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ARIZONA'S HISTORY


Arizona is truly filled with a great wealth of history, from ancient to recent. This page provides information and links to some of Arizona's great historical sites.




ANCIENT INDIANS


CASA GRANDE RUINS NATIONAL MONUMENT

View this imposing 4-story building dating from the late Hohokam period, around the 14th century, which is contemporary with other preserved ruins in Arizona such as the Tonto and Montezuma Castle Monuments. Between the Gila and Santa Cruz rivers, close to the town of Coolidge and about 15 miles from the town of Casa Grande sits the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. This structure was once part of a collection of settlements scattered along the Gila River and linked by a network of irrigation canals. With a low elevation, it is very hot - often over 110 °F for several months in the summer. In spring it is sometimes the hottest place in the United States,. Winter daytime temperatures can reach 80 °F.

CASA GRANDE RUINS NATIONAL MONUMENT



CANYON DE CHELLY NATIONAL MONUMENT

Centuries ago, people built shelters into the canyon's walls, taking advantage of ledges and overhangs. The largest and most impressive is the White House Ruin, a multi-level structure that likely served as an ancient condominium. Navajo people still live and work in the canyon, and visitors must arrange for a guided tour to enter , which is highly recommended, as only then can you see and appreciate the many ruins and pictographs carved into the walls.

CANYON DE CHELLY NATIONAL MONUMENT



HOMOLOVI RUINS STATE PARK

The Homolovi Ruins State Park is a 4,500-acre preservation of over 300 Ancestral Puebloan archaeological sites. Homolovi or Homol'ovi (the Hopi spelling of the word) is a Hopi word meaning "place of the little hills". The park is located just over a mile north of Winslow, Arizona and features historical exhibits, interpretive programs, bird-watching, and hiking. There is a year-round campground, restrooms with showers (closed in winter), and an RV dump station. Please visit the website for more information, including a video about the park, days and hours of operation, fees, events and activities, and more:

HOMOLOVI RUINS STATE PARK



MONTEZUMA CASTLE NATIONAL MONUMENT

It may have been drought or invaders; no one is quite sure why the original inhabitants abandoned this impressive high-rise roughly three centuries after it was built in 1100. Montezuma Castle is one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. It is easy to imagine people still living amid its 20 rooms. No wonder when President Theodore Roosevelt celebrated the passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906, he declared Montezuma Castle as one of four national monuments.

MONTEZUMA CASTLE NATIONAL MONUMENT



TUZIGOOT NATIONAL MONUMENT

Crowning a desert hilltop is an ancient pueblo. From a roof top a child scans the desert landscape for the arrival of traders, who are due any day now. What riches will they bring? What stories will they tell? Will all of them return? From the top of the Tuzigoot Pueblo it is easy to imagine such an important moment. Tuzigoot is an ancient village or pueblo built by a culture known as the Sinagua. The pueblo consisted of 110 rooms including second and third story structures. The first buildings were built around A.D. 1000. The Sinagua were agriculturalists with trade connections that spanned hundreds of miles. The people left the area around 1400. The site is currently comprised of 42 acres.

TUZIGOOT NATIONAL MONUMENT



WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT

Connected to Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, this park of ancient Indian ruins is an incredible and beautiful place to visit. Less than 800 years ago, Wupatki Pueblo was the largest pueblo around. It flourished for a time as a meeting place of different cultures; yet this was one of the warmest and driest places on the Colorado Plateau, offering little obvious food, water, or comfort.

WUPATKI NATIONAL MONUMENT




ARIZONA'S WILD WEST


FORT VERDE STATE HISTORIC PARK

Experience life through the eyes of a frontier soldier at Fort Verde State Historic Park in Camp Verde. The fort was a base for General Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s. From 1865 – 1891 Camp Lincoln, Camp Verde and Fort Verde were home to officers, doctors, families, enlisted men, and scouts. The park is the best-preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona. Several of the original buildings still stand and living history programs are scheduled periodically, giving visitors a glimpse into Arizona’s history. Today visitors can experience three historic house museums, all furnished in the 1880s period, that are listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places. The former Administration building houses the Visitor Center with interpretive exhibits, period artifacts from military life, and history on the Indian Scouts and Indian Wars era. The park offers picnic tables, restrooms, RV and tour bus parking, and is ADA Accessible.

Please visit the website for more information, including a video about the park, days and hours of operation, fees, events and activities, and more:

FORT VERDE STATE HISTORIC PARK


TOMBSTONE COURTHOUSE HISTORIC STATE PARK

Get a glimpse of the true old West at Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross, the two-story Victorian structure once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail, and courtrooms of Cochise County. Today, the 12,000 square foot courthouse is a museum filled with the glitter and guns of those who tamed the territory. Exhibits portray the authentic history of Tombstone as a frontier silver mining boomtown. Learn about miners, cattlemen and pioneers, and see a reproduction of the courtroom and sheriff’s office. Displays include a tax license for operating a brothel and an invitation to a hanging. A replica of the gallows in the courtyard represents where seven men were hanged. The park includes a museum, exhibits, a gift shop, restrooms, and shaded picnic areas. Please visit the website for more information, including a video about the park, days and hours of operation, fees, events and activities, and more:

TOMBSTONE COURTHOUSE HISTORIC STATE PARK


YUMA TERRITORIAL PRISON STATE HISTORIC PARK

On July 1, 1876, the first seven inmates entered the Territorial Prison at Yuma and were locked into the new cells they had built themselves. At Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park walk through the actual strap iron cells and solitary chamber of Arizona Territory’s first prison. Now a museum, the building houses photographs and colorful exhibits of those who once “involuntarily” stayed there and the prison life they had to endure. A total of 3,069 prisoners, including 29 women, lived within the walls during the prison’s 33 years of operation. Despite an infamous reputation, written evidence indicates that the prison was humanely administered, and was a model institution for its time. The only punishments were the dark cells for inmates who broke prison regulations, and the ball and chain for those who tried to escape. Come experience this fascinating slice of Arizona history. The park offers a museum with exhibits, a gift shop, video presentation, picnic area, and restrooms.

Please visit the website for more information, including a video about the park, days and hours of operation, fees, events and activities, and more:

YUMA TERRITORIAL PRISON STATE HISTORIC PARK




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Robert M. Wilbanks IV
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created 6/14/2012: ©2012-2013, Robert M. Wilbanks IV, Scottsdale, Arizona