Administrative History
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As the Park Service built its physical plant during the 1930s, Frank Pinkley and others began programs to protect the monument and present its features to the public. From the outset of agency administration at the monument, these two programs were symbiotically linked. In the ensuing half century, the programs, practices, and policies of the Park Service changed dramatically, reflecting the evolution of agency policy and technological advances in resource management. Three distinct periods of management, each embodying a different administrative philosophy and addressing the specific problems of successive eras, have defined the management of Bandelier National Monument.

These periods mirrored the evolution of Park Service priorities at the area. Frank Pinkley's initiative shaped the first phase, which began in 1933 and ended when the CCC camp closed in 1941. Beginning with the onset of World War II in the early 1940s, a "hold-the-fort" or consolidation philosophy dominated NPS policy at the monument. This second phase continued during the massive influx of visitors throughout the late 1940s and the 1950s. In the mid 1960s, the Park Service itself underwent a transformation. While Mission 66, a ten-year capital development program initiated during the 1950s, provided new facilities to counter problems such as overcrowding at beleaguered parks like Bandelier, a new concern with preservation of the resources of the system took hold. An ethic that singled out preservation as the primary agency obligation emerged. The emphasis on cultural resources at Bandelier became part of a more inclusive concept of resource management.

Like many other archeological parks in the Southwest, Bandelier National Monument was excavated before the National Park Service existed. Edgar L. Hewett was the most important early excavator and one of the few who made any record of his work. Beginning in the summer of 1897, he led a group that surveyed the Frijoles Canyon ruins. Hewett dug at Otowi in 1905, and in 1907 initiated work in Frijoles Canyon. Excavations at Tyuonyi and the Ceremonial Cave began in 1908, as did limited work at Long House, the Great Kiva, and the House of the Water People. The following year, Hewett began work on Talus House while continuing to excavate Tyuonyi and other sites in the canyon.

Under Hewett's direction, his associates followed his lead on the plateau. In 1910, Jesse L. Nusbaum, Hewett's long-time assistant who later became the Superintendent of Mesa Verde National Park, completed the restoration of the kiva in Ceremonial Cave. Between 1908 and 1914, Alfred V. Kidder, who briefly studied under Hewett and became the most important American archeologist of the first half of the twentieth century, excavated Frijolito Ruin, on the south mesa of Frijoles Canyon. During the same period, Yapashi and San Miguel pueblos were also excavated by Hewett and his associates.

But for an empire-builder like Edgar L. Hewett, the Pajarito Plateau was only a base of operations. After 1912, when the Tyuonyi excavation was completed, his interests began to shift away from the Pajarito Plateau. By 1914, Hewett's School of American Archeology summer school, which usually ran for about three weeks in August, was doing what little work was accomplished in the ruins of Frijoles Canyon.

The most visible achievement of the summer school program was the reconstruction of Talus House in the main canyon area. Nusbaum and Kenneth Chapman, another of Hewett's associates from the New Mexico Normal School, supervised the crew of Tewa Indians from San Ildefonso Pueblo that did the actual digging. They gathered building stone from talus slopes and the dumps left from the excavation at Tyuonyi, mixed soil from the canyon floor with clay to create mortar, and made plaster for the interiors. Although Chapman and Nusbaum used some modern materials, such as tar paper and newspapers, the reconstruction offered a clear view of the prehistoric home. [1]

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006