Colorado’s Wheeler Geologic Area was a popular tourist attraction in the horse-and-wagon era. However, elevating it to national monument status couldn’t sustain its appeal once people started avoiding destinations not served by decent roads.
Established on Sept. 5, 1925, to honor a colonial-era Jesuit missionary, Father Millet Cross National Monument was abolished 24 years later. The 320 square-foot historic site with its simple bronze cross is now part of a New York state park.
Proclaimed on January 31, 1914, Arizona’s Papago Saguaro National Monument became the first national monument to be abolished. It was transferred out of the National Park System in 1930, basically because it was being trashed.