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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Hemenway House: What's in a Name?

 
 
Hemenway House: What's in a Name? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
1. Hemenway House: What's in a Name? Marker
Inscription.  The cliff dwelling across the canyon is named for Mary Tileston Hemenway who funded the first scientific archaeological expedition in the southwest. At the time cultural objects were often removed for souvenirs or profit. Hemenway's support provided for their careful study. Although she never set foot in Mesa Verde, she left her mark by helping protect Ancestral Pueblo sites throughout this region.

Occupied in the 1200s, Hemenway House has 26 rooms and one kiva. Upper stories were added over time. People living here were part of a larger community with Balcony House and other nearby sites.

Women led the way
Hemenway House may be the only site in Mesa Verde named for a woman, but women played a critical role in the creation of the park. In the late 1800s Virginia McClurg, a newspaper reporter from Colorado Springs, made protecting these sites her life's calling.

McClurg, a member of the Colorado General Federation of Women's Clubs, enlisted support of this 5,000 member organization. Their committee dedicated to preserving Mesa Verde eventually became the Colorado Cliff Dwellings Association. The association's
Mary Tileston Hemenway (1820-1894) image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
2. Mary Tileston Hemenway (1820-1894)
A Boston philanthropist who used her fortune to support many charitable causes, including the first archaeological expedition in what would later become Mesa Verde National Park.
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apt motto was Dux Femina Facti — Latin for "Women Lead the Way."

Many women joined the cause, including Lucy Peabody, of Denver. Peabody's political connections helped push through legislation that established Mesa Verde National Park.

Captions [Bottom, left to right]
• Mary Tileston Hemenway (1820-1894), a Boston philanthropist, used her fortune to support many charitable causes.
• Virginia McClurg (1857-1931) started a women's movement to fight for the preservation of Mesa Verde's cultural treasures.
• Lucy Peabody (1865-1934) used her influence in Washington DC to gain support for the idea of a national park.
• An 1884 inscription by W. H. Hayes marks this as one of the earliest cliff dwellings to be explored.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyParks & Recreational AreasWomen. A significant historical year for this entry is 1884.
 
Location. 37° 9.392′ N, 108° 27.696′ W. Marker is in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, in Montezuma County. Marker is on Mesa Top Ruins Road 2.9 miles south of Mesa Verde Ruins Road (State Highway 10), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Mesa Verde National Park CO 81330, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of
Virginia McClurg (1857-1931) image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
3. Virginia McClurg (1857-1931)
A newspaper reporter, she started a women's movement to fight for the preservation of Mesa Verde's cultural treasures.
this marker, measured as the crow flies. House of Many Windows (approx. half a mile away); Split-Level History (approx. 0.8 miles away); Years of Change (approx. 0.9 miles away); Years of Activity (approx. 0.9 miles away); Cliff Dwelling Life (approx. one mile away); Ties that Bind (approx. one mile away); Time of Transition (approx. one mile away); Oak Tree House (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mesa Verde National Park.
 
Lucy Peabody (1865-1934) image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
4. Lucy Peabody (1865-1934)
She used her influence in Washington, D.C. to gain support for the creation of Mesa Verde National Park.
Hemenway House: What's in a Name? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
5. Hemenway House: What's in a Name? Marker
Hemenway House image. Click for full size.
By Duane and Tracy Marsteller, July 10, 2020
6. Hemenway House
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 22, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 22, 2020, by Duane Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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Mar. 9, 2021