Commemorating a Centennial
In 1920, while traveling between Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks, Stephen Mather took a fancy to Pipe Spring and thought it would be a great link between the two parks, especially because, at the time, the road passing by it was the only way between the two.
Mather, who had made a fortune in Borax mining, soon bought the old fort and the 40 acres surrounding it that once belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for $5,000 and on May 31, 1923, President Warren G. Harding signed the document that turned it into a national monument to serve as “a memorial to western pioneer life”— a bastion of historical preservation in a barren, remote landscape.
If the Stephen Mather hadn’t taken notice of Pipe Spring in the early 20th century, it could have faded into obscurity.
This year marks Pipe Spring National Monument’s centennial and as such, the park will hold events both on and off-site to commemorate this milestone. The cornerstones of the commemoration will be two gatherings on May 28 and June 3 At these events, visitors will be welcome to enjoy free food as well as historical demonstrations, guided tours of the Monument’s fort, Winsor Castle, and to hear remarks from Monument administration personnel and Kaibab Paiute tribal leadership.
The Monument would especially like to teach the public that the history of the monument extends well before the date it received National Monument status. For centuries, it has been the home to the Kaibab Paiute and their ancestors, the Ancestral Puebloans. Over the last 30 years, the Monument has been working steadily to ensure that the Paiute perspective is at the forefront of its historical preservation, interpretation, and demonstration. Pipe Spring is proud to share a visitor center with the tribe and to have tribal members on its staff. Some of the planned special guests this summer include Kaibab Paiute singers, drummers, and dancers as well as the Kanab-based Symphony of the Canyons along with other relevant subject-matter experts.
In addition to the centennial commemoration, as part of its 100th anniversary, the Monument, through your donations to the Forever Project, will supply educational materials and park-related giveaways and merchandise to participants of various special events. It will also host an all-former staff and volunteer luncheon to share stories and successes from those who have helped mold Pipe Spring into what it is today, as well as revamp outreach materials to better engage local communities. Funding will also help towards creating period-accurate decorations for a variety of special events, including Pioneer Day (July 24) and their annual winter holiday event.
In this centennial year, park staff will also engage in a wide variety of community events, from Cedar City to Colorado City, to inform local communities about the events going on at Pipe Spring to recognize this special occasion. Funding for this event ensures Pipe Spring commemorates this historic event in a fitting fashion.