Cultures at a Crossroads: An Administrative History
NPS Logo



The reasons for the establishment of Pipe Spring National Monument can best be understood within the context of the overall development of parks, transportation systems, and tourism in southern Utah and northern Arizona during the late 1910s and early 1920s. To a much greater extent than is the case with other national parks and monuments, Pipe Spring's creation and later development hinged heavily on what was happening to parks in the surrounding area and to improvements to the region's transportation network. The development of the region's scenic attractions required a massive and coordinated effort of the federal government (most importantly, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Public Roads), state and county governments in Utah and Arizona, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church) officials at all levels, the Union Pacific System (Union Pacific or UP) and its subsidiaries, local businessmen, and private citizens. With such a conglomerate of interests involved, it is hardly surprising to discover - as events will show - that this remote site became the vehicle to accomplish a wide variety of goals. Some objectives were quite temporary in nature; others were decidedly permanent. The metaphor for Pipe Spring as "vehicle" is most appropriate, for the invention and popularization of motorized transportation would have long-lasting impact on the fate of this historic site.

Barbara Babcock
21. Barbara Babcock opening gate for car at Pipe Spring, ca. 1920
(Courtesy Union Pacific Museum, image 643).

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

Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006