Historical picture book celebrates a century of Ruby’s Inn, Bryce Canyon legacy

Historic snapshots from the book "Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon" | Photos courtesy of A. Jean Seiler, Image composite by Brett Barrett, St. George News

BRYCE CANYON CITY – The legacy of Ruby’s Inn and Bryce Canyon National Park is brought alive in the historical picture book “Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon” by A. Jean Seiler.

Ruby's Inn 1935 | Photo courtesy of Ruby's Inn
Ruby’s Inn 1935 | Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Inn

Seiler has served as the marketing director of Ruby’s Inn for over 20 years and has traveled throughout the United States promoting the establishment. He was assigned to write the book on behalf of both Ruby’s Inn and Bryce Canyon National Park, a task he undertook with great enthusiasm.

“(I was) inspired by the opportunity to try and tell the story of a place that has almost 100 years of history,” Seiler said.

“Ruby’s Inn is only as good as its employees, who have made it the success that it is today,” Ruby’s Inn co-manager Rod Syrett said. “Mr. Seiler is among the best.”

Through 128 pages of photos and anecdotes, the book documents the history of the hotel and park, from their early years to their modern image and how both have progressed side-by-side. The majority of the photos are from the Syrett family’s private collection and have never before been viewed by the public.

Ruby's Inn 2012 | Photo courtesy of Ruby's Inn
Ruby’s Inn 2012 | Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Inn

“Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon” is part of Arcadia Publishing’s “Images of America” series, a collection of picture books written by local authors that focus on a unique part of the country’s history. It was published May 6 and is available via most major online bookstores.

“It’s a really interesting collection of photos that go back to the beginning,” Seiler said. “It’s fun for people to see what an adventure life was back then.”

The establishment has a rich history dating back nearly 100 years. In 1916, Reuben “Ruby” Syrett, his wife, young son and infant daughter settled on the Paunsaugunt Plateau overlooking Bryce Canyon. From the encouragement of locals with whom he had built strong relationships through his hard work and reliability, he founded Ruby’s Inn in 1924. He later contracted with the United States Post Office to deliver mail to and put Bryce Canyon on the map, sparking growth that eventually culminated in the establishment of the national park in 1928.

Ruby's Inn 1928 | Photo courtesy of Ruby's Inn
Ruby’s Inn 1928 | Photo courtesy of Ruby’s Inn

Ruby’s Inn has not only endured, but continued to prosper in the years since, despite setbacks including a devastating fire that destroyed the entire main lodge and newly constructed restaurant in 1984.

Today, the establishment is the largest employer in Garfield County and one of the main lodging operations between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas. What started out as a humble lodge with a dozen guest cabins has evolved into an international tourist attraction with over 700 rooms, a trailer park, three restaurants, two service stations, a general store and many other accommodations.

The success of Ruby’s Inn has contributed directly to the popularity of Bryce Canyon National Park and a burgeoning tourism industry in the area.

“This was (the) dream of Ruby Syrett, to have a well-established, first-class facility to accommodate visitors to Bryce Canyon,” Rod Syrett said. “He and his wife were always the first to get up in the mornings and the last to go to bed at night. They were destined to become the founders of a legacy that has survived five generations and is still going.”

"Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon"
“Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon”

Email: avmorgan@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Historic snapshots from the book "Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon" | Photos courtesy of A. Jean Seiler, Image composite by Brett Barrett, St. George News
Historic snapshots from the book “Ruby’s Inn at Bryce Canyon” | Photos courtesy of A. Jean Seiler, Image composite by Brett Barrett, St. George News

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

1 Comment

  • M D Muir May 30, 2013 at 10:30 am

    It has been a long, long time
    How is your memory?
    I will have to pick up a copy for old times sake…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.