Traders’ Reunion Hubbell Home Tour
Ganado, AZ The final event of this year’s Traders and Their Neighbors gathering organized by the Navajo Nation Museum was a tour of the Hubbell home at the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic site. The home is behind the trading post and has been kept as much as possible the way it was when Dorothy Smith Hubbell left it in 1967. The home is built in the style of a Hispanic hacienda with five bedrooms surrounding a great room in the main house. A kitchen and dining area were added after the main home had been built and are separated from it by a small courtyard to help reduce the hazard of kitchen fires. Dozens of people ate their meals at the home on a daily basis, and I often think that if J.L. Hubbell were to come back to the place today, he would wonder why things were so quiet and where everybody was. You can see a plan of the home below. The drawing is part of Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site: An Administrative History, published in 1993 by Albert and Ann Manchester. The entire text of the publication is available online.
Although I’ve been to the Hubbell home many times, this visit was special because traders Bill Malone and Steve Getzwiller and former historic site superintendent Tom Vaughn were part of the group. Tom was the superintendent of the site during some of the formative years of National Park Service management, from 1974 to 1978. He was able to provide insights into the philosophy behind keeping the home as the last resident left it and into the daily operation of the site. Tom told us that there were some people involved who wanted to return the home to it’s 1910 appearance, reasoning that this was the heyday of the home as J.L. Hubbell knew it. I think it’s fortunate that the decision was made to leave the home in a state that reflects the organic nature of the building process versus a peek into a point in time.
Hagoshíí (so long for n0w)