Pearl Zane Gray was born on January 31, 1872, in Zanesville, Ohio, a town founded by his mother’s ancestors.
Zane Grey often escaped to Lackawaxen, PA, with his brothers. On one of these outings in 1900, Zane (“Doc”) met 17-year-old Lina Elise Roth, or “Dolly” as he called her, while canoeing near the Delaware House, a grand boarding house on the river.
Dolly was a positive influence in Grey’s struggle to become a successful writer. Her encouragement and belief in his abilities led him to continue writing despite rejection by publishers.
Grey’s first published article was “A Day on the Delaware,” in Recreation magazine, May 1902. In 1903, Grey wrote, illustrated and published his first novel, Betty Zane, with money from Dolly.
In 1945, six years after Zane Grey’s death, his wife Dolly sold their Lackawaxen house to Helen James, daughter of Zane’s long-time friend Alvah James.
In 1948, Helen opened the Zane Grey Inn, which she operated for twenty- five years. Over the years, she collected memorabilia associated with Grey and discovered original artwork and other items of interest in her new home.
From 1973 until 1989, Helen and her husband, artist Albert H. Davis, operated the Zane Grey Museum to display the Grey memorabilia, photographs, and books in the rooms that served as Grey’s office and study. The museum was sold in 1989 to the National Park Service. It was included in the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River because of Zane Grey’s association with the Delaware River and its effect upon the budding writer.
Today the museum is self guided with National Park Service rangers and volunteers available to answer questions and provide for sale a variety of Zane Grey books currently in print.
Photographed in Lackawaxen, Pa, USA