LUPTON: Three Hogans
LYBROOK TRADING POST
Navajo name. TO NAAlInI (Waterfall, name of place); Kin #igaiI (White House, name of building)
Location. Rio Arriba County, NM, on north side of route NM 44 (Cuba-Bloomfield highway) and its predecessor, state route 55. Dates. Early 1920s-1935
Owners, managers. Will Lybrook built the trading post in early 1920s and operated it until his death in 1935; heirs sold his accounts to Jim Counselor (see Counselor’s Trading Post). The store continued operating as an inn.
Architecture. Before they built the store, the Lybrooks had a log cabin home just north of where they built the store, and after the store was built the cabin served as a storeroom. The trading post and living quarters were in a large 3-story cut stone building with trading area in the middle of the ground floor, kichen and den adjoining, and bedrooms and baths on both lower and upper floors. Water was piped from Escrito Spring, a Navajo sacred place; one wonders how much Navajo clientele the store had if, as reported, the Lybrooks actually mounted a human skull on the water tunnel from the spring. After Will Lybrook’s death in 1935, the building no longer served as a store but only as an inn, and burned in 1966.
Family relationships. See surname index. Will Lybrook was a nephew of RJ Reynolds, tobacco magnate. Will and his wife Lottie came to Farmington from Oklahoma in 1918. Older brother Sam came later and ranched in Lybrook area. Sons of Will and Lottie are Bob, Richard, and Sam.
Related enterprises. The Lybrooks also ran cattle in the surrounding land.
Sources. Atteberry 1990; BIA plats; Marshall 1997:38-39; McNitt 1962:303n. PHOTOS: Atteberry 1990 (inn in 1960).
LYBROOK MERCANTILE (MAUZY TRADING POST)
Navajo name. TO NAAlInI (Waterflow, name of Place)
Location. Rio Arriba County, NM, on south side of route NM 44 (Cuba-Bloomfield highway).
Dates. 1955-present (1997)
Owners, managers. In 1955, Jim Mauzy, with backing from Richard Wetherill jr, bought some deeded land along route 44 and built the store; he had previously worked at Escrito Trading Post. The Mauzys moved to Bloomfield in 1967 so their children could go to school, and started a dry goods store there. They sold the Lybrooks store to the F.T. Akinses, who in 1969 sold it to Roland “Buddy” Spicer (BitsIIts’IIn Nt#’iz, Hard Head). In 1977-78, Spicer sold the store to Al Chapman (owner of Escrito store just west) who still owned it as of the 1990s.
Architecture. The original and still current store is a 1955 cinderblock building. Other buildings have been added since 1955, including a laundry and auto shop.
Family relationships. See surname index. Jim Mauzy’s parents were homesteaders around Lindrith. Mrs. Akins’s father was an oilman in Farmington, originally from Oklahoma.
Related enterprises. Since mid-1970s the store has also had a laundry and auto shop.
Sources. Eddington and Makov 1995:122; Marshall 1997:39; Kelley 1974-75 field notes (Jim Mauzy and Mrs. Roland Spicer interviews) and 1980 field notes (Mrs. Jim Mauzy, 7/24/80; Jim Mauzy 7/30/80; Gayle Cayaditto 8/5/80). PHOTOS: Kelley 1974, roll TP 1 fr 3 (1974).
MADDOX: See Castle Butte
MADISON AND McCOY TRADING:
Ca 1900-1920 store somewhere near White Rock or between there and Crownpoint, linked to McCoy ranch in White Rock area. See also Crownpoint.
MAHA TRADING POST (N of Seba Dalkai near Finger Point Rock)
Around 1920, Charley Naha (Hopi) got permission from local Navajos to run a TP near Finger Point Rock NE of Seba Dalkai; the wind blew the roof off and he abandoned it after one year (NN Library, Navajo Land Claim Collection, Navajo Statement 271). This post is probably the same as an old store of a Maha or Naha along an old wagon road from the lower Jeddito Valley to Polacca recalled by Harris Francis; this road is probably the one shown on Gregory’s 1916 map between Winslow to Keams Canyon. Navajo elders of Leupp also recall a wagon trader of the 1930s whom they called Hastiin Máa, who worked for Hubbell (Kelley and Francis field notes, 9/16/05 group interview, Leupp Senior Citizens). Hastiin Maa may have been Charley Naha or, perhaps more likely, Albert Naha, who worked at Lorenzo Hubbell Jr.’s Keams Canyon post in 1913 (Colby 1972).
MANCOS CREEK TRADING POST (also Tanner Mesa Trading Post)
Location. Montezuma County, CO. The most recent store was along the current Shiprock-Cortez highway, route 491, where the road crosses Mancos Creek. Earlier stores were east on Tanner Mesa (pre-1923), then at the base of Tanner Mesa (ca 1920-1926), then about 1.5 miles west along the old Mancos-Bluff road down Mancos Creek to the San Juan to Aneth and Bluff.
Dates. post-1904-1923, on Tanner Mesa; ca 1920-1926, base of Tanner Mesa; 1926-early 1940s, 1.5 miles west of recent location; early 1940s-ca 1990s, along current route 491 (Shiprock-Cortez highway).
