The Hole in the Rock Foundation,
a 501c3 nonprofit organization


To preserve, perpetuate and promote the historical legacy of the Hole-in-the-Rock/ San Juan Mission Pioneers.
     Shortened version: Preserving the History and Sharing the Legacy of the Hole-in-the-Rock/ San Juan Mission Pioneers


The San Juan pioneers accomplished the seemingly impossible through unwavering commitment and devotion.
     Shortened version: Accomplishing the seemingly impossible.


I. The Hole-in-the-Rock Trail:

1. Conduct/support Hole-in-the-Rock Trail research and preservation.

2. Support trail identification and marking projects.

3. Develop/install interpretive signs/kiosks at significant trail locations.

4. Provide information along the trail and via the internet, including maps and interpretive literature.

5. Support trail excursions by providing trial information/maps, suggested points of interest, and as applicable provide handcart and water buffalo rentals.

II. The Bluff Fort:

Underlining Guidelines for the Fort’s Development
a. Time Period: Bluff’s first 20 years, primarily the years of 1879-1899
b. Human Focus: Interpretive projects/ Information is to focus on the story of the pioneers rather than artifacts.

1. The Barton Cabin: Preserve and protect the Barton cabin –the oldest pioneer structure in San Juan County and the only remaining cabin built by the Hole-in-the-Rock pioneers.

2. Procurement of Property: Pursue the acquisition of properties that comprised the original fort boundaries and appropriate/related properties.

3. Semblance of the Original Fort: Create a semblance of the original Bluff Fort through the construction of some of the fort’s original log structures including the log meetinghouse, blacksmith shop, log co-op store, and log cabins. Cabins are to be patterned after the Barton cabin.

4. Pioneer Artifacts: Collect and display pioneer artifacts including wagons, farming implements, blacksmith implements, and cabin/meetinghouse furnishings that are from/or a replica of the late 1800’s, provided that said artifacts are applicable to the telling of the story of the Bluff Fort or its original residents.

5. Landscaping: Develop landscaping that is period appropriate, including the planting of trees and a small orchard representative of Bluff’s first orchards.

6. Public Conveniences: Develop public restrooms. Until restrooms are in place portable facilities will be rented when major events are held at the fort.

7. Visitors’ Center: Develop a visitors’ center at the Bluff Fort that is patterned after the design and location of the original stone co-op.

8. The Bluff Ditch: Develop a water feature to convey the story of Bluff’s ditch, Bluff’s residents’ greatest challenge.

9. The Native American Story: Develop interpretive displays that convey the Native Americans’ culture and history as they relate to the Hole-in- the-Rock pioneers.

10. Displays/kiosks: Develop displays and interpretive information throughout the site to convey the remarkable challenges and accomplishments of the Fort’s/Bluff’s first inhabitants.

11. Kumen Jones Ruin: Phase I: Secure and preserve the ruin walls to the extent that is possible and safe. Phase II: If the wall can be secured/stabilized, a small amphitheater will be developed. The ruin with the ruin wall serving as a backdrop. The small amphitheater is to be used for fireside chats, programs, etc. Phase III: When funds become available, rebuild the home.

12. Other Complementary Structures: Structures that were not part of the original fort will be considered when it is determined that a pertinent pioneer story or stories cannot be told within the forts log structures or visitors center.

III. Pioneer Histories/Stories:
Collect and share histories and photographs pertinent to the Hole-in- the-Rock /San Juan Mission and other related stories of the 1879-1899 period.

IV. Education and Communication

1. Regularly publish and distribute a newsletter (print and electronic media) that highlights the foundation’s projects and conveys the pioneer stories.

2. Develop and enhance a website that provides trail information and perpetuates the stories of the San Juan pioneers.

V. Fund Raising

1. Apply for grants and seek donations from individuals and organizations to support the foundation’s projects.

2. Sell items at the welcome center that will help visitors take memories of the fort home, as well as sustain the fort’s operating expenses.

3. Provide services which will also contribute to the visitors’ total pioneer experience and which will help cover the annual operating costs of the facility. These services may include such things as handcart rentals and refreshment sales.

The above mission and scope statement was last updated and ratified by the board of directors on Nov. 21, 2009.