In conjunction with the 2016 High Desert Fly-In and Gala on July 29 and 30, the Old Trails Museum offered its 2016 Summer History Highlight on Friday, July 29, at 5 pm at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post, 523 West Second Street. Historian Erik Berg gave a free presentation of The Eagle and the Archaeologists: The Lindbergh’s 1929 Aerial Survey of Southwest Prehistoric Sites. (Left: Lindbergh’s image of Meteor Crater. Photo courtesy of Yale University Library.)

Based on extensive original research and featuring many rarely-seen images, Berg’s presentation described one of the Southwest’s greatest – and least-known – aerial adventures. Aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, the “Lone Eagle,” was already famous for his 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in the Spirit of St. Louis. But Lindbergh and his new wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, also played an important role in Southwestern archaeology.

While working in the Southwest for Transcontinental Air Transport, Lindbergh became interested in archaeology and recognized that aviation could be a powerful tool for researchers. In cooperation with noted archaeologist Alfred Kidder, the Lindberghs agreed to conduct the first extensive aerial survey of prehistoric sites in the Southwest.

During the summer of 1929, the Lindberghs explored the Four Corners area in their Curtiss Falcon biplane, locating, charting, and photographing remote geographical and archaeological sites. From their unique perspective, they captured nearly two hundred iconic aerial images of famous landmarks including the Grand Canyon, Meteor Crater, Canyon de Chelly, Chaco Canyon, and Pecos.

To protect the sites, neither the Lindberghs nor the participating archaeologists publicized the project, and over time their aerial survey was largely forgotten. Today these historic photographs are among the earliest and best images of many important Southwestern sites and serve as unique yardstick for measuring changes across the region over the last eighty years.

Berg also discussed the exhibit on view through May 2017 at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography, and Time. The exhibit features modern reshoots of several of Lindbergh’s images, providing now-versus-then comparisons of the sites as seen from the air. Berg’s work on the Lindbergh survey is also featured in the book from which the exhibit is drawn, Oblique Views: Aerial Photography and Southwest Archaeology.

Erik Berg is an award-winning writer and historian with a special interest in science and technology in the early twentieth-century Southwest century Southwest. His work has been featured in Arizona Highways, Journal of Arizona History, Sedona Magazine, and the book Arizona Goes to War: The Home Front and the Front Lines during World War II. Raised in Flagstaff and based on Phoenix, Berg is a past president of the Grand Canyon Historical Society.

The 2016 Summer History Highlight, a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and the Winslow Chamber of Commerce, was made possible in part by a grant from Arizona Humanities. For the latest updates on all of the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs, subscribe to our “News” feed or “like” the museum on Facebook.


If you’re ever wondered about that old family heirloom, bring it to the very first Winslow Antiques Appraisal Fair! Hosted by the Old Trails Museum and Friends of Winslow Public Library, the fair will take place on Saturday, June 18, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post, 523 West Second Street.

Sean Morton of Morton Appraisals in Scottsdale is bringing his expertise to Winslow so that residents will have the opportunity to have their historic items identified and appraised. Mr. Morton will offer verbal appraisals (not in writing) of objects including, but not limited to, fine art paintings, prints, sculpture, porcelain, crystal, silver, clocks, antique jewelry, Asian art, and Native American arts and crafts. (No guns, coins, or stamps will be appraised.)

To schedule your one-on-one appointment with Mr. Morton, call the Old Trails Museum at 928-289-5861 by Thursday, June 16. Attendance is limited to forty people, and each person is limited to two items for appraisal. The charge for the first item is $15 and for the second item is $5 (an excellent value versus the cost of a private appraisal).

Mr. Morton is a certified, licensed, and insured appraiser, as well as a member of the Antique Appraisal Association of America. He provides fair market and insurance appraisals for estates and individuals. He also works as an independent national auction representative, helping clients consign to nationally-recognized auction houses. Morton regularly appears on Channel Eight’s Arizona Collectibles, which airs on Thursday nights at 7:30 pm.

The Winslow Antiques Appraisal Fair is a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and the Friends of Winslow Public Library. The fair is presented as a service to the community; the event is not a fundraiser and the charge is only to cover our costs. For the latest updates on all of the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs, subscribe to our “News” feed or “like” the museum on Facebook.

Join us on April 16, 2016, at 1 pm in the NAU Cline Library Assembly Hall for a free screening of The Harvey Girls: Opportunity Bound documentary, new Harvey Girl oral histories, and a panel discussion. (At left in the image is Luz Delgadillo Moore, film interviewee and longtime Winslow resident, who worked as a Harvey Girl at the Seligman Harvey Girl during World War II. Photo courtesy of Luz Delgadillo Moore)

There were the more than 100,000 young women who, from the 1880s through the 1960s, left their homes and traveled west to work as waitresses in Harvey House restaurants along the Santa Fe Railroad—including in Arizona.