Owners, managers. Sometime between 1904 and 1919, Joseph Baldwin Tanner had a post on Tanner Mesa. In 1919, Frank Pyle (of a Mancos area ranching family) and Jim Belmear bought this store, which served a few Navajo families who summered on Tanner Mesa; Pyle and Belmear abandoned it in 1923. Meanwhile, with backing from T.H. Akin of Dolores, Pyle built the Mancos Creek Trading Post near the base of Tanner Mesa. In 1926 Pyle sold this store to Dan Tice of Farmington and Sam Walker of Cortez. The store was operating in 1939 when Roscoe McGee and his father, Joseph Carr McGee, bought it (a W.E. McGee was listed at Mancos Creek in the UITA membership list of 1936). In the 1940s, Roscoe McGee’s father-in-law, George Bloomfield, held an interest and so did another son-in-law of George Bloomfield, Raymond Blair. In the 1960s, Roscoe and his wife Ruth sold to his brother Jewel McGee and Jewel’s son Lavoy.
Architecture. In 1939, the “old” store was by the river, a small building, probably of frame construction, with a pitched roof. Roscoe McGee built a new store building along the Shiprock-Cortez highway. There was a guest hogan outside the store. This store was a small stucco building with a pitched roof. It continued in use until it closed around the 1990s. By 2005 it had been razed.
Related enterprises. Ca 1920, Joe B Tanner had a ranch in Cortez along with the store at Mancos Creek. For McGees ranching and other enterprises, see Red Mesa.
Historical notes. 1920s, 1940s-1960s. Clientele was mostly Navajos, some Utes.
Sources. McNitt 1962:310. NAU-UITA, Claudia Blair, Marilene Blair, Ruth McGee, Joe Tanner III, Stella Tanner interviews; UITA 1936. PHOTOS: NAU, PH.98.21.14 (Old Mancos TP, 1945; there is also a new Mancos TP photo that shows very little of the building). Thanks also to June Head and Halene West, 6/30/05; Janice Helmick, 10/11/10. NOTE: Also to be consulted, Frank Pyle oral history interview at Center for Southwest Studies, Fort Lewis College, Durango.
MANUELITO TRADING POST
Navajo name: Kin Hóchxộí (Ruins)
Location. McKinley County, NM, about 20 miles west of Gallup on north side of Puerco River at the intersection of Ft Defiance-Zuni wagon road (dating pre-1864) and the AT&SF Railroad (dating 1881). (The overland mail stage road linking Santa Fe NM and Fort Whipple, AZ, ran down the south side of the Rio Puerco, and a stage station, “Cook’s Ranch” was along that road across the Puerco from present Manuelito, where the Ft Defiance Defiance-Zuni wagon road crossed.) Manuelito quickly replaced Defiance Station as the railhead for Ft Defiance. In 1920s interstate highway route 66 passed alongside the store.
Dates. 1881 – c 1963
Post office: 1881-1974 (not always in the trading post)
Owners, managers. The Manuelito trading post seems to have been established with the coming of the transcontinental railroad in 1881 by a man named Brown; next year partners Steven Aldrich (former cavalryman in Apache Wars) and James Bennett took it over, the same year that Bennett established a post farther west along the railroad at Houck’s Tank. By 1883, Bennett had sold his share in the Manuelito store to Elias Clark. Within the next couple of years, Aldrich and Clark set up two posts in the mountains north of Ft Defiance near present Crystal and Tsaile. After Clark withdrew from the partnership in the mid-1880s, Aldrich established another post still farther north at Round Rock, with a Navajo partner, prominent Navajo leader Chee Dodge. Dodge also had a share in the Manuelito trading post during the time that he was Aldrich’s partner at Round Rock (late 1880s-1911). Charles and Lucie Cousins apparently managed the post in 1903-1905. The wagon road north from Manuelito connected this string of posts and goods were freighted along it.
At some time after Dodge left the partnership, Aldrich may have had George McAdams as a partner. Aldrich operated the Manuelito post until his death in 1921. Mike Kirk, who had perhaps a year or so earlier bought out McAdams’s interest, took over the store and ran it until his death in the early 1940s. After that, the post may have operated discontinuously. Mike Kirk’s son, Dean, apparently took over briefly, but then set up another store a couple of miles east, which seems to have been a jewelry workshop rather than a general merchandise store and operated into the 1950s (see separate entry below). Later owners or managers of the Manuelito trading post included AP Gonzales, who apparently bought the post in 1945, and John P Wall in the 1950s. The store closed by 1963 after Interstate 40 was built and bypassed the post.
Architecture. The appearance of the post seems to have changed little over its history, to judge from various historic photos compared to its current ruined appearance The post began as a one-story, flat roofed masonry structure with entrance on its long side facing the railroad track to the south. It was longer and stuccoed but otherwise similar in the 1920s and in the 1940s, though by then it had an addition to the side housing the exhibit space and accessed by a driveway from route 66 north of the building. Today the post is a roofless, rambling ruin of flaking stucco and crumbling local yellow sandstone, inside a tract of private land.
Family relationships. Mike Kirk was a brother of John Kirk, a Gallup banker and wholesaler (see “Related enterprises” below); the Kirks were related to a wide network of Navajoland traders, including Schillingbergs (the Kirks’ mother was a Schillingberg) and cousins Ben or Anna Harvey (Borrego Pass) and Rob or Jannie Cassidy (Lukachukai, Chambers).
