Archaeologists think Salmon Ruins was a major Chacoan Outlier abandoned by the Ancestral Puebloans in 1150 and then occupied for about 50 years by Mesa Verde people.
Later, Spanish explorers and Athabascan settlers moved into the area and in 1874 the site was photographed, becoming the first photographic documentation of the Great House.
Peter Milton Salmon homesteaded land by the ancient pueblo in 1877 and later his son George founded his homestead on land that included the pueblo ruins.
In 1969 Salmon descendants sold the land to the San Juan County Museum Associated who asked Dr Cynthia-Irwin Williams to direct excavations at the ruins.
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