Skip to main content

Samuel Moon Monument Valley Oral History (Collection)

Identifier: OHP-278

Scope and Contents

The contents of the Samuel Moon Monument Valley Oral History Collection consist of oral histories, transcripts, and records documenting the history of Monument Valley and Four Corners area. The oral histories are from those who lived in this area between the 1900s-1970s and pertain to Goulding’s trading post (one of the most well-known trading posts of the 20th century)and its owner/operator Harry Goulding, the Navajo tribe, sheep ranching, local tourism, uranium mining, and the western movies made in the valley.


  • 1973 - 1981
  • Majority of material found within 1973 - 1975

Language of Materials Note

Most of the interviews are in English, but several are Navajo men and women speaking the Navajo language with English translators present.

Copyright Information

No part of this document may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without prior written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, contact the Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.

Biographical Note

Samuel Moon was born on May 29, 1922. He received his Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan and served in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II.

Moon was a Professor of English at Knox College from 1953-1984. He helped to establish the school's creative writing program. A poet, Moon published many of his own poems in prestigious journals, such as Poetry and Atlantic Monthly and was a translator of classical Chinese poetry. He was also a noted literary critic whose non-fiction publications included the anthology One Act: Eleven Short Plays of the Modern Theatre and Tall Sheep.

Moon passed away on September 10, 2011 in Cortland, New York at the age of 89.

Biographical Note

Harry Goulding was born in Durango, Colorado in 1897. His father, uncles, and aunts, all recently emigrated from England, worked together to run one of the largest sheep ranches in the Four Corners Area, with almost 20,000 head of sheep. After his mother left him and his father, Harry was raised alongside his cousins by his father's sister, Molly. He grew up working on ranges from New Mexico to Colorado, herding sheep, carrying provisions, and moving camp.

Harry served in the United States Army during World War I and was stationed in France from 1917 to 1919. After returning to the U.S., Harry traveled around the Four Corners area, working mostly for rodeos. He first visited Monument Valley in 1921 and almost immediately made the decision to return. Later that year, Harry met Leone Knee, whom he nicknamed Mike, in New Mexico. They were married in 1923.

In 1925, the Paiute tribe moved out of the Monument Valley area during a redistricting of the land. Harry and Mike moved into Monument Valley to start a trading post for the Navajo tribes that now lived there. They also purchased and ran sheep from 1925 until the early 30s. Harry was a heavy promoter of tourism in the area and ran frequent packtrips and valley tours. In 1939, he traveled to Hollywood, California and convinced director John Ford to come to Monument Valley to film the movie Stagecoach. The movie industry broadened awareness of the valley and increased tourism.

In 1950, Harry leased portion of his land to the Seventh-Day Adventist Church for the building of a mission, school and hospital as part of his efforts to improve the lives of the Navajo people who lived in Monument Valley. He also played important roles in the improvement of the roads into and around the valley and the establishment of Monument Valley as a Navajo Tribal Park.

Harry ran Goulding's Trading Post from 1925 until 1963. On his retirement, he left the post and all the surrounding property to Knox College, a university in Galesburg, Illinois, who have run the trading post and lodge ever since. Harry moved to Sun City, Arizona and then to Page, Arizona, where he passed away in 1981 at the age of 84.


124 Cassettes : Audio recordings on cassette tapes

16 Reels : Audio recordings on reel-to-reel tape

2.7 Linear Feet (Transcripts and abstracts)

260 digital objects (Digital copies of recordings and abstracts)


The Samuel Moon Monument Valley Oral History Collection consists of a series of interviews conducted during Moon's research into the history of Monument Valley and of Harry Goulding, who ran the Monument Valley Trading Post from 1925 to 1963. The interviews were the basis of Moon's book about Goulding, Tall Sheep


This collection is organized alphabetically by the name of the interviewee. Multiple interviews with an individual are oranized chronologically.

Finding Aid for the Samuel Moon Monument Valley Oral History Collection
Beth McDonald
2015 July 30
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Lawrence De Graaf Center for Oral and Public History Repository

Pollak Library South 600 (PLS 600)
CSU Fullerton
Fullerton CA 92831 USA