One of the most significant and interesting manifestations of cultural interaction in the Southwest is the trading post. Perhaps, the best way to understand how a trading post works is to study its cultural landscape. Therefore, I am pleased to present this analysis of Hubbell Trading Post's cultural landscape, in our occasional publication series on the cultural heritage of the Intermountain Region.
The past several years have witnessed an increased recognition of the value of cultural landscapes and a growing awareness of the benefits of using a landscape approach in historical research and analysis. Using such an approach not only enables one to take a comprehensive look at changes in the landscape but also to consider both natural and cultural resource systems how people influence and are influenced by their surroundings as they endow meaning and value on a place over time. The nationally significant, rural vernacular landscape of Hubbell Trading Post comprises one of the most complete assemblages of landscape resources associated with an early Navajo trading post and Euroamerican agricultural homestead. Through its continuum of use over the past 94 years, Hubbell Trading Post and its landscape serve as an example of the settlement and developmental history of both the Southwestern United States and the Navajo Nation.
The intent of the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site Cultural Landscape Report is to document past land use and record existing landscape conditions associated with John Lorenzo Hubbell's trading post, home site, and farming operation in Ganado, Arizona. This study does not address nor does it attempt to provide recommendations for the park's ethnographic landscape resources. A separate study will be conducted in the future to address the potential ethnographic significance of lands within the park as they fit into the context of the much larger Navajo ethnographic landscape. This report's integrated, in-depth research, analysis, and evaluation of the natural and cultural resources that make up the Hubbell landscape; detailed treatment recommendations; and development alternatives will be used by park resource management, planning, and interpretive programs into the future to ensure that the integrity of the landscape is preserved. The Report also serves as an excellent example of this relatively new type of study designed to provide a comprehensive and integrated understanding of significant cultural landscapes.
John E. Cook
Last Updated: 26-Apr-2004