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Shiprock


This Navajo community was established in 1903 when the US government established the San Juan School and Agency here, on land belonging to a Navajo named Tseheyabegay. Supt. William T. Shelton was its head. Described as a "stern disciplinarian and ruthless in his prosecution of moral lapse," he also was a staunch champion of the Navajos, who called him "Tall Boss," and even today many Navajos call Shiprock by that name, "Tall Boss," though they also use the name "River," for the San Juan River here. The present English name comes from the dramatic rock formation 9 mi to the SW. The one-word spelling of the town's name, as opposed to the two-word name of the rock, probably resulted from a postal policy , since rescinded, discouraging two-word postal names.

Robert Julyan
The Place Names of New Mexico
2nd ed., University of New Mexico Press, 1998

Latitude: 3647
Longitude: 10841