By Chuck Woodbury
I love to visit small town museums wherever I go. History can be so fascinating. I love reading or hearing about local legends, especially mysterious ones. Here’s a tale I learned in a Yuma, Ariz., museum, right along the Colorado River.
It’s about Glen and Bessie Hyde, a young couple from Idaho who vanished on their honeymoon voyage down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. The Hydes were last seen piloting their cumbersome scow through the heart of a gorge on November 18, 1928. Their boat was found a month later near the end of the Grand Canyon, fully loaded. But the couple was nowhere to be seen.
In the late ’40s, Grand Canyon locals portrayed Glen as a headstrong brute who had forced his reluctant bride into a fatal voyage. The tale became popular.
Then, in 1971, an elderly woman on a commercial river trip claimed to be Bessie. She said she had killed her fiendish husband and threw him in the river. Five years later, a skeleton rumored to be Glen Hyde was found near the rim of the Grand Canyon, causing further speculation.
In 1985, a woman told of her father, Glen Hyde, who had barely survived a 1928 Colorado River trip.
Finally, in 1991, when the famous river runner Georgie White died, articles in her home suggested she may have been Bessie.
And that’s the story. The mystery continues, and remains a part of the folklore of the Colorado.
Much of the information here comes from Brad Dimock, a river boatman and author of Sunk Without A Sound: The Tragic Colorado River Honeymoon of Glen and Bessie Hyde.