Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Centennial’

Camp Verde Historical Society Museum

June 4, 2012

The Camp Verde Historical Society Museum is located in historic downtown Camp Verde in the old Camp Verde School built of native limestone in 1914-1915. The Museum contains articles used by the pioneers including a wagon wheel, cowboy paraphernalia, Apache and Yavapai artifacts, vintage farm tools, such as a hand scythe, mining equipment, a mineral collection, a model of Clear Creek Church, the first church built in the Verde Valley, musical instruments, pioneer clothing, such as sun bonnets and go-to-town shoes, mail carrier Ruffy Peach’s canteen and chaps, a 100-gallon still, depression glass, antique butcher scales, a Burroughs’s manual adding machine and items once sold in the Wingfield mercantile.

The main showcase room shows the chronological growth of the area with murals painted by an artist who is a member of a pioneer family. An area is set up for research of pioneer families.

The Camp Verde Historical Society also owns and maintains two historic buildings; Clear Creek Church and the George Hance House. Built by local residents in 1898, this was the first church built in the Verde Valley. The building was later used as a school and a cannery before it was restored. George Hance built the Hance House in the early 1900’s and the furnishings are representative of that period. Judge  Hance, the area’s unofficial mayor, was the first official postmaster, a longtime notary public, territorial census marshal (1880) and was elected justice of the peace for thirty years.

The gift shop sells books published by the Camp Verde Historical Society:  The Banks of Beaver Creek; Fort Verde; Reflections of the Past as it Rolled Along by Zeke Taylor; For Better or For Worse, Frontier Army Life; and Images of America – Camp Verde.

Camp Verde Historical Society Museum 435 S. Main Street P.O. Box 1184 Camp Verde, AZ 86322

Superstition Mountain Historical Society

February 28, 2012

The Superstition Mountain Museum displays the artifacts, history and folklore of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction and the surrounding region. Archaeological evidence indicates that prehistoric people lived in the area some 9000 years ago. Later the Salado, Hohokam and Apache Indians came, followed by Spanish explorers and Mexican gold miners. Trappers migrated to the area and were followed by cattlemen and farmers.  In modern times, people have searched for Jacob Waltz’s Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. However, the “Dutchman,” took the secret of his mine’s location to his grave.

The twelve-acre Superstition Mountain Museum site offers exhibits and reproductions of 19th Century businesses including a Wells Fargo office, a stagecoach stop, a barber shop and an assay office in addition to the Lost Dutchman Mine exhibits. Whether or not the mine exists is up for debate but Jacob Waltz who started the story was a real person. Waltz, born in Germany around 1810, emigrated to America around 1839. From New York City he traveled to the goldfields of North Carolina and Georgia. He filed his Letter of Intent to become a citizen of the United States on November 12, 1848, in Natchez, Mississippi. Two years later he arrived in California where he prospected for several years.

In 1863, Waltz headed for the Bradshaw Mountains in the Arizona Territory. In 1868, he declared Possessory Rights on 160 acres of land along the bank of the Salt River. Waltz died in Phoenix on October 25, 1891, at the home of Julia Thomas. Shortly after his death Thomas and the Petrasch brothers, Rhinehart and Hermann, searched the Superstition Mountains to find Waltz’s rich gold mine but found nothing. Barry Storm’s Thunder God’s Gold, published in 1945 probably raised more hope in the hearts of prospectors. Storm suggested that Waltz’s mine was a Lost Peralta Mine. Over the years, many people claim to have found the Dutchman’s Lost Mine but none produced any gold. The United States government closed the Superstition Wilderness Area to mineral entry at midnight on December 31, 1983, to comply with the National Wilderness Act. The museum has copies of maps including the famous stone maps, which purport to show where one may find the gold.

In the late 1800’s, the Cavalry played an important part in Arizona military history. The uniforms, saddles and flags on display have appeared in two Presidential Inaugurations and stood Honor Guard in the capitol rotunda. There is an outdorr amphitheater made of rock slabs taken from the facing of the original Roosevelt Dam. Don’t miss the Hacksaw Tom road agent exhibit for a really scary story.

