Basket bowl, coiled. White willow background with black decorations, large black center with white crosses around edge of black. Rectangular stepped design in black to rim is narrow black and white circular bands. Pima or Western Apache. Marietta Wetherill Collection.
These photos are of a trip in early 2011 by four members of the Wetherill family, James Wetherill Shaffner, Tocky Wetherill Bialobrzeski, Ted Wetherill and Marie Garcia Shaffner. They visited most major archeological sites visited or discovered by the Wetherill brothers in the late 1800's and early 1900. These sites include Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley, Arizona, Betatakin Navajo National Monument and Canyon De Chelly National Park.
The hike to Cave 7 made by Wetherill family members and others, stopped at alcoves with ancient ruins in them before hiking o Cave 7. One of them is Cave 8 and probably excavated by the Hyde Exploration Expedition. The group included four Wetherill descendants and the great grandson of Platte D. Lyman who helped build a house and corral in the valley which ultimately became the Milk Ranch and where Cave 7 is located. Cave 7 is considered one of the most important archeological discoveries in North America.
On November 29, 1893, Richard Wetherill led the Hyde Exploring
Expedition from Mancos, CO to Grand Gulch UT. After a stop in Bluff,
UT for supplies they headed north on December 11. In a letter
written six days later, addressed from “First Valley Cottonwood
Creek 30 miles North Bluff City,” Richard Wetherill wrote:
Our success has surpassed all expectations….In the cave we are now working we have taken 28 skeletons and two more in sight and curious to tell, and a thing that will surprise the archaeologists of the country is the fact of our finding them at a depth of five and six feet in a cave in which there are cliff dwellings and we find the bodies under the ruins, three feet below any cliff dweller sign. They are a different race from anything I have ever seen. They had feather cloth and baskets, no pottery–six of the bodies had stone spear heads in them.
The location of the Tiz-Nat-Zin Trading was lost for many decades. With the help of "Google Earth Mapping" Harvey Leake was able to pinpoint it's approximate location and walked to it on the expedition with Wetherill family members and others.
The location of the Winslow Wetherill trading post called Tiz-Nat-Zin is upstream from the Don Gleason Bridge on Highway 371. Opened in 1901 by the Hyde Exploration Expedition and managed for a year or so by Winslow Wetherill. It was formerly the Swirer's Store opened in 1878. The store was operated by two German brothers who introduced the Germantown wool yarn to the Navajo's. These rugs were produced primarily for the wall hanging market. The Marietta Palmer family stopped here in 1895 guided by Richard Wetherill.
Click her to see the October, 2011 tour of Sandal House in the Ute Mountain Tribal Park behind Mesa Verde National Park. (This link has been temporarily removed)
Sandal House was one of the first ruins discovered by the Wetherills. It was visited prior to the discovery Cliff Palace and Spruce Tree House in December of 1888. It was here that Richard Wetherill led the Palmer family including Marietta Palmer his future wife on an exploration trip. The family camped her for a couple of weeks, just below the ruins in a grove of Box Elder trees. Richard rode to the area several times to ask them if they needed anything.
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. It was Robert that may have found an inscription by Winslow Wetherill. It had never been deciphered before until Robert stumbled upon it. Marie Garcia Shaffner was photographer and Jim Shaffner the organizer and grandson of Richard Wetherill. Mitchell Deer, Ute Tribal Member also was in attendance.
Kathy Watson Johnson and Terry Watson, great granddaughters of Richard Wetherill at the 2008 Wetherill Mason reunion, Mesa Verde.
Cliff Palace Park Ranger dressed as Virginia McClure
Joseph Weixelman re-enactment of Richard Wetherill's discovery of Cliff Palace. In observance of the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of Mesa Verde National Park. 2006