In 1921, Harry Goulding and his young bride Leone (nicknamed Mike) purchased 640 acres next to Monument Valley. They spent their first years trading with the Navajo people out of their tent. In 1928, the Gouldings completed construction of an old stone trading post with an apartment in the upstairs. The building has been converted over to a museum where you can see photographs and memorabilia during the Gouldings stay.
The depression years made things very tough for the Navajo's and the Gouldings. Harry and Mike caught word that a movie director, John Ford, was looking for a place to film a western movie. Harry took photos of the Monument Valley area to John Ford who fell in love with the area. Within a couple of weeks, filming of the classic, award winning "Stagecoach" movie began. The lead actor of the film was the young John Wayne. Both John Ford and John Wayne returned again and again to this area for other films.
Harry and Mike were lifelong friends of the Navajo people. Even today there are many services on the Gouldings property that assist the Navajo people. Donations from the Gouldings Museum go toward a scholarship fund for Monument Valley Students.