Sandal House

Traveling to Sandal House from the Ute Tribal Park entrance around the Mesa Verde plateau and exiting to Mancos, Colorado and the Alamo Ranch. Photos of pictographs, ruins and the spectacular landscape along the way with old photos to give a different perspective. Recent rain made the roads almost impassable but for the four wheel drive vehicles. Author Fred Blackburn conducted the tour with author Robert Sanchez from the 5280 Denver's Magazine. Robert was writing a story about the Wetherill's. Marie Garcia Shaffner photographer, Jim Shaffner grandson of Richard Wetherill and Mitchell Deer, Ute Tribal Member.
IMG 5312  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888.  Notice that Jack House signed the painting on the horse shoulder. IMG 5316  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. IMG 5310  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. IMG 5317  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. IMG 5308  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal Hiuse. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. IMG 5306  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888.
IMG 5315  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. IMG 6324  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. IMG 6326  Pictographs in Mancos River Canyon, Ute Mountain Tribal Park, on the way to Sandal House. These Pictographs were painted by Chief Jack House, last of the traditional chiefs of the Ute Tribe. Chief Jack House was the son of Acowitz House. Acowitz was with Richard Wetherill when Cliff Palace was discovered in December of 1888. acowitz and richard  Acowitz and Richard Wetherill at the Alamo Ranch in 1891 Acowitz and Richard were friends.  Acowitz told the Wetherills about the ruins in the canyons of the Mesa Verde Plateau. Fred Blackburn collection/ Gustaf Nordenskiold IMG 6332  This area in the Mancos River Valley is where Richard Wetherill, Charlie Mason and Acowitz rode on December 22, 1888 that led to the discovery of Cliff Palace, Spruce Tree House and others.  The ride by horseback led to the top of the large flat plain of the Mesa Verde Plateau allowing Richard to peer into canyons below. IMG 5296  Johnson Canyon side canyon of the Mancos River Valley where the Wetherills kept their winter camp.  The next picture is from the same vantage point except taken in 1891.  Notice the difference in vegetation.
IMG 3331  Johnson Canyon in the Mancos River valley where the Wetherills kept their winter camp.  Al and John Wetherill 1891.  Gustaf NordenskIold photo, Fred Blackburn collection. IMG 6325  Look closely, a cliff dwelling midway up the cliff face. IMG 2845  The road to Sandal House, County road 41, Weber Road and ultimately the Wetherill, Alamo Ranch. IMG 2846  Cottonwood tree on the way to Sandal House. IMG 2888  View of Cottonwood trees on the way to Sandal House. sandal house7  View of Cottonwood trees on the way to Sandal House.
IMG 2876  The author Robert Sanchez checks out the size of a bear footprint in the road. IMG 2896  Moving boulders from the road. IMG 2861  Marie Garcia Shaffner and Robert Sanchez. sandal house8  Our vehicles are stopped while  Fred Blackburn and  Marshall Deer drain water from the road into the Mancos River IMG 2924  Jim Shaffner and Robert Sanchez in discussions about the extreme mud conditions of the road to Sandal House.  Fred Blackburn has started draining the water from the road into the Mancos River. IMG 2862  Our vehicles are stopped while author, Fred Blackburn and Ute guide, Marshall Deer drain water from the road into the Mancos River
IMG 2966  L-R Marshall Deer, Jim Shaffner, Robert Sanchez discuss Sandel House before taking the trail up the mountain side to the site. IMG 2973  View of the Mancos River Valley from the road to Sandal House. IMG 2972  Marie Garcia Shaffner and Robert Sanchez hiking up the mountain to Sandal House sandal house6  Ancient Sandal House Ruin sandal house10  Ancient Sandal House Ruin sandal house3  Ancient Sandal House Ruin
sandal house9  Ancient Sandal House Ruin IMG 5050  Inscription by Clayton Wetherill, Sandal House. IMG 5180  Ancient Sandal House Ruin sandal house2  Ancient Sandal House Ruin corn cobs  1000 year old corn cobs and other items in Sandal House. IMG 5141  A Richard Wetherill inscription in the corner of Sandal House. It reads "R Wetherill Sept 28 88 3 1/2 pm  1-3 gal jar return for it about Oct 2
IMG 5106  Fred Blackburn's notebook where he deciphered the Richard Wetherill inscription. IMG 5048  Harvey Leake great grandson of John Wetherill stands in front of a John Wetherill inscription over his left shoulder. IMG 5319  Pictograph on the back wall of Sandal House. IMG 2852  I think the Hayden Survey crew camped here in 1874.  I need to check on this though. the bogg  Pushing water and mud on the way to the Alamo Ranch. IMG 3176  This area is where the Wetherills came down the Mancos River on their discovery expeditions. The mountain on the right is Weber Mountain.
road from sandal house  This area is where the Wetherills came down the Mancos River on their discovery expeditions. The mountain on the right is Weber Mountain on the left is Mesa Verde.  We crossed the Mancos River here and went around Weber Mountain to the Alamo Ranch. IMG 3179  Robert Sanchez and Mitchell Deer opening the gate to exit the Ute Mountain Tribal Park.  We then visited the cemetery where Benjamin Kite Wetherill is buried and the Alamo Ranch. IMG 3189  Fred Blackburn describing the historical importance of the cemetery residents. IMG 3188  Benjamin Kite Wetherill's grave site. IMG 3190  This mound is about two hundred yards East of the Wetherill,  Alamo Ranch and the site of the Wetherills first excavations of ancient cliff dweller artifacts.  The picture that follows of Fredrick F. Chapin in 1896 was taken at this spot. The mound was about five feet taller in 1896. 100 4380  This photo from the photo album by Fredrick F. Chapin was made during several visites to the Mesa Verde area. He was an American business man, mountaineer, photographer, amateur archaeologist and author. He arrived at the Alamo Ranch using the Wetherills as guides to the ruins of Mesa Verde.  He signed the Wetherill, Alamo Ranch guest register guest register  September 12, 1896. BLM Anasazi Heritage Center
100 4405  Fredrick F, Chapmin signed the Alamo Ranch guest register September, 12 1896. BLM Anasazi Heritage 100 3125  Entrance to the Alamo Ranch sandal house12  The Wetherill Alamo Ranch established in late 1879 or 1880.  The three Brown buildings were built by the Wetherills and still in use today.  The roofs of these structures are made of a Zinc composite shingle. sandal house11  The Alamo Ranch barn.  The barn was built sometime prior to 1890 with wooden pegs used to attach the various elements.  The Wetherill brothers carved the pegs during inclement weather during the Harsh Mancos Winters. wetherill barn  The Alamo Ranch barn.  The barn was built sometime prior to 1890 with wooden pegs used to attach the various elements.  The Wetherill brothers carved the pegs during inclement weather during the Harsh Mancos Winters.. animoto video(1)  An excellent video of the Sandal House Experience.  The Video is a large file and needs a high speed connection for it to load properly.