John Otto dedicated himself to protecting and promoting these spectacular ancient landscapes in western Colorado. He gave patriotic names, such as Independence Monument and Liberty Cap, to the various rock formations he encountered.
John Otto could think of nothing better than to advertise Monument Canyon from a flag waving on top of the 450-foot tall Independence Monument. He worked day after day for several weeks pounding iron pipes and carving out footsteps into solid rock to make it possible for any brave soul to get to the top. After successfully getting to the top of Independence Monument for the first time on June 8, 1911, John Otto started his tradition of raising an American flag on top of Independence Monument every year on the Fourth of July. (Source: Independence Day Tradition)