In the halcyon days of 1901-02, two adventuresome brothers arrived at a booming Grand Canyon from their native Pennsylvania. Ellsworth and Emery Kolb wasted no time carving a jack-of-all-trades livelihood on the South Rim of the world’s greatest chasm.
As photographers, filmmakers, showmen, and backcountry guides, the Kolb brothers emerged as larger-than-life characters in a crowded field of pioneers, entrepreneurs, hustlers, and legitimate businessmen. Together they built a house that clings to the edge of the canyon wall near the Bright Angel Trailhead—one in which Emery lived until his death in 1976.
The Grand Canyon Association, working in partnership with the National Park Service, has restored the interior of the building, and maintains both a bookstore and an art gallery within. The latter showcases as many as four exhibits each year, all of which are free and open to the public.