Historic Hubbell Trading Post still Open for Business
The Hubbell Trading Post in 1918. The bullpen is where the negotiating takes place (Courtesy of National Park Service)
By Elaine D. Briseño (email@example.com)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Long before mega chains dominated the retail scene, people relied on their local corner store for groceries,
personal items and home goods.
The trading post was arguably the first generation of the corner store. They were usually built along popular trails or intersections of well-traveled roads.
The Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site in Ganado, Ariz., is one such place and is one of the longest operating trading posts in the region. It’s founder, John Lorenzo Hubbell, was from a well- known New Mexico family whose impact in the Albuquerque area is felt to this day.
The Trading Post Today
The Hubbell Trading Post bullpen today. The bullpen is where the negotiating takes place (Courtesy of National Park Service)
The trading post still operates as just that and for the first time in its history has a Navajo trader, also a native of New Mexico.
Also on site are a barn, bunkhouse, guest hogan, historic farm equipment complete with farm animals including horses, chickens and Navajo Churro sheep.
Eskeets said Hubbell was well respected among the Navajo people, who grew to trust him for his fair and honest dealing. He said trading was an elegant way of life that allowed people to obtain items they needed to live.
“It’s hard to comprehend what he did for people,” Eskeet said. “It (Hubbell Trading Post) was a wonderful place. It was a true trading post. Navajo people brought their items and they got food.
Eskeets said current laws no longer allow the post to trade goods for other goods, a concept he said is hard for some tribal elders to grasp after years of trading.
“We still do it in a round-about way,” he said. “I buy what they are selling, I pay them and then they give me money for the items they want (in the store).”
Hubbell Trading Post : For information, including park hours, visit www.nps.gov/hutr or call 928-755-3475.