Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is pleased to announce the following special events for the month of January. These events are free and open to the public. Please note that the park is observing winter hours, and is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with tours beginning at 11:00 a.m. and continuing throughout the day at the top of the hour. The last tour of the day is always at 4 p.m.
Don't forget our ongoing series of free Brown Bag Lunch Lectures, held the second Tuesday of each month at 12:15 p.m.
On Jan 19, Flagstaff's Navajo and Hopi World War II story will be presented by John Westerlund, Flagstaff historian.
When 8,000 workers were needed immediately for the Army's massive construction project 10 miles west of Flagstaff in the spring of 1942, almost 4,000 Navajo and Hopi workers and their family members signed on. They left the reservations for good-paying jobs. Conditions were deplorable for the first Indians workers. Bootleggers lurked in the shadows. The first commander faced a myriad of organizational and employee problems and quickly decided to invite the Navajo and Hopi laborers and their families to build an "Indian Village" of their own on the military base. Tribal representatives accepted the invitation and soon, for the first time in American history, a community of about 3,750 Native Americans voluntarily settled onto a military installation.
This presentation illustrates how the regular wages heightened expectations for both Navajos and Hopis and created an image of post war opportunities.
For additional information about events at Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, contact Kathy Farretta, Assistant Park Manager at (928) 779-4395. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park is located at 409 W. Riordan Road in Flagstaff.