“For women, it was an amazing opportunity to be independent,” said filmmaker Katrina Parks. “You could leave home, explore the American West, and live in protected circumstances while earning enough money to send back to your family.”

Following the original documentary at 1 pm, there will be a screening of new interviews and a panel discussion with Parks, women’s history expert Dr. Heidi Osselaer, Hopi Harvey Project Manager Colleen Lucero, and Old Trails Museum Director Ann-Mary Lutzick at 2 pm.

The panelists will place the Harvey Girls within a larger women’s history context and discuss the significant impact the Harvey Girls had on the workplace, the hospitality business, and the development of the American West. They will also offer a more diverse perspective on the Harvey Girl experience than has been recorded and shared with the public to date. By continuing to gather oral histories, the public’s understanding of who
the Harvey Girls were continues to evolve.

The screening and panel discussion take place in conjunction with the NAU Cline Library’s exhibit, Fred Harvey: Branding the Southwest, which is sponsored by the Flagstaff Arts Council, the BBB of Flagstaff, Flagstaff 365, and the Grand Canyon National Park Lodges. The event is made possible by Arizona Humanities.


The Old Trails Museum will offer its 2016 Spring History Highlight on Saturday, May 14, at 2 pm at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post, 523 West Second Street. Dr. John S. Westerlund will give a free presentation of Arizona’s War Town: Flagstaff, Navajo Ordnance Depot, and World War II. (At left: Navajo women work on 500-pound bombs at the depot. Photo courtesy of NAU Cline Library Special Collections and Archives)

Using historic photographs, Dr. Westerlund will discuss how, just weeks after Pearl Harbor, the War Department announced the construction of a massive ammunition depot at Bellemont, located ten miles west of Flagstaff on U.S. Route 66. The Army rushed the $17 million project to completion in a spasm of boom-town upheaval, and Flagstaff’s population soon exploded from five to twenty thousand.

The struggling new depot was the key storage facility for the busy Port of Los Angeles. Several thousand Navajo and Hopi construction workers stayed on to run it, so the commander invited them to build an “Indian Village” for their families to live on the military base. For many, Navajo Depot was a key stopping point on their migration from tribal lands to Flagstaff and other urban areas.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy halted plummeting enrollment at what is now Northern Arizona University by shipping in one thousand sailors and marines to participate in its “V-12” program, designed to produce officers for the largest navy in history.

In addition, in early 1945, the Florence prisoner-of-war camp sent 250 Austrian POWs to Bellemont. Working alongside the Navajo and Hopi staff, they remained until April 1946 and provided over 50,000 man-days of labor vital to the Pacific Theater.

Flagstaff’s wartime story illustrates the results of military expansion on economic, social, and community development in Arizona. The town became an “arsenal of democracy,” where hard work and discipline were required and expected from all. It also illustrates the remarkable co-existence of sometimes contentious ethnic communities, an experience that reached the heart and soul of Flagstaff.

Dr. Westerlund served as a U.S. Army field artillery officer for twenty-six years, retiring in 1994 as a lieutenant colonel. He earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from Utah State University and Northern Arizona University, respectively. Dr. Westerlund’s presentation was drawn from his book of the same name, and he is a frequent contributor to the Journal of Arizona History. Dr. Westerlund was also a seasonal ranger with the National Park Service at the Flagstaff Area National Monuments for eleven summers.

The 2016 Spring History Highlight, a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and the Winslow Chamber of Commerce, was made possible in part by a grant from Arizona Humanities. For the latest updates on all of the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs, subscribe to our “News” feed or “like” the museum on Facebook.


The Old Trails Museum offered its Winter History Highlight to fifty attendees on February 13 at La Posada Hotel with the free presentation of Arizona’s Historic Trading Posts. Author Carolyn O’Bagy Davis explored the history of this unique type of commercial venture using stories and historic photographs. (At left: The interior of Wide Ruins Trading Post in southeastern Navajo lands. Photo courtesy of Mary Tate Engels)

Davis discussed how early traders traveled through Arizona Territory selling goods from their wagons. They soon built stores that evolved into trade and social centers where sheep, wool, and Native Arts were exchanged for staple foods and other necessities. Navajo posts are best known, but trading posts existed on every reservation in Arizona.

Traders, usually Anglos, often became the intermediaries between Native peoples and the outside world, providing not only hard goods but services including translation, correspondence, and transportation. Trading posts were the sites of marriages and murders, and they also became destinations for artists, authors, and tourists. Though trading posts have all but disappeared with the coming of roads and automobiles, this presentation will provide a glimpse into a vanishing time in the Southwest.

