Pruning the Parks: Wheeler National Monument (NPS 1933-1950) Was a Great Idea Until Colorado Got Good Roads

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.

Pruning the Parks: Father Millet Cross National Monument, 1925-1949, Was the Smallest National Monument Ever Established

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.

Pruning the Parks: Papago Saguaro National Monument (1914-1930)

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.