Related enterprises. In the 1880s and later, Chee Dodge got ranches at Tanner Springs, AZ and Crystal, NM; in 1913 he made the first of several loans to the famous trader Juan Lorenzo Hubbell, Sr, of Ganado, AZ, and for many years held a mortgage on the entire Ganado real property, its water rights, and accounts receivable.
Mike Kirk had previously traded at Chinle and Coyote Canyon northeast of Gallup. His brothers owned a wholesale house in Gallup, a trading post that they bought from George McAdams in 1920; one brother was also a Gallup banker. Kirk Brothers wholesale house was established after several general merchandise wholesalers there had gotten most of the trade in Navajoland. The core of the Kirk Brothers’ clientele was a far-flung network of posts owned by various relatives, and they specialized more than did the other wholesalers in wholesaling raw materials for jewelry as well as the finished jewelry. Like the other traders in the Kirk Brothers network, Mike Kirk had silversmiths working at the trading post and also supplied local smiths who worked at home. Mike Kirk sold much of this jewelry at wholesale to other stores. The location along the railroad and later along route 66 also offered an opportunity to sell jewelry and other handicrafts to tourists. Presumably for the benefit of the tourists, Mike Kirk also exhibited a pre-Columbian Anasazi mummy (one would expect the display to have deeply offended his Navajo clientele and cost him their business, but if so, it was not enough to close the post). In later years, Mike Kirk’s wife Caroline Olson Kirk ran the store while her husband traveled around the US with Indian runners and dance teams.
Historical notes. Chee Dodge was the first of a group largely ignored by historians, traders who were themselves Navajo. Chee Dodge also was Chairman of first Navajo Tribal Council, 1923-28, and served again as chairman near the end of his life, 1942-46.
According to McNitt (1966/1957:192), the Hyde Exploring Expedition opened a post at Manuelito in 1901, but no other source mentions this store. The 1901 journal of George Pepper (Pepper 1901; thanks to: Rebecca Vallette), the archaeologist supervising excavations at Pueblo Bonito that the Hydes funded, lists the Hyde Exploring Expedition stores that McNitt (1957:191-192) also mentions except for Manuelito; Pepper’s journal also says that “Henry Dodge (Chee) sells all his blankets to the expedition. Has a store at _________.” The name so frustratingly omitted could be either Manuelito or Round Rock, the other Aldrich/Dodge post at the time. Perhaps this connection beteen the Hydes and Dodge led McNitt to conclude that the Hydes had a post at Manuelito.
Sources. Anderson 1864; Kirk 1979; Kelley and Francis 2006, 2008; Van Valkenburgh 1941:90; Mitchell 2003 (1978):16n18; McNitt 1962:249; Cousins and Cousins 1996:15; Bedinger 1973:116; Kirk 1979; Julyan 1996:219; Berkholz 2007:163; GLO cadastral survey plat; Arizona Good Roads Association 1987 (1913):93; NAU-UITA, John W and John D Kennedy interviews; NN Land Office, BIA plat book; NMBD 1921-1950; Rittenhouse 1989/1946:91; Spears 1993. See also citations in text. Thanks also to: the late Fred Adakai (interview of 11/7/04. PHOTOS: MNM negatives 16477 (c 1890) and 176978 (nd); HUTR # 9343 (c 1921, published in Blue 2000:168); Kelley roll TP1, frame 1 (1974); Spears 1993 (1993); Kelley and Francis roll KF04-11, fr 15-17 (2004).
MANUELITO: Dean Kirk Trading Post
Navajo name. See Manuelito Trading Post above
Location. McKinley County, NM, along old US route 66 about 2 mi northeast of Manuelito Trading Post.
Dates. late 1940s-1950s
Owners, managers. Dean Kirk, son of Mike Kirk’s wife Carolyn Olsen Kirk from a previous marriage, opened the store after Mike Kirk died. He employed a lot of local silversmiths at this post, and the post evidently quit selling general merchandise after 1954 to specialize in jewelry.
Workers. The many smiths who worked for Dean Kirk included Lenny Parker and Fred Adakai.
Architecture. The trading post building is the east wing of what is now (2004) the Manuelito Mission. It is an adobe, Pueblo-revival style building.
Family relationships. Dean Kirk was stepson to Mike Kirk of Manuelito Trading Post.
Sources. NAU-UITA, John W. and John D. Kennedy interview, 1998; Kelley and Francis field notes, interviews with Leona Parker 10/26/04 and Fred Adakai 11/7/04; Rittenhouse 1989/1946:161; Spears 1993. PHOTO: Spears 1993.
MANUELITO SPRINGS, MANUELITO’S CAMP, NAVAJO CITY
Navajo name. Ch’il Haajin (Black Patch of Plants)
Location. McKinley Co., NM, c 4 mi NE of Coyote Canyon, possibly along a military horse trail or wagon road between Fort Wingate and Fort Lewis, CO (see Fort Wingate entry for more details).