Davis, a fourth-generation descendant of Utah pioneers, is the author of fourteen books on quilting, archaeology, and the history of the Southwest. The presentation was drawn from her new Images of America title of the same name, which is currently on sale in the OTM Store. The Old Trails Museum was a stop on Davis’ research trail, and several images from the museum’s collection are featured in the book.

Davis also lectures extensively to history, archaeology, and quilting groups around the country, and she has curated several museum exhibits including Goldie Tracy Richmond: Quiltmaker and Indian Trader, Hattie Cosgrove’s Mimbres Archaeology in the American Southwest, Quilting from the Hopi Mesas, and Quilted All Day: The Quilts and Prairie Journals of Ida Chambers Melugin.

The 2016 Winter History Highlight, a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and La Posada Hotel, was made possible in part by a grant from Arizona Humanities. For the latest updates on all of the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs, subscribe to our “News” feed or “like” the museum on Facebook.


The Winslow Historical Society hosted its 2015 Annual Meeting on Saturday, November 7, for 45 attendees at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post.

The free event began at 2 pm with a reception and performance by Arizona Blues Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Dukes (at left with David Chavez Sr. and their first guitars in 1957). The WHS Annual Meeting began at about 2:45 and include the election of new board members and brief reports on museum activities over the past year.

While there, attendees were able to join or renew their memberships for 2016; buy the museum’s 2016 historical calendar, Railroad Town: The Santa Fe Railway in Winslow; and take a ticket for a chance to win a terrific door prize donated by OTM, the Winslow Public Library, the Winslow Arts Trust, and several current board members.

Thank you for joining us for the Winslow Historical Society’s annual celebration of our membership, which is a reflection of the Old Trails Museum’s community support and the backbone of our grassroots fundraising efforts. With you, we have a future; without you, we’re history!

The Old Trails Museum’s 2016 historical calendar, Railroad Town: The Santa Fe Railway in Winslow, is now available for $10 at the museum, the Arizona 66 Trading Company, La Posada Hotel,  On the Corner Gifts, the Scoop, the Winslow Chamber of Commerce,  and Winslow Dental.

This 2016 edition serves as a companion to OTM’s new permanent exhibit, The Story of Winslow, which debuted on the museum floor in August 2015. The exhibit text panels are spread throughout the museum and tell the overall history of the town alongside images and artifacts donated by decades of museum supporters.

In this calendar, excerpts from the railroad-related panels are paired with images that have never before been published in an OTM book, exhibit, or calendar. Additional text was adapted from Winslow, the museum’s Images of America title. Sources for additional Santa Fe Railway history included documents from the museum’s archival collections; articles from the Winslow Mail; and the BNSF brochure, History and Legacy: The History of BNSF: A Legacy for the 21st Century.

OTM Director Ann-Mary Lutzick developed the calendar, and the Print Raven of Flagstaff did the graphic design and printing. Thanks to Helen Jane Pollard for loaning her wonderful photos; otherwise, all images are from the Old Trails Museum Collection.

The calendar is once again a fundraiser for the museum thanks to our generous advertisers: Arizona 66 Trading Company, Bojos Grill & Sports Club, Casey’s Hardware, Cross U Management Company, Dominique’s On the Corner, Joe’s Glass and Locksmith Shop, La Posada Hotel, the Leavitt Group, Mojo Coffee Company, Robert & Clint Cox Automotive Service, The Scoop Advertising, Snowdrift Art Space, and the Winslow Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.

Still priced at $10, the calendar makes a great holiday gift! OTM will be open through Christmas Eve from 10 am to 3 pm every day (except Sundays and Mondays). Your OTM Store purchases are sales-tax-free, support the museum, and keep your shopping dollars local!



The Old Trails Museum offered its Fall History Highlight to 25 attendees on Saturday, October 31 at La Posada Hotel with the free presentation of Fred Harvey: Branding the Southwest. (Image of the Desert View Watchtower courtesy of NAU Cline Library.)

Archivist Sean Evans from Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library presented this visual walk through the history of the Fred Harvey company in the Southwest from the 1890s through its ownership by the Amfac corporation from 1968 to 1988. Evans’ presentation also served as a preview of the Cline’s exhibit of the same name, on display now through August 1, 2016.

The Winslow Harvey Girls also had their popular Harvey House Trunk Show on display before the presentation. This dedicated group of volunteers is committed to preserving the history of Fred Harvey, the Harvey Girls, and La Posada Hotel. Their trunk show features original china used in the dining cars and Harvey Houses along the Santa Fe line.

Evans has been an archivist at Special Collections and Archives at NAU’s Cline Library since 1981. He holds a Masters in History from NAU and a Masters in Information Research and Library Science from the University of Arizona. In addition to the Fred Harvey exhibit, Evans has curated two others for the Cline Library: Route 66 in Arizona: Don’t Forget Winona in 2009 and The Flagstaff All-Indian Powwow in 2012.

