Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Marble Canyon in Coconino County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Lees Ferry

 
 
Lees Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Jack Duffy, April 25, 2011
1. Lees Ferry Marker
Inscription. Because of long, deep canyons, Lees Ferry was the best crossing point along 500 miles (800 km) of the Colorado River.

In 1873, Mormon Church members opened a wagon road from Kanab, Utah, and built a ferryboat here. John D. Lee was the first ferryman and namesake of the site.

Pioneers, sent to settle the Little Colorado River in northern Arizona, used the ferry service. Lees Ferry grew to include a post office and a trading post. Because of the conflict between the settlers and the Navajo Indians, a fort was built but never attacked. In 1911, Charles H. Spencer unsuccessfully attempted to mine gold from the clay hills behind the Lees Ferry Fort.

On large photo at the left bottom of marker:
1) For 55 years, a veriety of boats transported settlers, missionaries, miners, traders, Indians, and tourists across the river at Lees Ferry. Boats capsized and people drowned, but the service continued until 1928.

2) Walk the short trail to Lees Ferry Fort, past Spencer's mining machinery and buildings. Look down on the sunken steamboat and try to imagine crossing this river on a ferry.

On top right photo:
Built in 1912, this paddlewheel steamboat, the Charles H. Spencer, hauled coal to Lees Ferry from Warm Creek, 28 miles (45 km) upstream. The coal fueled Spencer's
Lees Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 17, 2016
2. Lees Ferry Marker
Part of Spencer's mining machinery is at left.
gold mining machinery. Abandoned in 1914, it sank in the shallow water nearby.

On bottom right photo:
This boiler powered the steam engines for gold mining at Lees Ferry. Charles H. Spencer's machinery could not extract the fine, powdery gold dust from the Chinle clay.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 36° 51.996′ N, 111° 34.993′ W. Marker is in Marble Canyon, Arizona, in Coconino County. Click for map. Turn near Marble Canyon Lodge on US Highway 89A. There's a sign directing one toward "Lee's Ferry." Go to the end of Lee's Ferry Road and park in the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Marble Canyon AZ 86036, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Lee's Ferry (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Charles H. Spencer “Paddlewheel” Steamboat (approx. 0.2 miles away); Navajo Bridge (approx. 4.3 miles away); Navajo Bridge Erection Toggle Screw/Navajo Bridge (approx. 4.3 miles away); a different marker also named Navajo Bridge (approx. 4.3 miles away); a different marker also named
Lees Ferry 2002 Style image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, May 30, 2002
3. Lees Ferry 2002 Style
Lee's Ferry (approx. 4.4 miles away); Marble Canyon Lodge (approx. 4.4 miles away); Lee Ferry (approx. 4.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Marble Canyon.
 
More about this marker. One must walk, about 900 feet, to the marker from the parking lot at the end of Lee's Ferry Road.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Pioneer Ferry Site image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 17, 2016
4. Pioneer Ferry Site
Lees Ferry Fort image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 17, 2016
5. Lees Ferry Fort
This building was use by U.S. Geological Survey employees as a residence in the 1920s.
Spencer Boiler - 1910 image. Click for full size.
By Bill Kirchner, May 17, 2016
6. Spencer Boiler - 1910
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Jack Duffy of West Jordan, Utah. This page has been viewed 846 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Jack Duffy of West Jordan, Utah.   2. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   3. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona.   6. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement