Monuments Established March 4, 1909, to March 3, 1913

National Monuments Established by William Taft via the Antiquities Act:

March 4, 1909, to March 3, 1913


Navajo, AZ, Proclamation No. 873, 36 Stat. 2491 (March 20, 1909)

Area reserved: “all prehistoric cliff dwellings, pueblo and other ruins and relics of prehistoric peoples, situated upon the Navajo Indian Reservation, Arizona, between the parallels of latitude thirty-six degrees thirty minutes North, and thirty-seven degrees North, and between longitude one hundred and ten degrees West and one hundred and ten degrees forty-five minutes West from Greenwich, more particularly located along the arroyas, canyons and their tributaries, near the sources of and draining into Laguna Creek, embracing the Bubbling Spring group, along Navajo Creek and along Moonlight and Tsagt-at-sosa canyons, together with forty acres of land upon which each ruin is located.”

This seemingly expansive use of the Antiquities Act was later modified by Taft to exclude all but 360 acres of the original proclamation area—see Proclamation No. 1186, 37 Stat. 1733 (Mar. 14, 1912).

(NPS Antiquities Act Centennial lists the Navajo “Acres Affected” as “360.”)

Click here to see the Navajo National Monument proclamation


Oregon Caves, OR, Proclamation No. 876, 36 Stat. 2497 (July 12, 1909)

Area reserved: “approximately 480 acres” (from proclamation).

(NPS Antiquities Act Centennial lists the Oregon Caves “Acres Affected” as “465.80.”)

Click here to see the Oregon Caves National Monument proclamation


Mukuntuweap, UT, Proclamation No. 877, 36 Stat. 2498 (July 31, 1909)

Area reserved: “embracing Sections three, four, five, six, eight, nine, ten, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, twenty-one, twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-six, twenty-seven, twenty-eight, thirty-three and thirty-four, Township forty South, Range ten, and all of the said canyon of the Rio Virgin, or Zion River, in Township forty-one South, Range ten, all west of the Salt Lake Meridian, Utah, as shown upon the diagram.”

(NPS Antiquities Act Centennial lists the Mukuntuweap “Acres Affected” as “16,000.”)

Click here to see the Mukuntuweap National Monument proclamation


Shoshone Cavern, WY, Proclamation No. 880, 36 Stat. 2501 (September 21, 1909)

Area reserved: “two hundred and ten acres.”

Click here to see the Shoshone Cavern National Monument proclamation


Gran Quivira, NM, Proclamation No. 882, 36 Stat. 2503 (November 1, 1909)

Area reserved: “one hundred and sixty acres of land, more or less.”

Click here to see the Gran Quivira National Monument proclamation


Sitka, AK, Proclamation No. 959, 36 Stat. 2601 (March 23, 1910)

Area reserved: “approximately fifty-seven acres.”

(From the proclamation text: “WHEREAS, under the general laws of Alaska it has been found difficult to prevent vandalism within the reserved area.”)


Rainbow Bridge, UT, Proclamation No. 1043, 36 Stat. 2703 (May 30, 1910)

Area reserved: “one hundred and sixty acres.”

Click here to see the Rainbow Bridge National Monument proclamation


Big Hole Battlefield, MT, Exec. Order No. 1216, (June 23, 1910)

Area reserved: “5 acres of unsurveyed land.”

(Taft issued an executive order to establish this national monument, rather than a proclamation. Taft’s executive order stated that this reservation was “in accordance with the act of Congress approved June 8, 1906.”)


Colorado, CO, Proclamation No. 1126, 37 Stat. 1681 (May 24, 1911)

Area reserved: “approximately thirteen thousand eight hundred and eighty-three and six one-hundredths acres.”

(NPS Antiquities Act Centennial lists the Colorado “Acres Affected” as “13,466.21.”)

Click here to see the Colorado National Monument proclamation


Devil Postpile, CA, Proclamation No. 1166, 37 Stat. 1715 (July 6, 1911)

Area reserved: “approximately 800 acres” (from diagram).

(NPS Antiquities Act Centennial lists the Devil Postpile “Acres Affected” as “798.46.”)

Devil Postpile is frequently referred to as “Devils Postpile” by the National Park Service. A proclamation addressing an official name change for this monument was not found in the United States Statutes at Large or in Proclamations and Orders Relating to the National Park Service Up to January 1, 1945. In a 1952 issue of Yosemite Nature Notes, Richard J. Hartesveldt wrote: “Acting upon these recommendations, and authorized by the Act for the Preservation of American Antiquities, of 1906, President Howard Taft proclaimed the area Devil Postpile National Monument on July 6, 1911. As far as can be determined, it was at this time that the “’s” was dropped from the word Devil’s, perhaps as a clerical error, and the official name became Devil Postpile. While this remains the accepted designation, most people call it Devil’s Postpile.”

Hartesveldt excerpt source: (Accessed December 9, 2009)

For current usage, see the National Park Service Devils Postpile National Monument online resources.

[Wordsmiths, enthusiasts, sticklers—are you wondering where the apostrophe is in these national monument titles? Both Devils Postpile and Devils Tower go without—yet another interesting story that is unearthed given enough searching through old National Park Service and park-partner documents.]

Click here to see the Devil Postpile National Monument proclamation


~~  Fair Use is encouraged! Text and Images Copyright © Kurt Angersbach / Westernlabs  ~~


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