NOTE. In 1870, Stover and Coddington had a license to trade at Manuelito Spring; the partners seem to have traded at or near Ft. Wingate as early as 1869, and J.Lorenzo Hubbell, Sr., may have clerked for them at Ft. Wingate in 1872 (Van Valkenburgh c 1938; McNitt 1962:201-202n, 217-218). Possibly as early as 1876-78, Hubbell established a post, his first, at Manuelito Springs, a populous place with Navajo farms, where pre-eminent leader Manuelito had a home. When Hubbell moved west to the Leonard post at Ganado in 1876-1878, he “sold out his interest at Manuelito Springs” (Blue 2000:37, 40). He did apparently trade at Manuelito Spriings (“Manuelito’s Camp (Navajo City)”) until 1881-82 (McNitt 1962:203-204; Colby 1972). Charles Baker (Nadlohii, The Laugher) received a license to trade at Manuelito’s Springs in 1898-99 (AHS, Van Valkenburgh Papers, MS 831, Folder 146). Available sources do not say whether any of these posts occupied a building or were housed in tents.
MANY FARMS: Co-op store
MANY FARMS: Miscellaneous
MARBLE CANYON TRADING POST:
MARIANO LAKE TRADING POST
Navajo name. Be’ek’id Hóteel (Wide Lake)
Location. McKinley Co., NM, along an “old stage road” that approximates current route N49 (Berkholz 2007:80). The route appears on the original US General Land Office survey plat of 1881 (www.glorecords.blm.gov, T16N, R14W) as the “Great Navajoe Trail,” plotted about a quarter mile S of the future trading post location. US military sources as early as the mid-1800s mention the “Great Navajoe Trail” as a route well-beaten by Navajo livestock raiders to the Rio Grande Valley and also used by their Hispanic and US military pursuers (Correll 1976:307; Rice 1970/1851). The route also appears as a wagon road on Gregory’s 1916 map.
Dates. c 1890-1993
Owners, managers. Berkholz (2007:80) offers the following ownership history, embellished here with the other sources cited. The post was established c 1890 by Charles Weidemeyer (see also Ft. Defiance and Chinle; he was later a founder of the Gallup general merchandise wholesale firm Gallup Mercantile Co. [McNitt 192:237]). Wiedemeyer seems to have kept the post until at least 1912, having Charles and Lucie Cousins (see Chi Chil Tah, Vanderwagen, Cornfields, Nutria, Chinle, Manuelito) as managers, 1907-1908 and 1911-1912 (McNitt 1962:282n; NMBD 1907-8, 1911-12; Cousins and Cousins 1996:15; Zimmerman 2010; Kelley 1974 field notes, Merle Moore interview).
Available sources tell nothing about owners from then until 1932, when owner B.D. (Dee) Westbrook let the local Navajo chapter organization use the post for meetings (BIA-AAR, Eastern Navajo Agency, 1931). In 1936, Westbrook sold the store to E.W. Zimmerman, who ran it until 1944 (NMBD 1941; Kelley and Francis field notes, Norman Ashcroft interview 3/29/11). Local Navajo resident and future chapter president Clarence Warner worked in the store for Zimmerman, apparently serving as virtual manager, and tutoring Zimmerman in trading practices and in the Navajo language (Zimmerman 2010).
The next owner was Dan Christensen (see Rock Point and Pinedale) in 1944, who formed a partnership in 1946 with Charles Ashcroft (see Dinnehotso), which continued until Ashcroft died in 1957 and his son Norman took over (NMBD 194, 1950; Kelley and Francis field notes, Norman Ashcroft interview 3/29/11). Norman Ashcroft ran the store until 1967, then sold it to Kieth, Phil, and Cal Foutz, who were succeeded by Merle and Rosella Moore, who were there by 1974 (Kelley and Francis field notes, Norman Ashcroft interview 3/29/11; Kelley 1974 field notes). After the Moores left in 1992, local Navajo resident Marie Westmoreland and her husband, Charles, took over for a year or so, closing the post in 1993 (Kelley and Francis field notes, local Navajo residents 11/18/10).
Architecture. Zimmerman (2010:6) describes the store complex as it was during his family’s 1936-44 tenure:
The Mariano Lake Trading Post was constructed out of logs. ..
Behind the post was our home, which was made out of rock. The home had 4 rooms: a living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and a bedroom. There was an “outhouse” out back. A warehouse was added to the west. It had a concrete floor and the walls appeared to be made from adobe. A Delco power plant was in an enclosed shelter to the southeast of the store. There was a barn to the east that was used to store hay and grain.
The inside of the store contained high wooden counters arranged in a U-shaped configuration. As I remember it, groceries were on the west side and dry goods on the east. The trading area was about 10 ft by 15 ft. The store had an open area at the front where the Navajos could meet and greet each other around a pot bellied stove. At the back was a large safe that contained cash, valuables, and pawn. An old time, hand-pumped, gas pump was located in front.
Two photos dating from the Zimmermans’ tenure show the post as a building of horizontal logs with a pitched roof and an adobe (?) wing abutted to it, presumably the warehouse.
