In the 1860s Mormon pioneers from St. George, Utah, led by James M. Whitmore brought cattle to the area and a large cattle ranching operation was established. In 1866, conflict with the native peoples of the area, Navajo and Paiute, flashied into violence, and by 1872 a protective fort was built over the main spring. The following year the fort and ranch was purchased by Brigham Young for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Bishop of near-by Grafton, Utah, Anson Perry Winsor, was hired to operate the ranch and maintain the fort, soon called Winsor Castle. This isolated outpost served as a way station for people traveling across the Arizona Strip, that part of Arizona separated from the rest of the state by the Grand Canyon. It also served as a refuge for polygamist wives during the 1880s and 1890s. The LDS church lost ownership of the property through penalties involved in the federal Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887.
Although their way of life was greatly impacted by Mormon settlement, the Paiute Indians continued to live in the area and by 1907 the Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation was established, surrounding the privately owned Pipe Spring ranch.
In 1923 the Pipe Spring ranch was purchased and set aside as a national monument, a memorial of western pioneer life.. Today the Pipe Spring National Monument - Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians Visitor Center and Museum explains the human history of the area over time. Daily tours of Winsor Castle, summer "living history" demonstrations, an orchard and garden, and a half-mile trail offer a glimpse of American Indian and pioneer life in the Old West. The Paiute tribe runs a small adjoining campground.