Historic Neely’s Canyon

(Updated below.)

A longtime resident, who was an archaeologist in a previous incarnation, ventured into the canyon years ago on an old trail and returned to describe some interesting things.

Among them, apparent Native American campsites (hearths & middens) and the remains of an old house that could have belonged to one of the area’s famous “cedar choppers,” folks who in the 1930s and on into the 1950s cut up mountain cedar (really juniper) to make charcoal which they sold in burlap bags.

I won’t identify the resident because the condo board of directors doesn’t want us owners/residents venturing into the canyon.

UPDATE: Oops. Turns out the archeo found this stuff in Caprock Canyon, about a mile south of Neely’s. Alas and alack. He says they probably also exist in Neely’s Canyon but he’s seen no evidence of it. “I believe,” he wrote me, “indigenous peoples occupied the (Neely’s) area in short seasonal intervals for perhaps thousands of years…very short in duration & maintained by small groups… In short the human fingerprint on the area would have been faint.”

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