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The Chilchimbito & Tsegi Trading Post Collections

Chilchimbito Old Pawn Turquoise Jewelry

Chilchimbito and Tsegi Trading Post Vintage Turquoise Jewelry Collection

Jim and Carol Porter were Traders to the Navajo from about 1930 to 1970. The first Trading Post they purchased was Chilchimbito and when it burnt down they built the Tsegi Trading Post at the head of Tsegi Canyon west of Kayenta Arizona. They ran Tsegi Trading Post from about 1940 to 1970 then shut the Trading Post down for good. The Anasazi Hotel is now there and if you ever get the chance to hike Tsegi Canyon you will be in for a treat! It looks like the Sedona area with no development, it is truly awesome!

I met Jim Porter in Santa Monica at the Antique Indian Show in the 1960’s. Jim was set up there with a display of Vintage Turquoise Jewelry, Old Navajo Silver Bridles and Navajo Horse attire. Jim was quite a character as he had great stories and attracted quite a crowd listening to the stories about the life he had lived. Carol, his wife, was a great lady as she worked hard with the Navajo women educating them, as there were no schools on the reservation when they were Indian Traders.

Jim and Carol Porter retired from the Trading Post about 1970 and moved to the beautiful town/village of Bluff Utah to live out the rest of their lives. They lived in a great old rock house that was full of old Cowboy and Indian lore. Old Colts in there original belt and holster rigs full of Navajo Silver work, Navajo made Silver Spurs & Horse Bits, Navajo Ceremonial Clothing full of Silver and Silver Buttons and on and on. The house was loaded with stacks of old Navajo Rugs to the ceilings and the Silver Jewelry was under the beds, in the closets and everywhere. They must have had a very prosperous life of Trading.

I spent about three years buying as many Vintage Turquoise Jewelry and other items as I could afford from the Porters from about 1978 to 1982. When Jim died, Carol moved to Flagstaff and I could not find her for a year. I finely did and visited her often until she passed away.

I still have quite a bit of items from the Porter Collection and would be happy to give a letter of authenticity on them if you ask.

John Hartman

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