The Moab Garage Company was a prominent business in Moab in the early 1900s. Clarence, Dennis, and Virgil Baldwin ran an auto line between Moab, Green River, and the train station in Thompson: transporting both freight and passengers to connect Moabites to the outside world. In addition to their vehicle operation, the Baldwin brothers established a freighting service on the Colorado River in the 1920sa business venture that supported the burgeoning oil and gas industry.

In addition to hauling equipment for oil operations along the Colorado River, the Moab Garage Company’s flat-bottomed gasoline-powered paddle boat was also used for sightseeing, parties, and weddings. [Moab Museum Collection, 1927, Barbara Ekker Collection]

Using both small boats and larger, flat-bottomed paddle wheel boats, the Moab Garage Company fleet primarily hauled equipment and supplies to oil operations along the Colorado River. During the 1920s, oil exploration yielded lucrative wells, and Moab Garage boats provided a crucial transportation link for moving equipment and supplies to and from remote oil operations along the Colorado River corridor.

While the Moab Garage Company fleet typically carried freight, the boats were also sometimes used for recreational trips. This group of people, photographed here in 1936, were traveling aboard a Moab Garage boat to go photograph Corona Arch. Prior to the construction of Potash Road in the 1960s, travel to this area was most easily done by boat. From left to right: Charlie Jones (far left, reading), Ellis Stocks, Harry Reed, Charlie Zufelt, Harold Stewart, Bill Parker (with hands on knees), Boyd (“Buck”) Stewart, and Don Gordon. [Moab Museum Collection, 1936, Mitch Williams Collection]

The Moab Garage Company was a mainstay Moab business for decades, evolving through changes in Moabites’ transportation needs and major economic shifts. Today’s Moab Garage Company restaurant on Main Street occupies the building that once housed the original Moab Garage Company: traces of the Baldwin brothers’ history live on in the building and the restaurant’s décor to this day.

Photographs from the Moab Museum’s collection show a variety of the Moab Garage Company’s boats, offering a window back into the early days of river travel near Moab.

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