Wetherill descendant will give Mesa Verde talk

Monday, June 5, 2017 11:24 AM
Long House is located in Mesa Verde National Park on Wetherill Mesa, which is named for the famous archaeologist brothers from Mancos who explored the Four Corners in the 1880s.

Harvey Leake, great-grandson of John Wetherill, will discuss the activities of his ancestors and their archaeological investigations in the area on June 16, at 7 p.m. at the Visitor and Research Center at Mesa Verde National Park.

This program is part of the 2017 Four Corner Lecture Series and is free and open to the public.

Over a span of many decades, the Wetherill brothers and some of their descendants worked to uncover and preserve the prehistory of the Four Corners region.

The Wetherill family of Mancos, Colorado played a significant role in the development of Mesa Verde National Park, and also in the early archaeology of the Four Corners area.

Leake will share historic family photographs that illustrate their involvement at Mesa Verde and elsewhere, their motivation and the cultural environment they dealt with.

For the past 30 years, Leake has spent much of his spare time researching the history of his pioneering ancestors, the Wetherills of the Four Corners region. His investigations have taken him to libraries, archives, and the homes of family elders whose recollections, photographs, and memorabilia have brought the story to life. His field research has led him to remote trading post sites on the Navajo Nation and some of the routes used by his great-grandfather, John Wetherill, to access the intricate canyon country of the Colorado Plateau.

Leake was born and raised in Prescott, Arizona. He is a semi-retired electrical engineer.

The Four Corners Lecture Series features presentations about the archaeology, current Native American cultures, history, and natural resources of this spectacular area. All programs are free and open to the public.

For a list of other programs in the series, go to or