The Elvis Memorial Chapel is a movie memorabilia museum which shows movies that were filmed at Apacheland. The chapel survived two fires in 1969 and in 2004 which destroyed the Apacheland Movie Ranch. It was donated to the museum. El Charro, which starred Elvis Presley, was filmed at Apacheland. The other major building that was spared in the fires is the “Audie Murphy” so called because it was used in several movies where the famous cowboy hero appeared. In the barn one can see wagons, buggies and stage coaches along with a cowboy bunkhouse.

The 20-stamp ore crusher was donated in 1989 by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Jones of Albuquerque, New Mexico. It took twenty-eight days for five men to disassemble and move the mill to Apache Junction. Adjacent to the stamp mill is the Arizona Territorial Mint Complex where metal collector tokens are made for sale.

The Superstition Mountain Gift Shop features beautiful handcrafted Native American jewelry purchased locally from a select group of artists. Here the tourist can find many Arizona and Southwest books, many of which include the legends and lore of the Superstition Mountain area along with excellent children’s titles

Superstition Mountain Museum 4087 N Apache Trail  Apache Junction, AZ 85219

Tel: 480-983-4888  Web Site: http:


January 30, 2012

The Petrified Forest National Park is located on the Painted Desert, in the southern part of the Colorado Plateau. The Chinle Formation of Late Triassic Period (more than two hundred million years ago) constitutes the main geological formation of the Painted Desert. Thus, the visitor has the option of visiting two outstanding museums in the area: the Painted Desert Visitor Center and Rainbow Forest Museum. Sites within the area include the Painted Desert Inn, a National Historic Landmark, and two ancestral Pueblo sites; Puerco Pueblo and Agate House, each of which represents the rich human history of the park. Many Late Triassic Epoch fossils discovered in the park are showcased at the Rainbow Forest Museum. The museum Placerias is a resin cast of an individual found near St. Johns. Forty Placerias were identified in the St. Johns area. This creature, which must have resembled a hippopotamus, was not a dinosaur, but a dicynodont or “two-dog tooth” so called because it had toothless jaw margins with only the two canine teeth. Placerias was a sturdy animal with tusks for rooting through the soil in search of vegetation and a beak for uprooting plants. Fossil evidence from the tusks of other dicynodonts show wear patterns of alternate deep grooves and a smooth polishing effect.

Newswspaper Rock petroglyphs — ancient symbols pecked into the surface of rock — can be found throughout the park. The petroglyphs of Newspaper Rock are etched into dark rock varnish to expose the lighter color of the rock beneath. Rock varnish is made up of a thin natural veneer of manganese, iron and clay that covers the exposed surfaces of the rocks. Newspaper Rock sandstone is very fragile. Beneath the sandstone are mudstones that erode easily and the sandstone fractures increases and the sandstone falls away from the cliff.

The most popular feature of the park is the petrified wood. Several trails wind amidst the beautifully colored and fascinating petrified logs, including Crystal Forest whose logs contain beautiful crystals; Long Logs which has one of the largest concentrations of petrified wood in park, and Giant Logs which features some of the largest and most colorful logs in the park. The brilliant colors in the petrified logs come from trace minerals: pure quartz is white, manganese oxides can form blue, purple, black, and brown, carbon is black and iron oxides provide hues from yellow through red to brown. Each year, tons of petrified wood are removed illegally from Petrified Forest National Park.

Theodore Roosevelt created Petrified Forest National Monument on Dec. 8, 1906. Petrified Forest was designated as a national park on Dec. 9, 1962. There are 93,533 acres (about 147 square miles) within park boundaries, with a recently expanded boundary increasing the acreage to 218,533 acres, authorized in 2004. Intermountain Basin semi-arid steppe and grassland (short grass prairie) constitute the main environment of Petrified Forest National Park. Hundreds of species of plants and animals can be found in Petrified Forest National Park. Residents include pronghorn, Gunnison’s prairie dog, coyote, bobcat, bullsnake, Arizona tiger salamander, meadowlark and golden eagle.

