In 1876 John Lorenzo Hubbell began trading with the Navajo in Ganado, Arizona. After the Navajo’s “Long Walk” in 1864 and their subsequent imprisonment for four years at Bosque Redondo in New Mexico, they returned to their homes to find widespread devastation of their homes, crops and animals.
Over the next fifty years, Hubbell became a champion of The People, dealing honestly with the Navajo, respecting their culture, providing a place for trading of food and goods, even opening his home as a hospital during an 1883 smallpox epidemic.
Virtually appearing the same as in the old black and white photos from yesteryear, Hubbell remains an active trading post with native artisans still bringing their woven rugs, jewelry, baskets and pottery to the post to sell. The post also sells groceries and supplies.
In the Visitor Center at Hubbell, I watched a Navajo woman weaving this rug. The finished size will be 5 x 3 feet. At this point she had worked on the rug for five months and said it would take about one more month to complete.
Her work was so meticulous and painstaking. We talked about weaving being handed down through generations and about the patience it requires. This piece was truly a work of art and I am thankful this beautiful tradition has not been lost over time.
Hubbell Trading Post was run by the Hubbell family until 1967, when the property was sold to the National Park Service. Today it continues as an important part of the community of Ganado, Arizona.
Directions to Hubbell Trading Post
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site is located one mile west of Hwy. 191 in Ganado, on U.S. Highway 264. Visitors traveling on I-40 can take U.S. Highway 191 North to Ganado. If you are traveling from Gallup, New Mexico, you may take U.S. Highway 491 North to U.S. Highway 264 west toward Ganado, via Window Rock,Arizona.
By Train, Bus and Airplane
Gallup, New Mexico, 60 miles east of the park, is served by Amtrak, buses and a small airport. Albuquerque, New Mexico, 200 miles east, has a major airport. Flagstaff, Arizona, 180 miles west, is served by Amtrak, buses, and a municipal airport.
If you would like to learn more about the history of Hubbell, you will enjoy the following book: