Contributed by Old Trails Museum / Winslow Historical Society
Trading Post Families of Winslow, AZ
Trading posts were not just a western phonenoma, as Congress established Federal Trading Houses at the urging of George Washington in 1796. By the time posts were dotting the landscape in northern Arizona, laws had changed several times, but traders were still required to register in those early years.
The landscape changed somewhat from post to post but constant was the isolation surrounding each site. It required stalwart pioneers to undertake a business such as this, moving their families into harsh environments. Yet a look at these photographs belies the severity of daily life. You will see a range of emotions on faces that could have well been in more civilized locales.
In all a dozen or so Winslow families helped settle this part of the American Frontier, the total of their holdings reaching nearly 30 outposts. The value of these enterprises to the Native Americans and the traders has long been established. What we attempt to share here are peeks into the lives of these pioneer families who carved out an existence and made history along the way. The early traders have passed, but most have three generations that have remained in Winslow, or maintained strong ties to their heritage here.