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It's Official, Georgie Rapid Named in Grand Canyon

Posted: 02/13/2002
by Jason Robertson

It's official, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, at its October 11, 2001 meeting, approved the proposal to change the name of Twentyfour Mile Rapids, located in the Grand Canyon, to Georgie Rapid. This decision was made in agreement with the findings and recommendation of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors as well as the Arizona State Board on Geographic and Historic Names. The change has been entered into the Nation's official automated geographic names repository and will be published in Decision List 2001. The entry will read as follows:

Georgie Rapid: rapid; located in Grand Canyon National Park, along the Colorado River, in Marble Canyon, 38 km (24 mi) downstream from Lees Ferry, 4 km (2.5 mi) SSW of North Canyon Point; named for Georgie White Clark (1910-1992), pioneer of commercial river travel in the Grand Canyon; Coconino County, Arizona; Sec 29,T37N,R6E,Gila and Salt River Mer; 3635'07"N, 11146'55"W; USGS map - North Canyon Point 1:24,000; Not: Twentyfour Mile Rapids, 24-Mile Rapid.

The rapid is named in remembrance of Chicago-born, river pioneer Georgie DeRoss White, the grandmother of mototized rafting in the Grand Canyon. Georgie's life was as colorful as the Canyon, and the controversy over renaming Twentyfour Mile Rapids was in many ways a fitting memorial. Georgie has been called the "Woman of the Rivers" in recognition of the fact that she was an early pioneer of whitewater rafting in the West and on the Grand Canyon in particular. Following her first commercial trips through the Grand Canyon in 1947, she quickly began tying multiple military surplus rafts together at once in giant barges, she called "G-boats" to make it possible to move as many people down the river as effortlessly as possible.

More information about Georgie White's life at UtahHistoryToGo.org.

Photos of Georgie's facial profile and raft provided courtesy of Northern Arizona University's (NAU)Cline Library Special Collections & Archives Department.