Townsfolk greeted a flivver as a liberating force at Bluff, Utah, in 1912

This photo of a photo was taken at the Bluff Fort Historic Site, in Bluff, Utah. Bluff is a small farming town along the San Juan River in southeastern Utah on the boundary with the Navajo Nation.

Mormon settlers had come here in 1880 on the Hole-in-the-Rock Expedition. Even today, it’s remote and hard to get to.

One can only imagine the excitement as driver Frank Hyde, wearing a natty cap, wheeled up in this Model T in 1912. (Note the buildup of mud on the wheels.) Hyde must have come down from the north. The major towns in San Juan County, Blanding and Monticello, are more than 20 miles up the trail in that direction.

Even today, with modern roads, there’s not a lot of traffic.

A flivver like this Model T would have been greeted with demands for a ride. No doubt some of the intrepid townsfolk would have asked for a driving lesson.

As seen in the faces of those photo subjects, it was a moment to be long remembered.

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