There are more than thirteen thousand years of human history in Petrified Forest National Park, which includes more than eight hundred archeological sites. Puerco Pueblo, built by ancestral Pueblo people, was occupied between A.D. 1250 and 1380. Agate House, occupied about A.D. 1100-1150, was built out of pieces of petrified wood.

Herbert David Lore built Painted Desert Inn by 1924. Using designs by National Park Service architect Lyle Bennett, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) reconstructed the Painted Desert Inn in the late 1930s and hand painted the inn’s sky light. Recently, the building had an extensive rehabilitation, returning the inn to its 1949 appearance. Don’t miss the Buffalo dance mural by Hopi artist Frank Kabotie. This work was commissioned by Mary Elizabeth Jane Coulter, Grand Canyon architect and interior designer, who worked on design elements of the inn between 1947 and 1949. Originally, the Painted Desert Inn served as a restaurant and hotel for travelers on Route 66. Today the building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Petrified Forest National Park is the only national park site that contains a segment of the historic Route 66 alignment. Part of the National Old Trails Highway also passed through the park.

During the summer Native American silversmiths, dancers, weavers and potters provide cultural demonstrations. It is all very good to probe the causes of the Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest, but it is also good to just enjoy the wonderful splendor of places such as this.

Petrified Forest National Park PO Box 2217 Petrified Forest Az 86025

Tel: 928-524-6228, Web site:





Clarkdale Heritage Center Museum

December 31, 2011

Clarkdale hosts about 100,000 tourists a year. Founded in 1912 by William Clark, Clarkdale is Arizona’s first master planned community and it was one of the most modern mining towns of its time. Clarkdale construction began in 1914 and finished in 1930. The phased construction led to several architectural styles, such as: Mission, English Cottage, Bungalow, Craftsman, Eclectic, Tudor and Spanish Colonial Revival. In 1989, the entire town site of Clarkdale, comprising 386 homes and buildings, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is rural Arizona’s largest Historic District. Over the years Clarkdale has grown and changed but one thing remains constant, its small town sense of community.

Clarkdale, a company mining town, was owned, planned, and developed by William A. Clark of Montana, owner of the Verde Copper Company. Clark made many technological improvements to the mining process and created The Verde Valley Railroad that eventually turned his company into the richest privately owned copper mine in the world

The museum contains an eclectic collection of exhibits which reflect home, school, church and work life in Clarkdale. Don’t miss the oak pulpit originally used in the 1921 Clarkdale United Methodist Church and present site of the Clark Memorial Library. It was given to the museum by the church with the stipulation that if the museum ever dissolves or the congregation needs it back, it will be returned. The manufacturer is unknown. The pulpit is in good condition with nail heads on reading platform and holes on left side from a mounted light or microphone. On back side, two shelves run the whole 46″ width.

The oak pulpit chair has a medium high back and a brass plate that says “By many hands the work of God is done.” It is dated 2/8/1970, and was made by Hiwassee Furniture Mfgr. Inc, makers of fine church furniture in Madisonville, Tennessee. The chair is in excellent condition. .

Clarkdale Heritage Museum, P.O. Box 806, 900 First North,Clarkdale, Arizona 86324

Tel: 928-649-1198, Web site:


December 3, 2011

The Buckeye Valley Museum, established in 1954, is housed in a building whose facade was designed to resemble the front of the old Kell mercantile. The historical society’s mission is to preserve and share the history of Buckeye, Arizona and its surrounding communities with emphasis on farming. Its collections include historic photographs, family histories, Hohokam pottery and artifacts from the early establishment of the Town of Buckeye and Buckeye High School yearbooks dating back to 1928.

