Day 3-On Our Way to the Grand Canyon

About an hour north on Highway 491 from Gallup, NM and west on Highway 264 is  the small town of Ganado, AZ.

Ganado is the home of a very old, very historic trading post.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

The Hubbell Trading Post was established in 1878 by a man named John Lorenzo Hubbell and is the oldest continuously operated trading post on the Navajo Nation.  Mr. Hubbell was a Spanish interpreter for the United States military and familiar with the Navajo’s language and traditions.   It is said he did not learn English until he was twelve years old.  His diverse upbringing made it possible to communicate with numerous individuals thus making him a well-respected business leader in the region.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

Trading posts throughout the west were used to barter for goods and supplies.  Mr. Hubbell was known for his friendliness and honest business dealings with the various Indian tribes of the area.  He acted as a liaison for many by writing letters on their behalf, settling arguments and explaining government policies.  He even opened his home as a hospital during a smallpox outbreak.

The inside of the store looks much as it did many years ago and local Native Americans continue to bring their rugs and pottery to be traded or sold.

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The round buildings on the grounds are called hogans.  A hogan is a sacred home for the Navajo people.  Even if they lived in a newer home, a hogan was needed for ceremonies and as a reminder of who they are.  The hogans on the property were built by Mr. Hubbell for the Navajo and used as guest houses for various artists in residence.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

Also on the grounds is the original barn and blacksmith shop

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hubbell trading post ganado, az hubbell trading post ganado, az

hubbell trading post ganado, az

filled with artifacts

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and a resident horse giving us the eye.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

Churro sheep are raised here and this wool was waiting in the barn for someone to make something beautiful from it.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

This picture depicts the various plants used for dyes

hubbell trading post ganado, az

The corral surrounding the barn was nothing more than wooden posts held together with wire.

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The bunk house is still on the property

hubbell trading post ganado, az as is the chicken coop that also houses a turkey named Frank (who, by the way, is a pet and not the main dish for Thanksgiving  or so we were told….)

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The bread oven was used daily when the post was in full operation

hubbell trading post ganado, azand provided hundreds of loaves throughout the week for meals and to be sold or traded at the post.

An old ambulance is parked on the side of the trading post and I can’t imagine how far it was to get medical attention.  I would also imagine you would be ten times worse once you got there if you got there.

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The cone-shaped hill behind the post is known as Hubbell Hill.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

At the top of the hill is the family cemetery and Mr. Hubbell, along with his family and a few close friends are buried there.

hubbell trading post ganado, az

Mr. Hubbell’s gravesite (the marker to the right) is strategically placed per his instructions so he would be able to look after the post in his afterlife.

In 1967, the National Park Service took responsibility for the trading post and made it a National Historic Site as well as a National Historic Landmark.

As I walked the grounds, I tried to envision life as it must have been at that time.  The hardships and sadness they had to endure to live day to day.  What brave people they must have been and how easy we have it today!

hubbell trading post ganado, az

 

 

 

 

 

About the blonde gardener

I'm an Arkansas girl born and raised. I garden in the beautiful Northwest part of the state (zone 6b or 7) surrounded by the Ozark Mountains. My favorite part about the area is we have 4 distinct seasons and are able to enjoy a variety of activities. My main passion is gardening but I also enjoy hiking, birding, 4-wheeling and motorcycle trips. Basically anything outside. Thanks for stopping by! Brenda
This entry was posted in Motorcycle trips, travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Day 3-On Our Way to the Grand Canyon

  1. What a treat to see these sights…it has been many decades since I traveled these highways.

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  2. wow, what an interesting place to visit, so different from New England. I’d love to travel out there with my family some day. I think we’d really enjoy it!

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    • It is so interesting and very different from Arkansas, too. We love the west.

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      • so, we’ve been contemplating a warmer weather than New England kind of family vacation for January and you inspired me to price out some air fares. It looks like we’re going to Arizona! We want to visit the Grand Canyon and some of the other National Parks and some of the very western kind of stuff? like Tombstone and cactus.. We’re really excited! Reading your post was a lightbulb moment for me! Thanks!

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      • Awesome! You will love it! I’ve got some posts coming up on the Grand Canyon and Bryce Canyon coming up. We’ve been out there 3 times so let me know if I can help.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I want to go to all these places, have to plan another road trip

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  4. ChgoJohn says:

    We miss out on so much when we fly over the countryside in a rush to get where we’re going. This is proof of that.

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  5. That wooden counter in the trading post is gorgeous. I agree, we have it easy today. I would not be willing to go back in time — they didn’t have air conditioning.

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