Starting in 1876, Englishman and entrepreneur Fred Harvey opened a series of “Harvey Houses” in cooperation with the Santa Fe Railway that were considered America’s first restaurant chain. After Fred’s death in 1901, son Ford Harvey developed the company’s focus on destination tourism to the Southwest. Both the Branding the Southwest presentation and exhibit will explore the company’s evolution, from small clapboard cafes to elegant rail-side hotels, through the lens of the Cline Library’s Fred Harvey Company Collection.

The Cline’s collection illustrates the company’s influence on the development of dining and tourism in the Southwest through material on the Harvey Girls, the Fred Harvey Indian Department, and Grand Canyon operations. Documents include menus, brochures, guest registers, press releases, architectural drawings, art work, and over 5,000 photographs of Fred Harvey concerns at the Grand Canyon and elsewhere.

The 2015 Fall History Highlight was scheduled to coincide with the Branding the Southwest exhibit run as well as with a special panel discussion and open house at the Cline on November 4. Through a special partnership, the Old Trails Museum has loaned several items from our Fred Harvey Collections to the Cline exhibit, including china, glassware, and textiles.  Some of those loaned items have just recently come full circle.

In 1985, Allen and Carol Naille donated their Fred Harvey collection to NAU’s Cline Library. Allen Naille was president of the Fred Harvey Corporation at the Grand Canyon during the transition from the Harvey family to Amfac Inc. In 1996, the Cline donated the three-dimensional objects from the Naille Collection to the Museum of Northern Arizona, which generously donated a portion of that collection to the Old Trails Museum this past August.

The 2015 Fall History Highlight was a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and the Winslow Arts Trust. For the latest updates on all of the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs, subscribe to our “News” feed or “like” the museum on Facebook.

The Old Trails Museum continued its History Highlight series when Dr. Laura Tohe presented Armed with Our Language, We Went to War: The Navajo Code Talkers to 37 attendees on August 15 at La Posada Hotel in downtown Winslow.

Dr. Tohe is a Professor of Indigenous Literature at Arizona State University. She has authored several books of poetry and the oral history book, Code Talker Stories. She is Diné and her late father, Benson Tohe, was a Code Talker. In her visual presentation, Dr. Tohe explored the Code Talkers’ cultural background, how the code was devised and used, and how Navajo spiritual beliefs were used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

A select group of young Navajo men enlisted in the Marines during World War II. They came from government and parochial schools where they were forbidden to speak the Navajo language. Before being shipped to the South Pacific, they were charged with devising a secret code for use in transmitting messages over the radio waves. Using the Navajo language, they devised a code that the enemy never deciphered. Above is the Navajo Code Talker statue at the Navajo Nation’s Veteran’s Memorial Park in Window Rock, Arizona.

By the end of the war, over 400 young Navajo Code Talkers were credited with saving many lives, but a cloak of secrecy hung over their service until the code was declassified in 1968. They were finally honored for their military contributions starting in 1982, when President Reagan designated August 14 as Navajo Code Talkers Day. President Clinton signed the law that awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers in 2000, and in 2001 President George W. Bush presented it to the four surviving members and the families of the deceased. The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the two highest civilian awards given in the United States.

The 2015 Summer History Highlight was scheduled to coincide with the Arizona Historical Society’s (AHS) Flagstaff and Tucson runs of Above and Beyond: Arizona and the Medal of Honor. The exhibit features historic artifacts, photographs, and other media that tell stories of service and heroism from the days of the Arizona Territory through the Vietnam War. AHS developed Above and Beyond to pay tribute to the Arizonans who have received the highest military award given in the United States Armed Forces, including Winslow’s own Jay R. Vargas.

Jay Vargas was born in 1938, graduated from Winslow High School in 1956, and joined the Marine Corps in 1963. While serving in Vietnam in 1968, Vargas’ company engaged in fierce combat with the enemy at the village of Dai Do. It was for his actions in that battle that, in a May 1970 ceremony at the White House, President Richard M. Nixon presented (then) Major Vargas with the Congressional Medal of Honor for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty . . .”

Through a special partnership, the Old Trails Museum has loaned several items donated to our collections by Colonel Vargas to the AHS exhibit, including his uniform, medals, and childhood baseball glove. Above and Beyond is on display from May 15 to October 25, 2015, at the AHS Pioneer Museum in Flagstaff, and from November 12, 2015, to May 7, 2016, at the Arizona Historical Society Museum in Tucson. Go to the AHS website for directions and hours.

The 2015 Summer History Highlight, a partnership program between the Old Trails Museum and the Winslow Arts Trust, was made possible in part by Arizona Humanities. For the latest updates on all of the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs, subscribe to our “News” feed or “like” the museum on Facebook.