As summer draws to a close, students and teachers return to classrooms for the start of a new academic year. For generations, schools have been the heart of the community, both here in Moab and in far-flung classrooms across Grand County. School buildingsand indeed whole townshave come and gone across the Grand County landscape over the generations, but photographs and stories of schools remain at the heart of community memory. 

Today, as in the past, educators play a tremendous role in the Moab community, and photographs and stories in the Museum collection preserve memories from classrooms of the past. Have a look!

One of Helen Knight’s first teaching positions was at the school in Thompson, a one-room schoolhouse on the edge of the Cisco desert wilderness. Thompson was once a crucial transportation hub for Moab and Grand County: it served as a primary rail stop for Moabites to receive goods via the railroad. After vehicle transportation improved and trains became a less central part of the country’s infrastructure, Thompson’s population dipped and the school there closed. Helen Knight went on to teach in Moab, ultimately becoming a longtime, beloved superintendent of Grand County’s schools. [Moab Museum Collection, circa 1919]
A group of Moab high school teachers gather for a photograph in the 1920s. Back row, from left to right: Mr. Long (Physics, Math), D.S. McCorkle (Superintendent), Mr. Reardon (Sciences, Coach), F. M. Young (Principal); Front row, from left to right: Helen M. Taylor Knight (English), Helen Newell (Music), Kathleen Nutter (Home. Ec.). [Moab Museum Collection, 1920s]

The Moab Museum is dedicated to sharing stories of the natural and human history of the Moab area. To explore more of Moab’s stories and artifacts, find out about upcoming programs, and become a Member, visit