A History of Discovery  

Ute Mountain Tribal Park

The Wetherill family gathered at the Ute Mountain Tribal Park June 30, 2006 to view sites visited by the Wetherills between 1888 and 1890. The group included the author of "The Wetherills: Friends of Mesa Verde", Fred Blackburn and Harvey Leake the great grandson of John Trevor Johnson, Sarah Fine, and Ute Tribal Member, Eagle NestWetherill and co-author of Wolfkiller, the remarkable life story of a Navajo herdsman and plant-gatherer who lived in the Monument Valley region of Navajo country, along the Utah/Arizona border, from about 1855 until 1926..  Harvey is also the author of many articles written about the Wetherill brothers in the late 1800's. The sites visited included Eagles Nest, Tree House, She House, Morris Five and Inaccessible House all within north and south Lion Canyon.
The site was burned in the 2000 fires that devastated the Mesa Verde area. The fire was so hot the ground was sterilized killing everything in its path including seeds, with no vegetation reestablishing itself to date. The picture of the Wetherills traveling across the many cliffs and boulders was still devoid of plant life. On July 20th of 2006 a few weeks after the Wetherill gathering another fire struck Johnson Canyon called the Weber fire which burned more trees over several hundred acres. A terrible tragedy considering the natural beauty of the area.
The group included Marie Garcia Shaffner, James Wetherill Wetherills viewing fire damaged ruinsShaffner, Jocelyn Shaffner, Jarryn Shaffner, Celia Wetherill, Gay Wetherill, Kathleen Watson Johnson, Keith Johnson, Trevor Johnson, Jenifer Johnson, Terresa Watson, Sarah Fine, Marc Borge, Harvey Leake, Fred Blackburn, Jeanette Gomes Watson, Jake Dance (Driver) and Marshal Deer (Guide)