Saturday, October 20, 2012

Camp Verde, AZ

Fort Verde State Historic Park in the town of Camp Verde, Arizona is a small park that attempts to preserve parts of the Apache Wars-era fort as it appeared in the 1880s. The park was established in 1970 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places a year later.
Settlers in the mid-19th century near the Verde River grew corn and other crops with the prospect of getting good prices from nearby Prescott, which was the territorial capital, and from nearby miners. The rapid increase in population for the mining economy disrupted the hunting and gathering environments of the local native American tribes, the Dilzhe'e Apache and Yavapai. In turn, they raided the farmers' crops for food.
The farmers requested military protection from the United States Army and, in 1865, although Arizona was still only a territory, the infantry arrived. They set up a several posts over the next few years:
  • 1865, a small camp five miles (8 km) south of what is today Camp Verde.
  • 1866-1871, Camp Lincoln, a mile north of today's Fort Verde.
  • 1871-1873, Camp Verde, built gradually from 1871 to 1873.
  • 1879, Camp Verde renamed Fort Verde
  • 1891, Fort Verde abandoned
  • 1899, sold at public auction
After approximately 1,500 local natives were placed on a reservation by 1872, the army's role changed from protecting the settlers to ensuring that the Indians stayed on the reservation. The last major military engagement with uprising natives took place in 1882 at the Battle of Big Dry Wash.
The fort was never enclosed by walls or stockades and it never saw fighting on site. At its height, it consisted of twenty-two buildings, only four of which survived until 1956, when local citizens created a small museum in the administration building. They later donated the buildings and ten acres  as a State Park.

Some of the buildings were built with pice, which is large adobe slabs cast within wooden frames rather than assembled from the more familiar individual adobe bricks.

Doctor's house at Fort Verde

I copied the above piece from wikipieda rather than explain it all in my own words.  The first photo is a pano of two photos we took of two of the remaining buildings left at Fort Verde.  The second photo is of the doctors house at the fort.  The quality of Army doctors varied, some had almost no formal training, others were medical school graduates. With few effective medicines their job was a difficult one. All together, 27 doctors served at Ft.Verde. Among the more notable were Dr. Edward Palmer, Dr. Elliot Coues, and Dr. Edgar Mearns.  They lived very well compared to the enlisted men, however having a doctor was a necessity due to the dangers of being stationed here.

 We were first here in 1966, but I don't remember the buildings or the fort.  

There is an old jail next to the fort and it looked like it wouldn't have been a pleasant place to spend much time.  It does get hot out here and with no ventilation it must have been terrible to be there.  It is an interesting looking old building and they have it setup inside to represent how it looked 125 years ago.

There is a statue on main street representing a soldier who would have been at Fort Verde.

We took some time out to do some geocaching and found three fairly quickly.  The last geocache had a tarantula about the size of a half dollar residing there and scurried away when my hand got too close to it.  I was very thankful that it chose to avoid a confrontation with me.  Most geocaches out here have a disclaimer warning you to watch out for snakes and spiders.  Now I see what they mean.

We had a nice time looking around the town and surrounding area and plan on going to Cottonwood & Sedona on Sunday.  Maybe there will be a wine festival or something like that going on.



  1. Wow, you sure escaped that "bite" Be careful!!!


  2. All the time we've spent up there, we've never seen Fort Verde. Love your header picture. It reminds me of the first time my parents and my norther and I visited Sedona. Mom was looking for the advertised Catholic Church (the one pictured). When she saw it, she said "That can't be a Catholic church -- there's no cross."