“We are particular to preserve....”: The Wetherills and their Archaeological Investigations at Mesa Verde and Beyond

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Date: June 2, 2017
Contact: Cristy Brown, 970-529-4608

Over a span of many decades, the Wetherill brothers and some of their descendants passionately worked to uncover and preserve the prehistory of the Four Corners region. Harvey Leake, great-grandson of John Wetherill, will discuss the activities of his ancestors and their archaeological investigations in the area on Friday, June 16, at 7:00 pm at the Visitor and Research Center, located at the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. This program is part of the 2017 Four Corner Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.

The Wetherill family of Mancos, Colorado played a significant role in the development of Mesa Verde National Park, and also in the early archaeology of the Four Corners area. Mr. Leake will share historic family photographs that illustrate their involvement at Mesa Verde and elsewhere, their motivation for engaging in this strenuous endeavor, and the cultural environment they had to deal with. 

For the past 30 years, Harvey Leake has spent much of his spare time researching the history of his pioneering ancestors, the Wetherills of the Four Corners region. His investigations have taken him to libraries, archives, and the homes of family elders whose recollections, photographs, and memorabilia have brought the story to life. His field research has led him to remote trading post sites in the Navajo country and some of the routes used by his great-grandfather, John Wetherill, to access the intricate canyon country of the Colorado Plateau. Harvey was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. He is a semi-retired electrical engineer.

The Four Corners Lecture Series features presentations about the archaeology, current Native American cultures, history, and natural resources of this spectacular area. All programs are free and open to the public. 

The Four Corners Lecture Series is sponsored by ARAMARK Parks and Destinations; Edge of the Cedars; Sunflower Theater; Friends of Cedar Mesa; Canyon Country Discovery Center; San Juan Basin Archaeological Society; Hisatsinom Chapter Colorado Archaeological Society; Crow Canyon Archaeological Center; Cortez Cultural Center; KSJD Dryland Community Radio; National Park Service; Bureau of Land Management; Mesa Verde Museum Association; Fort Lewis College Office of the President, Department of Anthropology and Center of Southwest Studies. For a list of other programs in the series, go to Four Corners Lecture Series.


Last updated: June 3, 2017

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