The post as observed in 2004, shortly before it was torn down, was a rambling multi-room one-story structure that incorporated the store area, living quarters, and store-rooms. This is pretty much how Kelley remembers it from 1974, too. The building consisted of a south-facing adobe (?) room with viga ceiling and cinderblock wings on both east and west sides, plus a northeast wing extending north behind the eastern cinderblock wing. The south-facing adobe (?) room could be the warehouse abutted to the log building in the Zimmerman photos; if so, the log store must have been replaced by the eastern cinderblock wing. The whole building was stuccoed, and it was difficult to tell what the underlying wall fabric of the northeast wing was – probably masonry. This NE wing was probably the Zimmermans’ living quarters, as it seems to have been also in 1974, when Merle Moore said that those living quarters were the original building (Kelley 1974 field notes). The store and ware-rooms in 1974 were the adobe (?) and cinderblock rooms in the south-facing row; the cinderblock rooms flanking the adobe(?) room must postdate the Zimmermans’ tenure.
Also observed in 2004 were a small lumber shed or barn NW of the store, a masonry cellar SE of the store, corrals farther SE of the buildings downslope, and a poured concrete slab c 4x4ft S of the store, probably the footing for the Delco power plant. There was also a well hole N of the cellar.
Family relationships. Charles Weidemeyer was the son of John Weidemeyer and nephew of William Weidemeyer, who traded in Ft. Defiance, St. Michaels, and Gallup. Christensen: see Rock Point, Round Rock. Ashcrofts: see Dinnehotso, Querino Canyon; Foutzes: see Fruitland: Progressive Mercantile.
Historical notes. During World War II, Zimmerman and other local traders took local Navajo men to work at the Fort Wingate Ordnance Depot, where they worked on building bomb-proof shelters for the munitions (Zimmerman 2010).
Sources. Cited in text
MARIANO LAKE: Dee Westbrook Trading Post
In 1936, after he sold the Mariano Lake Trading Post to E.W. Zimmerman, Dee Westbrook moved down to Route 66 at Continental Divide, where he operated a tourist business called something like “Buck and Squaw.” When it burned, he moved back to Mariano Lake, where his older brother, rancher I.K. Westbrook, had a section a couple of miles NNW of the trading post. There he hastily assembled a small post from railroad ties, where he traded (and bootlegged) until c 1940. Later, Charles Ashcroft of the Mariano Lake Trading Post bought the property. Nothing reportedly remains of the store building (Kelley and Francis field notes, Norman Ashcroft interview 3/29/11; Van Valkenburgh 1999/1941; McKinley County grant books).
The following is taken from Kelley (1985:22-23):
Mariano’s store is an early twentieth century trading post situated east of Chaco Canyon near the prehistoric Pueblo Pintado rin, a so-called Chacoan Anasazi outlier. The rock-walled trading post consisted of four rooms, two with corner fireplaces and one with a large fireplace in the middle of one wall. Nearby were several corrals of palisade construction and possibly a shed. Trash in the dump outside the store and littering the surface of the site consists mainly of pre-World-War-I glass, with some cans, wire, metal scraps, and broken pottery of Rio Grande Puebloan and New Mexico Hispanic manufacture. A vandalized Anasazi ruin just north of the trading post might have the building stones (Wilson 1977:22; Brugge 1974:Site C-6 [see also Brugge 1986:51]).
As far as I can tell from the somewhat contradictory ethnographic research that has accompanied the local archaeology (Brugge 1979:57; York 1980; Kelley 1982a:196), around 1906 a Hispano named Mariano approached several local [Navajo] headmen for permission to build a store. One of them, Mr. Slim [Hastiin Ts’OsI], consented, and Mariano set up shop along a wagon road near a dug will in Chaco Wash. He reportedly hauled stone for the building from Pueblo Pintado. Mariano maintained only a meager stock of groceries and traded for only a few years. When he vacated the store, Mr. Slim moved in. Mr. Slim was one of the largest stockowners in the region and probably used the building as a commissary for the Navajo and Hispano herders who worked for him, as well as for living quarters. It was evidently he who added the corrals and shed where wagons were kept. Another member of Mr. Slim’s family was a blacksmith whose main service was to fix the rims of wagon wheels. The large fireplace inside the store was a forge that this man might have used, if Mariano himself hadnot used it earlier. According to ethnographic sources, a hogan … was also present, but the structure was not recorded archaeologically. Mr. Slim’s family abandoned the site in 1918 when Mr. Slim died from drinking poisoned whisky that he had bought at a nearby trading post, the Pueblo Alto store.
McELMO CANYON and EAST McELMO CREEK: Miscellaneous stores
See also Ismay
Several small stores were located in McElmo Canyon and East McElmo Canyon in the early 20th century, possibly on an old mail route from Aneth to Cortez.
In East McElmo Canyon:
– Ern Hall Trading Post, about 7 mi S of Ismay in SE/4 (?) Section 34, T34N R20W, Montezuma County, Colorado. Store dates ca 1940 and was a crude masonry structure built into the cliff. Supplies came from Cortez and clientele included both Navajos and Utes. (NN Museum, Milton Snow Collection, photo NE-18-167; Navajo Nation Facility Management Program 1995:27)
– Billy Meadows Trading Post, on south side of East McElmo about 3 mi above the Hall TP, Montezuma County, Colorado. Store dates 1913-late 1930s. Billy Meadows built it and ran it until not long before he died ca 1935; he quit after he was beaten up (by Navajos?). The store had a clientele of Navajos and Utes, both raising sheep and goats in the area. Merchandise came from Cortez. Dick Wilson took the property and ran a “shack type” store, buying some of his merchandise from the Hall TP and selling to Utes. Store closed when Wilson died. Wilson’s wife Elnora stayed on and reportedly became eccentric, according to other local traders who would check on her periodically. She reportedly sometimes shot at passersby and once Navajos put her in the store well (a passerby pulled her out). (Baer 1979; Forrest 1970:202-203).
