Wetherill Wetherill

A History of Discovery  

Winslow Wetherill

There is not much written about Winslow Wetherill or his activities in the Southwest. He was loosely considered the Black Sheep of the Wetherill family and the family marksmen. His son Milton Wetherill followed family tradition and was a distinguished archeologists at the Museum of Northern Arizona.

The Tiz-Nat Zin Trading Post was built by "Old Man Swires" in 1878, bought by the Hyde Exploring Expedition in 1900 and run by Winslow Wetherill until 1902.  Richard Wetherill stopped here on his first exploration trip to Chaco Canyon in 1895 while guiding thePetroglyphs of Cranes near Tis-Nat-Zin Palmer family.  In Marietta Palmer's diary she says they drove to the Swires trading store where "old man Swires' lived with his brother". They then went to the Tsaya Trading Store.  Swires Trading Post (Tiz-Nat-Zin Trading Post) was a rock building above the Da-Na-Zin wash with a nearby coal supply.  A 1907 Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey, Volumes 315-316 By Geological Survey (U.S.) describes the mine and it's coal deposit. It also mentions the trading post nearby as the Tiz-Natzin. The correct spelling is actually Tiz-Nat-Zin.  About 15 miles Northeast of the Tiz-Nat-Zin Trading Post was the John Wetherill Ojo Alamo Trading Post.   During this time period the entire area around Chaco Canyon and the Bisti Badlands suffered from a severe drought which caused severe hardship for many trading posts in the area.  I suspect the Tis-Nat-Zin was not an exception.  The name Tiz-Nat-Zin means standing Cranes in Navajo.  There was a petroglyph near the trading post with three cranes on a cliff face. That was probably what the trading post was named after.

Winslow also purchased the Two Grey Hills Trading Post in 1902 and sold it in 1904.  The two Grey Hills Trading Post is still in business today in the same location 11 miles east of Newcomb on the Toadlena road (three and a half miles south of Navajo Route 19.

Two Grey Hills Trading Post

Two Grey Hills Trading Post Established 1897

Two Winslow Wetherill inscriptions were found in August of 2012 in Fire Temple, an alcove site at Mesa
Verde in Fewkes' Canyon, not far from Cliff Palace. One inscription was "Win" found by park service employee Robert Jensen the other was "Winslow Wetherill" found by Kay Barnett also a park service employee. Both signatures are very small, measuring only 2 cm x 1 cm and the other 12 cm in length. They are both located on the east wall on the plaza kiva high on the north end. Fred Blackburn author of The Wetherills: Friends of Mesa Verde, suggests Win left these signatures sometime during the 1890's; however, since there is no associated date, we don't know for sure.

Winslow Wetherill Inscription Fire temple

Winslow Wetherill

Winslow Wetherill



The Tiz-Nat-Zin Winslow Wetherill Trading Post Coal Mine

Coal Mine

Palentology report that describes the Tiz-Nat-Zin Trading Post in detail.  This is a very large file so may take several minutes to download.  The report by Donald Wolberg and Diane Bellis of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines describes the history of the Bisti Badlands and the eight Wetherill/Hyde trading posts as well as coal deposits and fossil remains in the area.