"The railroads were very instrumental in developing the West," said Al Richond rail historian. "In many ways, populated the West, and it was very instrumental in getting national parks established that we have in the West, particularly Grand Canyon National Park."
When early mining efforts failed, tourism seemed a more viable way for the railroads to exploit the canyon.
"And when they reached there, there was nothing but tents, log hotels and these kinds of things. Thatís when they began to develop the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and in doing so, they built over 600 structures. The Santa Fe, the Union Pacific, all of the railroads that were in the western United States, they were businesses.
And to make money, they had to bring people to the West, and to bring people to the West, they had to have attractions. They would generate pamphlets. Extensive brochures. Of course, they were trying to sell tickets, but these booklets brought people to the West."