– George Edmonson store in East McElmo canyon, operated 1936-1938. Operated ca 1936-1938. Sold produce from farm to Navajo clientele.
In McElmo Canyon, posts may have belonged to:
-- Johnny Taylor, near Ute Mountain, where Joe Lee bought cattle in 1906; Lee may have bought cattle at Round Rock this same year and drove them to Colorado for sale (Lee and Richardson 1974:56)
– Joseph Heffernan, who traded at McElmo (also Aneth and Four Corners) before moving to Oljeto in 1921, and who helped daughter and son-in-law build Ismay Trading Post in 1921 (Moon 1992)
– WL Mountz and Jack Jecque (Jaquez?), store below Ismay on Cahone Mesa, below Thomas Billy homesite, operated in 1930s-1940s. Supplies from Durango.
– Edmonson store and mission, ca 1-2 miles east of Ismay.
-- Holley TP ca 2-5 miles toward Aneth from Ismay, old Dobie School.
Thanks also to: Halene West 6/30/05; June Head, 6/30/05, 7/10/05; Chester Tozer 6/1/05; Stewart Hatch 7/7/05; Robert McPherson 5/18/05; Harold Baxstrom 12/6/05
MEADOWS TRADING POST (near Cudei?)
Location. San Juan Co, NM. Location uncertain, described as on the San Juan on the south side of the San Juan north of Ship Rock pinnacle, about 12 miles east of the Four Corners; this would be around the mouth of Little Shiprock Wash. Wagon trails connected the store to Navajo Springs Agency north on Ute Mountain Reservation and a freight road ran up the river to Shiprock and Farmington.
Dates. 1900-1908 or earlier
Owners, managers. Billy Meadows (NAA’ TsohI – Big Eyes – or NE’Eshjaa’ – Owl) built the store in 1900 and ran it throughout its brief history, evidently as an outpost for the Hyde Exploring Ezpedition. Around 1907 he and his family abandoned the store and moved to the Montezuma Valley, then to East McElmo Canyon.
Meadows daughter Allie Meadows Baer, born at the trading post, remembers the
“signatures” and the Arbuckles coffee. The coffee would come in little packages, about one pound, and would be in the bean … Each of these packages had a “signature” on it and you would redeem them for gifts. Our mother would always get pollows, sheets, curtains, table clothes and we kids would get toys and other things … (Baer 1979)
Workers. Clerk Joe Hatch and sheepherder Eugene Wright; also local Navajos hired to drive sheep to Farmington for sale. John Hunt freighted.
Architecture. The store building (including living quarters) was a long, single-story building with walls of upright logs washed down the river and a pole-and-dirt roof, a red corrugated iron storehouse for wool and grain, and a round stockade corral. Mrs. Meadows had a hand-cranked washing machine. The legendary San Juan River flood of 1911 obliterated the store.
Related enterprises. Hyde Exploring Expedition: see Pueblo Bonito Trading Post. Between stints as a trader, Meadows freighted between Bluff and Shiprock, including for Bruce Bernard of Shiprock.
Historical notes. Meadows was originally from Texas and had been a cowboy at Socorro and Magdalena. The post was tied to the Farmington wholesaler Hyde Exploring Expedition, a venture that reportedly raised the capital it needed to start an Indian trader supply house by looting Aztec Ruin (the Hydes were also involved in excavating at Chaco Canyon). Trader Wilkin at Sanostee, another Hyde store, had his sheep driven north up Little Shiprock Wash to combine with Meadows’s sheep, with the combined herd then driven to Farmington.
Sources. Baer 1979; Forrest 1970. Thanks also to June Head 6/20/05 and Stuart Hatch 7/7/05.
Current church was once a trading post (Dawson 2005)
MEXICAN HAT: Miscellaneous
Navajo name. Naakai Bich’ah (Mexican Hat – name for rock itself)
Location. San Juan County, UT, along old road between Bluff and north end of bridge (originally called Goodridge bridge) across San Juan River at The Goosenecks.
General history. By 1882, a bridge spanned the river near the location of the present bridge and here, in that year, Emery Goodridge located the first oil claim in the area. Gold prospecting began in the area in 1893 and oil development boomed between 1907-1911, continuing at a slower pace until about 1930 (Valle 1986:1-12).
Several posts have operated at this location from ca 1900 to the present/recent times, most with histories too sketchy for detailed entries (but see also separate entries on Mexican Hat: Mexican Hat Rock TP and Mexican Hat: San Juan TP). Navajos were only part of the clienteles that these posts served. Other (for some posts more important) clienteles included early gold prospectors and oil developers, as well as more recent rafters and other tourists.
