History & Culture
A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUBBELL TRADING POST
John Lorenzo Hubbell purchased the trading post in 1878, ten years after Navajos were allowed to return to their homeland from their terrible exile at Bosque Redondo, Ft. Sumner, New Mexico. During the four years spent at Bosque Redondo, Navajos were introduced to many new items. Traders like Hubbell supplied those items once they returned home.
Hubbell had an enduring influence on Navajo rugweaving and silversmithing, for he consistently demanded and promoted excellence in craftsmanship. He built a trading empire that included stage and freight lines as well as several trading posts. At various times, he and his two sons, together or separately, owned 24 trading posts, a wholesale house in Winslow, and other business and ranch properties. Beyond question, he was the foremost Navajo trader of his time.
Hubbell family members operated the trading post until it was sold to the National Park Service in 1967. The trading post is still active, and operated by the non-profit organization, Western National Parks Association for the National Park Service. They continue the trading traditions the Hubbell family started.
Homestead and Farm History Open this PDF to read a detailed history of the Ganado Irrigation System and the Hubbell Homestead agricultural practices.
Hubbell Trading Post NHS Administrative History The movement to bring Hubbell Trading Post into the National Park System started in 1957. Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site was established by Act of Congress on August 28, 1965. Public Law 89-148 authorized the purchase of the "site and remaining structures of the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Arizona, including the contents of cultural and historic value, together with such additional land and interests in land ... needed to preserve and protect the post and its invirons for the benefit and enjoyment of the public." This report provides the detailed history of the Site prior to it's establishment up into the mid-1990s.
Pawn: A Misunderstood Traditional Trading Practice - This report explains the history of pawning in the Navajo Culture and how it continues to be conducted today.
The Hubbell Trading Post NHS Museum Collection
Nearly everything the Hubbell family owned is preserved for your enjoyment. The buildings are furnished with their belongings and the artifacts are available for researchers. The collection contains over 350,000 individual items including the family archive of 264,000 business records. The catalog database and archive finding aid are both available on-line.
To access the on-line database, click here. You will be taken to the National Park Service's portal to all of the museum collections in the NPS. Select Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site and begin your discovery of our museum collection holdings.
Culural Landscape Report: Hubbell Trading Post NHS Ganado, Arizona This cultural landscape study documents the past land use and records the existing landscape conditions associated with John Lorenzo Hubbell's trading post, home site, and farming operation in Ganado, Arizona.
A Web Exhibit: NAVAJO PORTRAITS - Hubbell Trading Post NHS
Explore selected artwork by Elbridge Ayer Burbank from the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site museum collection. They were featured in the Portraits of the People: E.A. Burbank at Hubbell Trading Post exhibit at the Navajo Nation Museum, Window Rock, Arizona from August 9-December 21, 2002. Many of the artworks can be seen at Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site.
Click the title above to enter the exhibit.
Visit this website for an ever growing list of Trading Post businesses on and around the Navajo Nation.
Did You Know?
Artists visiting Hubbell Trading Post in the early 1900s painted illustrations of Navajo rugs for J.L.Hubbell. He displayed the paintings on the wall in his rug room for weavers and visitors to admire. Today Navajo weavers still use these 81 illustrations for inspiration. More...