The Old Trails Museum presented its 2017 Summer History Highlight on Sunday, July 9, at La Posada Hotel. Author and historian Jim Turner gave a free presentation of Native Roads: A Pictorial Guide to the Hopi and Navajo Nations.
Turner’s presentation was a virtual road trip that highlighted the beauty, history, and folklore of the Four Corners region. Images include natural wonders like Sunset Crater, Monument Valley, Horseshoe Bend, and Canyon de Chelly; archeological sites such as Wupatki and Aztec Ruins; and trading posts at Teec Nos Pos, Shiprock, Farmington, Gallup, and Keams Canyon.
Turner edited the third edition of Native Roads: A Complete Motoring Guide to the Navajo and Hopi Nations, a popular travel guide written by Fran Kosik and first published in 1995. After she graduated from nursing school, Kosik went to work for the Indian Health Service at Tuba City and spent more than three decades learning about the geology, geography, archaeology, history, and culture of the area.
But things have changed since the first edition, so Rio Nuevo Publishers asked Turner to retrace Kosik’s routes and update the information. He shared fascinating images, maps, and stories from his trips to the Four Corners, presenting the best of both the original and new material. After hearing Turner’s experiences and insights, newcomers to the area were inspired to visit these Native roads, and longtime residents relived fond memories and decide to return.
Turner worked with museums across the state before retiring from the Arizona Historical Society. He authored the pictorial history, Arizona: Celebration of the Grand Canyon State and co-authored the 4th-grade textbook, The Arizona Story. Turner earned a MA in US history from the University of Arizona and has been researching and teaching Arizona history for more than forty years.
The 2017 Summer History Highlight, a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and La Posada Hotel, was made possible in part by Arizona Humanities, a non-profit organization and the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Arizona Humanities strives to help Arizonans better understand themselves and the world around them through grants to organizations and public programs that explore the human experience.