By 1901, gold and oil prospector Emery Goodridge had a rudimentary post in a tent, later a building (Valle 1986:16). Remains of a store are reported “beyond” the old Mexican Hat trash dump west of the old airstrip (Oshley 2000:91), which seems to be the location of early oil settlement, at least in the late 1920s, and the home of Art and Medora Spencer (Valle 1986:16; see separate entries for Mexican Hat Rock TP and Mexican Hat: San Juan TP); one wonders of the old store remains beyond the dump could be the Spencers’ place. These remains may be those of the early Goodridge store (or maybe not). Next seems to have been the Mexican Hat Rock post, 1911-1931, established by John L. Oliver (see separate entry). Next seems to have been the San Juan TP, 1920s-present (see separate entry).
The Nevills family lodge and store seems to have been next. In 1921, Billie and wife Moe Nevills had a home near the Oliver store. Billie Nevills came from California to Mexican Hat in 1917 as an oil property promoter; his wife and children stayed in California long enough for son Norm to complete a year at Claremont College (Valle 1986:11). In 1938, Norm Nevills built the “Mexican Hat Lodge” on a rise north of the San Juan river that included a trading post and 3 cabins. One building (perhaps the post?) was a one-story, flat-roofed, masonry structure with vigas). It was on the north rim of the San Juan River canyon overlooking the San Juan Trading Post at the north end of the bridge. Norm Nevills at the time was a famous and fearless river runner who offered raft trips for tourists. He died, not on the river but in a plane crash, in 1949 (Valle 1986:10-11, 16-25, 38; PHOTOS: Valle 1986, frontispiece; NAU.PH.99.6.46, 1950).
In 1955, Myron Ferrea (see also Baby Rocks TP – Ferrea may have had something to do with uranium mining in the area) established another post, the “Mexican Hat Trading Post,” north of the San Juan River canyon on the SE side of US route 163. Tom and Kay Knight operated it from 1969 to sometime after 1986. Ca 2000 it was owned by Navajo Susie Burch and non-Navajo husband Phil. It closed in 2008 and was north of the present Hat Rock Inn (Valle 1986; Bowyer 2004 (PBS video); Kelley field notes 1974; Kelley and Francis field notes 1/27/09).
From 1974 to present/recent, Doris and Howard Valle have operated Valle’s Trading Post and trailer park on the SE side of US 13, north of the Knight post. This business seems to have been mainly a tourist facility (Kelley and Francis field notes 1/27/09).
During the 1970s the Halchitah Chapter of the Navajo Nation, on the south side of the San Juan River across the bridge from Mexican Hat, operated a cooperative store, which sold gas and groceries (Kelley and Francis field notes, Jon Colvin interview, 10/25/05).
MEXICAN HAT: Mexican Hat Rock Trading Post
Location. See Mexican Hat Miscellaneous. The post was about 2 miles north of the bridge over the San Juan and half a mile west of the river and Mexican Hat Rock, just west of present route US 163 (Westwood 1992:16; Valle 1986:20).
Owners, managers. In 1911, John L. Oliver (“Tsiiyah Hochxo’ii” [Tsiiyaa Nichxo’ii?] – Dirty Nape) built the post, apparently managed by Arthur Spencer (Bilagáana Tsoh – Big Whiteman) from 1914 to at least 1917. In 1926, John LaRay (Ray) Hunt and Martha Hatch Hunt leased the store from Oliver. In 1931, the Hunts left the store, and Oliver tore the building down (Oshley 2000:76-77, 90-91, 100, 103-106; Holiday 2005:60, 338n38; Westwood 1992:16-17; Valle 1986:16-25).
Workers. Ray Hunt’s younger brothers Jim and Emery helped with the store and herding (Valle 1986). Navajo Oshley and his wife also herded for the Hunts (Oshley 2000:100).
Architecture. Store complex had 1 bedroom, kitchen, storage room, and store itself (Oshley 2000:91n81). Photos show wood frame building with false front and another building behind (probably living quarters) with gabled roof. In 1920 the store was described as a one-room wooden shack built from lumber salvaged from “gambling dens” that appeared in the area in the early 1900s at the beginning of the oil boom; Oliver had a big cellar under the store for perishables and the Hunts used it for live chickens (Valle 1986:17). PHOTOS: Oshley 2000:75 (1917) and 90 (nd).
Family relationships. Hunts: search this document for surname.
Related enterprises. Hunts also raised sheep on surrounding range (Oshley 2000).
Historical notes. The Hunts got wholesale merchandise from Aiken Mercantile in Dolores, CO, in exchange for the sheep that they got in trade from local Navajos; other merchandise came from Bluff (Oshley 2000).
Sources. See citations in text.
MEXICAN HAT: San Juan Trading Post
Location. See Mexican Hat Miscellaneous. The post is at the north end of the bridge, on the west side, on a ledge overlooking the river.
Dates. 1920s-early 1930s?(Spencers/Bowens); 1937-present (by early 1970s, business was a motel with curio store only).