The prehistoric Hohokam people lived and farmed in the Buckeye Valley more than one thousand years ago. They grew cotton, beans, corn and squash in irrigated fields near their villages along the Gila River. Cactus fruit and mesquite beans along with rabbits and deer were an important part of their diet. Visitors to the museum will see an impressive collection of Hohokam clay pottery, stone and shell jewelry, arrows, axes and other stone tools. They used stone manos (grinding stones) and metates (rock slabs) to grind corn and mesquite pods to make flour.

Early settlers in the Buckeye Valley who made the community’s history were farmers and their families who grew crops, built houses and made their own tools. When a group of settlers left Ohio and arrived in the area in 1888, it was the start of what is now the town of Buckeye. Malie Monroe Jackson built a canal to help haul water to his crops and named the canal Buckeye, in honor of the state of Ohio. At first the town was called Sydney. Later when the town wanted to incorporate as Buckeye, the residents had to get a court order from the Arizona State Supreme court allowing them to do so. In 1885, a group of investors from Ohio led by Malie Monroe Jackson, an Ohioan, built a canal in the desert west of Phoenix. A year later when the canal was in operation Thomas Clanton, a homesteader near the canal, applied to the United States Postal Service for a post office. The Postal Service granted the request and named the new home post office Buckeye.

The museum maintains biographies and photos of the Buckeye Valley and West Gila Valley Old Settlers Union, which was founded in 1934. More than16,000 names have been entered into the museum’s family history program. The museum has an extensive oral history program which documents the residents’ life experiences.

After the Hohokam left the Buckeye Valley about seven hundred years ago, the land remained unoccupied until the 1880s. Several small ranches were developed first in Liberty and then in Palo Verde. The construction of the Buckeye Canal in 1885 opened up large tracts of land for farming.  The first crops were alfalfa and grain used to feed livestock. Later cotton became the primary crop.

The Buckeye Valley Museum is a part of the Heritage Park project. This 13.9 acre park, was formerly known as the Eastman Gin. An on-site cotton gin will be restored and used for educational and entertaining demonstrations. In addition to the museum, Heritage Park will  feature a couple of acres of native agricultural fields; an antique tractor and farm implement displays; a farmers market; a large scale park; an outdoor amphitheater and a walking trail.

Buckeye Valley Museum, 116 East Hwy. 85 (10th Street and Monroe), P.O. Box 292. Buckeye, AZ, 85326

Tel: 623-349-6315  Web site:

The Thing!

November 1, 2011


The billboards are not so numerous as they were forty years ago but there are still plenty of bright yellow  boards as you approach Johnson off ramp, Exit off ramp,  to urge the traveler to stop and see The Thing. Once inside the roadside gift shop the visitor can pay to see Mystery  of the Desert and wander  through rows of southwestern rugs, various figurines, agate bookends, belts, buckles and earrings or purchase a  chicken basket meal, fresh hot coffee and ice cream at the Dairy Queen.

Visitors to proceed through doors and follow the big yellow footprints on a sidewalk through three buildings, each filled with artifacts of questionable provenance. The first shed houses various of transportation including a 1921 Graham Page, a Conestoga wagon, a 1937 Rolls Royce and a vehicle purporting to have belonged to Adolph Hitler. Over the years different vehicles have made this proclamation.

In the second shed there are several carvings and artifacts of yesteryear. In the third shed visitor come face to face with The Thing and her baby thing. And what a face it is.  It rests in a coffin inside a glass topped concrete case. The Thing on first appearance looks like a mummy. The Thing has a couple
of ribs exposed. A sign above its resting place asks, “What is it?”  Perhaps it is made of papier-mâché?

Phoenix Public Radio asked Shad Kvetko who claimed to know about The Thing and where it came from. He said that it was the creation of Homer Tate. Kvetko’s aunt was Tate’s granddaughter. Tate’s family came to Arizona in the 1890’s, and he worked as a miner and a farmer the 1940’s, when he discovered there was a market for his talent of creating quite curious objects.  These objects included shrunken heads and  mummies created from papier-mâché.  He opened Tate’s Curiosity Shop in Phoenix. His flyer announced, “The world’s best manufactured shrunken heads–a wonderful window attraction to make your mother-in-law want to go home.”

