In 1853, Capt. John Gunnison was alerted by his recorded, Lt. E.G. Beckwith, who noticed the unusual formation of the mountain range. He said the mountain resembled "books on a shell" and the name "Bookcliff" become permanent. Settlers moved into the Grand Valley in 1882 and dedicated the promontory of Mt. Garfield to President James Garfield, who was assassinated in 1881.
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