Owners, managers. Around 1921, Art and Medora Spencer (formerly managers of Mexican Hat Rock TP; see separate entry) had a house near Goodridge Bridge, where they stocked shelves in one room for trade. In 1928 they sold to Cord and Gussie Bowen (Gussie’s father was early local prospector Augustus Honaker). The Spencers moved up near the present town dump (see Mexican Hat Miscellaneous entry; their house may be the old building noted there) (Valle 1986:16; Moon 1992:33; Westwood 1992:16-17). In 1937, Dan Tyce built a store in this location (no details on what happened to the Spencer building). The Nevills family had a competing business on the canyon rim above, and harassed Tyce so that sold the post to Meritt Smith, who sold to June Powell, who sold to Ray Hunt (formerly of Mexican Hat Rock TP) around 1939-40. (That the Nevills enterprise was probably for river tourists, not the Navajo trade, suggests that the San Juan Trading Post was similarly tourist-oriented.) Sometime between 1944 and 1947, Ray Hunt moved to Chilchinbito TP and sold the post to his brother Jim, who added a motel and restaurant. Jim Hunt died in 1973. It is unclear whether he still owned the enterprise at that time but in any event at that time the enterprise catered to tourists. Later owners, 1973-83, were Barney Walker, then Jerry Baum; 1983-present, Mark and Julie Sword (Valle 1986:16-25; Berkholz 2007:20; Oshley 2000:91).
Architecture. Tidbits from the literature are as follows. Spencers used one room in their house for trade. Ray Hunt lived on the site in a tent, built more permanent living quarters in 1940 (Valle 1986:21); which suggests that whatever Tyce built in 1937 didn’t include living quarters – so was Tyce living in the Spencers’ house that had one room for sales, and if so, why didn’t Jim Hunt live in it too?. Jim Hunt and wife built 21 motel rooms with living quarters above the store. PHOTOS: Berkholz 2007:19 (recent).
Family relationships. Hunts: Do keyword search on surname for this whole document.
Related enterprises. Tourism seems to have supported owners from 1937 on.
Historical notes. Cord Bowen had a car and got merchandise from Cortez to trade with Navajos (Valle 1986:16).
Sources. See citations in text.
Navajo name. NaakaiI BitO (Mexican’s Spring)
Location. In McKinley County 5 mi W of the old Gallup-Fruitland Mormon freighting road that became route 666. Into the 1930s there was also a summer store in the mountains NW at DlOO’ Ndzi#gai BitO (Squirrel Springs), where most clients moved during the season; this summer store was on the east side of current route N30 across from the current windmill.
Dates. Ca 1915 - 2004 (discontinuous?)
Postoffice. 1939-1943; 1950-ca 2000
Owners, managers. A store was operating here under a license in 1915. Local Navajo resident Walter Bitsie used income from his extensive sheep and cattle holdings to establish it, hired neighbors to build it, and operated it into the 1930s along with a summer store in the mountains to the NW. At some time in its early history, non-Navajo Edward Vanderwagon ran the store and later the manager was Hispanic Ernest Garcia. (Garcia dug the well in the wash behind the store, thus giving rise to the placename.) The store burned ca 1930. In 1934, Albert Arnold Jr, Navajo son of non-Navajo trader Albert Arnold Sr at Tohatchi, applied for a license to operate a store at Mexican Springs after his trading post burned down (the Arnolds apparently had an interest in Bitsie’s store and that is the one that Arnold Jr’s license application refers to). The license was denied because a co-op was planned. Meanwhile the Cattle Growers Association, which as a Navajo owner did not need a license, rebuilt the store with Garcia managing it. In 1939, the Mexican Springs chapter used a loan from the Navajo Tribal government to invest in the store and turn it into a co-operative, managed by Ernest Garcia. The Cattle Growers Association still had a role in running the store until 1947-48, when the Association disbanded owing to disputes about the Association’s annual October cattle auction. From ca 1940 (early-mid 1940s?) into the 1950s (?), a local Navajo couple, Lamar and Alice Etcitty, owned and operated the store. By 1950, the non-Navajo Junker family of Gallup ran the store. By 1974, owners were non-Navajos Cliff and Rosa Miller. By 1982, the store seems to have been closed, but was operating again by 1996, with a PO and a Navajo owner, Leslie Phillips Jr. This store was closed by 2004 and burned the next year, despite the chapter’s hope to take the building from the Navajo Nation government (owner of all trading posts buildings according to current standard lease terms) and restore the postoffice in it.
Workers. Joe O’Brien and other local men built the original store for Walter Bitsie and Joe O’Brien hauled merchandise from Gallup Mercantile by wagon.
Architecture. The original ca 1915 - early 1930s store burned and the site seems to have been levelled, since no evidence remains; it was just S of the store that succeeded it. Traces of burned sandstone foundation and ashy soil are in the area. The second store burned in 2005, and foundations remain. The second store was of masonry, originally with a flat roof; by the 1970s a pitched roof had been added and probably several rooms. The summer store building was a small log cabin, foundation still visible.
Sources. BIA 1933 map; Eddington and Makov 1995:137-138; Gregory 1916 map; Kelley 1974 field notes; Julyan 1996; M’Closkey 2003:141; McNitt 1962:242n13; Mercurio and Peschel 1998:37; Newcomb 1966:179; NMBD 1941, 1950; Paquette 1915:10; Parman 1976:267-268; Van Valkenburgh 1941. Thanks also to: Ethel O’Brian, 9/6/05; Pat Morris 9/19/05; Ernest Bitsie 9/30/05. PHOTOS: NN Museum, Snow Collection, NE 18-11 (1942); Kelley and Francis roll 04-01 (2004).