Aztec Ruins
Administrative History
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In December 1936, Thomas C. (Cal) Miller succeeded Johnwill Faris as custodian of Aztec Ruins National Monument. After a youthful experience as a working cowboy in central Arizona, Miller came into the National Park Service in the early 1930s. Like so many others in the southwestern branch of the Service, he got his training as a seasonal ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Monument. From there, he moved on to be custodian at Chaco Canyon for two years prior to being transferred to Aztec.

Miller's seven year stint at Aztec Ruins National Monument focused on four principal administrative areas: personnel, physical plant, ruin repair and archeology, and relationship with the public. In addition, for several years he made periodic inspections of Yucca House and Hovenweep, two archeological zones to the northwest of Aztec, to oversee the work of Roving Ranger Roland Richert.

Since there was neither housing nor other facilities at either of these detached holdings, Richert lived out of the back of his pick-up truck as he tended to his duties in virtual isolation. This prolonged solitary existence may have let him cultivate an almost psychopathic fear that his middle Germanic name of von Steen would cause associates to regard him as a Nazi sympathizer. Thereafter, he carefully avoided use of that name in the several reports he was destined to write about Aztec Ruins. [1]

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006