Old Trails Museum Winter History Highlight Saturday

The interior of a typical reservation trading post, likely  before 1950. At one time there were 258 trading posts on Navajo lands. Photo/Old Trails Museum

The interior of a typical reservation trading post, likely before 1950. At one time there were 258 trading posts on Navajo lands. Photo/Old Trails Museum

WINSLOW, Ariz. - The Old Trails Museum offers a 2016 Winter History Highlight Feb. 13, at 2 p.m. at La Posada Hotel that includes a free presentation on Arizona's Historic Trading Posts. Author Carolyn O'Bagy Davis will explore the history of this unique type of commercial venture using stories and historic photographs.

Davis will discuss 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, 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 is drawn from her new Images of America title of the same name, which is currently on sale in the Old Trials Museum 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 about history, archaeology and quilting groups around the country. 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, is made possible in part by Arizona Humanities.

The Winslow Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, operates the Old Trails Museum. The museum receives, preserves and interprets information and artifacts representing the history and cultures of the Winslow area, in order to engage and enlighten all visitors to the museum's exhibits and programs.

Located at 212 Kinsley Avenue, in the heart of Winslow's historic business district and across from the Standin' on the Corner Park, the Old Trails Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free and photography, group tours, and research opportunities are available.

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