so that he could put up bail to get out of jail. Then they got Galloway and talked to him and went over all the details about the trip. So when they went down in the canyon they could be prepared…which they did.

I think Galloway went in 1927, and my dad’s expedition went in 1934. They got all the details. They wrote to Clyde Eddy, and they talk to the Kolb brothers down on the South Rim who had run it in 1926. They ran a studio down there. A motion picture studio.


Black and white photo of the Kolb Brothers in 1911 during their 101 day adventure down the length of the Colorado River. Here they stand on shore holding the ropes to their river boats Edith and Defiance.

In 1911 the Kolb Brothers took an epic 101 day trip down the length of the Colorado River, taking photos and video along the way. They were one of the earliest crews to both run the length and photograph the canyon from river level.


Ted: An interesting thing happened. They were neat old fellows. I went down and they showed the early movies of how they ran the river. In Grand Canyon, Upset Rapid was named by the Kolbs because they tipped over there. I think Emery was something like 74 years old, and he was still running the old movies at the South Rim. He had his little photography shop and then each day at two o’clock he would come in and run the movie of their exploration of the Grand Canyon in those early days. Well, after he passed away they got a lot of his artifacts and put them in the museum, because it was all historical material. In the upstairs of his garage there was a boat, a canvas boat, and they took it down, and there was a skeleton in it with a hole in the skull. They don’t know whether he found it on the river and brought it out and didn’t tell anyone, or what. It’s a mystery now, and everybody wonders what happened. But Kolb’s ran little boats like these.


Literal skeletons in the garage, oh my!

Hatch River Expeditions hopes guests continue to enjoy these Flashback Friday postings. Sharing the rich history of not only Hatch but Grand Canyon rafting is such a fun way to peer into another generation. Bus stood on the shoulders of giants like Clyde Eddy, Nathaniel Galloway, and the Kolb Brothers, and was able to create a thriving business of doing what he loved – river running! We’re happy to be a part of the history of the Grand Canyon three generations later.

Book a 2024 or 2025 river trip today to experience the history of the canyon first hand!

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