Wetherill Wetherill

A History of Discovery  

Clayton Wetherill

Clayton Wetherill was often referred to as "The Human Plumb Bob" and was related to his dare devil methods of exploration.  His brothers would tie him off on a rope and lower him into dwellings over the cliffs so he couldAlamo Ranch, Mancos, Coloradoexplore.  He suffered a near death experience in late 1888, suffering an attack of Rheumatic Fever which damaged his heart.  This may have been the reason Clayton was involved in death defying climbing episodes while exploring. 

Clayton and Al Wetherill built the very first trading post at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.  It was so successful that it caused the Hyde Exploring Expedition (HEE) to begin an expansion of almost a dozen Trading posts throughout the Chaco Canyon area.

Eastern Students On An Outing
Creede Candle (Creede, Mineral County); :Jul 16, 1921

A party of six young men arrived from the east Thursday and making arrangements for an overland trip to the Grand Canon in Arizona. They are making their headquarters at Clayton Wetherill’s ranch. In charge is R. A. Patterson , physical director of Kingswood school , Hartford , Conn., and the five young men completing the party are students of the school , and as follows : Roger Holt of West Point , N. Y.; Robert Lowry, Gibson City, _Ill .; Leon Isreal , Far Hills , N. J.; John Hart , Hartford , Conn.; William Chappell , New London , _Cona . The outing is planned by John Wetherill of Shiprock , Ariz ., and Mr . Patterson , and the organization has taken the name , "Rockys For the Boys. " John Wetherill is outfitter and guide. Ben Wetherill , a nephew , arrived from Kayenta , Ariz ., with a young man , Richard Atkinson , and a Navajo [ndian , and equipment. The party will leave in ten days , cross the range to Durango , to Mesa Verde National park , the Natural Bridge country in Utah , to Shiprock , N. M., into the Navajo Indian reservation , the Hopi Indian reservation in Arizona , and the Grand Canon of the Colorado, the trip occupying two months , when the party will return east by rail. This is the first of parties planned for future seasons.


Clayton Wetherill

Clayton Wetherill


1868- 1921

The first trading post in Chaco Canyon

Chaco Canyon trading post

The this photo shows a roofless rock building under construction and  attached to a wall on Pueblo Bonito.