Hubbell Trading Post
Administrative History
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It may be recalled that in John Cook's August 3, 1966, memorandum to Earl Jackson he suggested that SPMA might make a profit of $9,000 during its first year in operation. In order to discover what profits were actually realized, the Statement of Income and Expense for the year ending December 31, 1968, is now included, Hubbell Trading Post's first full year under the direction of SPMA.


Publications, slides
$ 4,686.00
"Regular trading post business"

$77,703.96 [1]

There were, of course, expenses: salaries, travel, depreciation, etc., but the net profit from the operation for 1968 was $19.231.68, and net overall gain $21,124.29.

So instead of the lean or in-the-hole years feared by Earl Jackson, SPMA was already turning a notable profit. But of course they had one of the most experienced traders in the Southwest running the operation for them. At the time, it was estimated that the trading post was serving between 700 and 800 Navajo, who comprised about 95% of the people who shopped there. [2] Profits at Hubbell Trading Post continued to grow as the historic site was discovered by more and more tourists. And as the years rolled on, more and more tourists were on the move. The percentage of Navajo visitors to the post dropped as thousands of people from all over the United States and other countries passed through Ganado.

The income from Hubbell Trading Post came to represent a very large part of SPMA's total profit for any year. The percentage has dropped off a bit as SPMA's sales at other parks, monuments, and sites have grown, but the income from Hubbell Trading Post still represents the largest part of the total sales of SPMA from all of their outlets, and it should be noted that SPMA has outlets at over 40 parks, monuments, and sites. As business at Hubbell Trading Post grew, SPMA itself grew considerably. A brief look at Hubbell Trading Post's financial data for 1990:


$ 604,550
Theme related


Theme related


NET PROFIT$ 632,946

Total sales revenue for SPMA for the year ending September 30,1990, was $5,626,915, and that included Hubbell Trading Post, SPMA's wholesale warehouse, the Tucson bookstore, and all of the other areas. Total sales revenue for SPMA, less Hubbell Trading Post's contribution, was $3,859,814. [3] One can see immediately how significant a role Hubbell Trading Post plays in the success of SPMA with its $1,767,101 in gross sales. Compared to Hubbell Trading Post's contribution, the income from almost any other of SPMA's outlets is minuscule.

SPMA'S Employees at The Trading Post

SPMA maintains fifteen full- or part-time employees working at Hubbell NHS year-round, and during the summer five extra part-time employees may be hired. [4] This may seem like a large crew, and at first one can be struck by the number of clerks on duty at the same time. However, there is often a large number of customers milling about, especially in the rug room and the jewelry room, and it should be remembered that much of the merchandise is extremely valuable--and vulnerable. Although thefts from the store are a rare occurrence, they have happened. For example, at one point during a busy summer day, a small rug was "carelessly" put down by one of the windows on the north side of the rug room. A little later it disappeared out the window, lost forever. And it should be remembered, too, that there are many items of historical value in the store that are not for sale. A lot of care is needed in the three rooms, and during a summer day when most of the clerks are occupied with customers, the Trader/Manager needs all the people who are on duty with him. Depending on the season, one will find between four and eight people working in the store.

Long-Term Employees at The Trading Post

Some of the employees at the trading post have been there for many years: Lorene Dalgai, 20 years; Helen Kirk, 16 years; Evelyn Curley, 16 years; Mary Lee Begay, 15 years; Colina Yazzie, 11 years; and Irene Boloz, 10 years. [5] There are several other fairly long-term employees. All of these people add up to a lot of experience and competence. (In 1967 Bill Young operated with just an assistant, Brad Stipp, and Rex and Eloise Begay, clerks.) [6]

Helen Kirk

Figure 18. Helen Kirk, weaver, in 1984. SPMA employs weavers and a silversmith to work in the Visitor Center. This is part of the interpretation program. NPS photo by Wilson Hunter, HUTR Neg. R5#12.

Ben Davis

Figure 19. Silversmith Ben Davis at work in the Visitor Center on 25 August, 1990. The weavers first came to work at the trading post, followed by a silversmith. Before working in the Visitor Center, they set up shop in the wareroom. NPS photo by Edward M. Chamberlin, HUTR Neg. R327#21.

The Chain Of Command At The Trading Post

When the Trader/Manager is not on duty, responsibility at the trading post is in the hands of Assistant Trader/Manager Colina Yazzie. If both Bill Malone and Colina Yazzie are absent, Lorene Dalgai is in charge. [7]

SPMA Employees Who Are Not Clerks

The trading post has a bookkeeper, and there are three weavers and a silversmith. The silversmith and the weavers, who may not all be on duty at the same time, will generally be found at the NPS Visitor Center where they are part of the interpretation program.

Friday Kinlicheenie, Retired SPMA Employee

Until recently, Friday Kinlicheenie was an integral and colorful member of Hubbell Trading Post's personnel. He was the trading post's gardener and took care of the kitchen garden. He was a medicine man, accustomed to doing an occasional Blessing Way for the trading post buildings or local citizens; and when lightning struck a tree at the post in the 1970s he helped perform a ceremony to clear the property of spiritual evil, much to the astonishment and delight of visiting tourists. [8] When skunks plundered his corn patch, he would stay up all night to defend the garden with a stick, which, when he went into the trading post in the morning to announce some success, also astonished the tourists. [9] Nobody seems to know exactly how old Friday is, although a good guess would place him at this time in his 95th or 96th year. He was born about seven or eight miles west of Ganado at a place called Cornfields, born probably in the month of February, and he came to work at the trading post in about 1915. In those early days he did chores around the place, sweeping out, chopping wood, packing and unpacking merchandise, he would also help carry mail to Chinle and St. Michael's. Kinlicheenie was already a fixture at the store when Dorothy Hubbell rolled into the yard in 1920.

Friday Kinlicheenie was still working at the trading post when Dorothy Hubbell decided to sell. Roman Hubbell and Friday Kinlicheenie were long-time compadres, and Dorothy Hubbell explained to John Cook that Roman had told Friday that he could have a job at the trading post forever. John cook made a commitment to Mrs. Hubbell that he would see to it that Friday would have a job at the trading post for as long as he wanted one there.

And so Friday continued on at the trading post, paid by SPMA, his main duty that of planting corn and caring for the garden that visitors see just to the front of the house. Friday spent more years at the trading post than did anybody else. He just grew too old to continue working. One can imagine that his spirit remains. [10]

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Last Updated: 28-Aug-2006