Starting in the 1870s, trading posts were where Native Americans interacted with the Anglo world, bartering wool, rugs, baskets, and other items they made for coffee, cooking oil, flour, and other goods they needed. The trading posts functioned not only as stores but also as post offices and general gathering places to become the defacto hubs of cultural exchange. Trade by barter largely ended in the 1930s. Today a few still function as trading posts and U.S. post offices, but many became convenience stores and gas stations while others were abandoned and fell prey to decay and vandalism. Some remain in part but only marked by a stray wall or foundation stone.
Since 1970 Ed Grazda has been searching for and photographing these buildings and in this book the reader is led on a tour showing those that are still functioning all the way to those that have succumbed to the ravages of time and neglect. Combining vintage photographs with more contemporary images of the same locations from 2008 to today, A Last Glance reminds us of the fascinating relationship and close exchange of culture that once existed between Native Americans and settlers and how each passing year makes its mark upon everything and our understanding of our shared histories.