Grande Ruins National Monument was one of many national
monuments scattered across Arizona
and New Mexico. The National
Park Service staff there realized a cooperating
association would be able to help tell the story of
their location and others. With $234.50, the Southwest
Monuments Association opened for business in 1938 to assist
eighteen national monuments.
Grande Ruins National Monument, Coolidge, Arizona
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic
Site, Ganado, Arizona
sales to park visitors reached the $10,000 mark by 1947.
As more locations joined the association, annual sales grew to
more than $72,000 by 1962. In 1967, the newly created
Trading Post National Historic Site became an affiliate,
known for its unique experience of "living history" for
visitors to the Navajo nation.
became Southwest Parks and Monuments Association in 1970,
as it served national park sites as well as monuments. Steady
growth in publications and affiliations continued, resulting
in sales of more than $1 million and donations
to the National Park Service of more than $130,000 by 1973.
the association was renamed Western National Parks Association and now has sixty-six
locations in twelve states.
Affiliated sites range from California to Kansas and Montana
to southern Texas. Donations to the National Park Service
now exceed $4 million annually.