Administrative History
NPS Logo


Important dates in the History of Navajo National Monument

1895—Richard Wetherill explores Keet Seel.

1897—The Wetherill party returns to Keet Seel.

1906—Antiquities Act, sponsoring the national monuments, becomes law.

1909—March: Navajo National Monument is established.

          July: John Wetherill, Byron L. Cummings, and party explore Inscription House.

          August: The same group explores Betatakin.

1910—J. Walter Fewkes and crew conplete a preliminary exploration of the monument.

1912—The boundaries of the monument are reduced to 360 acres.

1914-5—Chronology of Pueblo life first posited.

1917—Neil Judd and crew stabilize Betatakin.

1927—A. V. Kidder convenes the Pecos Conference.

1929—Emil W. Haury links different dendronchronological timelines.

1930-1—First road from Shonto Trading Post approaches the monument.

1933—Civil Works Authority (CWA) stablization at Keet Seel.

1933—First year of Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley survey.

1934—Milton Wetherill becomes first seasonal at Navajo.

1938—John Wetherill retires as custodian.

1939—Custodian's residence built.

1948—Seth Bigman becomes first Navajo interpretive ranger at the monument.

1949—More than 1,000 visitors come to Navajo for the first time.

1954—First major exhibit in the museum in the contact station.

1956—MISSION 66 first funded by Congress.

1958—Navajo Nation road-building program begins.

1959—Paving begins on the road from Tuba City to Kayenta.

1962—May: Memorandum of Agree ment with the Navajo Nation is signed, allowing the beginning of major development at Navajo.

          September: Tuba City-Kayenta highway is dedicated.

1965—New Visitor Center opened; paved approach road completed; annual visitation reaches 20,000.

1966—June: Dedication of the Visitor Center.

1966-1969—Burst of innovative archeological work at Navajo. Jeffrey Dean, Keith Anderson, and Polly Schaafsma's work changes thinking about prehistoric life at the monument.

1967—Cross-canyon trail begun.

1968—Inscription House closed to the public.

1968—Navajo Lands Group begins operation.

1969—Visitation reaches 75,000.

1970-1972—Black Mesa mine becomes a symbol of exploitation of Indian land.

1970—NPS begins to monitor water-level drawdown from Peabody Coal Company's slurry.

1975—Albert E. Ward indicates that Inscription House date is most likely 1861 rather than 1661.

1977—Native American Religious Freedom Act becomes law.

1982—Navajo Lands Group ceases operation.

1982—Cross-canyon trail closed because of rockfalls.

1984—John Laughter becomes maintenence supervisor the first Navajo in a permanent supervisory position at the monument.

1986—Clarence N. Gorman becomes the first Navajo superintendent of Navajo National Monument.

<<< Previous <<< Contents >>> Next >>>

Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006