About the time that Tate was making his papier-mâché mummies, Thomas B. Prince became bored with his law practice,  In the 1950’s Prince, a graduate of the 1940 University of Arizona College of Law Class, opened a roadside curio stand near Barstow.  The Thing was included as one of its attractions. When the Interstate displaced the Barstow attraction, Prince moved the enterprise to Arizona.  In 1965, he opened his roadside museum of oddities at Johnson Road between Willcox and Benson. Prince died in 1969 and his widow, Janet Prince, ran the enterprise for a while before moving to Baltimore.

Over the years there has been speculation that The Thing had been part of a race of giants. There were stories that this curious object came from caves inside the Grand Canyon. Others say that the double mummies came from Egypt

The Thing, 2631 N Johnson Rd., Benson, AZ  85602


Yuma Castle Dome Mineral Museum

August 28, 2011

The Castle Dome district is one of the oldest and longest-lived mining districts in Arizona. The origin of the name “Castle Dome” may be a corruption of “Capitol Dome,” a high, dome-like peak nearby which was named by the soldiers at Fort Yuma in the
1880’s. Early Spanish explorers called the same peak Cabeza de Gigante, or Giant’s Head. Jacob Snively after serving as secretary to President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston began Castle Dome Mines is 1862. The mines were the second to be patented in Arizona. In 1864, Castle Dome City’s population was twelve.  By the 1880s the population of Castle Dome City exceeded that of Yuma. From 1862 – 1979 the mines and the lives of those who worked them thrived.  In 1979 when  silver prices dropped to an all time low the mines were closed.  In this mining town there are more thirty-five buildings from hotels and saloons to a blacksmith shop and general store. The traveler can visit the graveyard, where men, woman and children who lived and died here at Castle Dome. Look down into
the mines that made Castle Dome famous. Several buildings still stand at Castle Dome. And if you get tired there are resting places the paths. The buildings are filled with mining gear, furniture, vintage clothing and glass,  and newspaper clippings. Seven of the buildings are original to the town and the rest are period recreations, many from parts of old original buildings. The three/eighths mile walking tour will take you on the mining district tour. This includes the mill, bunkhouse, cook house, shower house, and the graveyard where rest some of the men and women who worked at Castle Dome and reveal some of the mysteries of Castle Dome. Don’t miss what may be the oldest pair of Levis which the owner dredged up from an
abandoned mine shaft in the historic Castle Dome mining district.

Castle Dome Mining Museum, Milepost 55 on Hwy 95, 27550 East County 15th Street,
Yuma, AZ 85365

Tel: 928-920-306, Web site:




July 29, 2011

In the 14th century, an ancient people found a home along the Little Colorado River. These people, the Hisat’sinom (Anasazi), farmed the rich flood plain before continuing joining people living on the mesas, known as the Hopi. Homolovi is Hopi for “Place of the Little Hills” — the traditional name for Winslow, Arizona.

The Hopi people of today consider Homolovi to be part of their homeland. Broken pottery and stones are now part of the land, and are mute reminders that the Hopi continue to follow the true Hopi way. Migrations ended when the people settled at the center of the world, the Hopi Mesas north of Homolovi. However, when the Diné (Navajo) and later the Europeans arrived, the Hopi saw the newcomers destroy their ancient homes while digging in sacred sites for curios.

To protect lands from further desecration, the Hopis supported the creation of Homolovi Ruins State Park. This park was established in 1986 and it opened in 1993. Homolovi Ruins State Park now serves as a center of research for the late migration period of the Hopi from the 1200s to the late 1300s. While archaeologists study the sites and confer with the Hopi to unravel the history of Homolovi, Arizona State Parks provides the opportunity for visitors to visit the sites.

The Homolovi Visitor Center features exhibits explaining the archaeology of the ancient people of Homolovi. Exhibits describe the continuing tradition of Hopi pottery, carving and other art forms. The work of various artists, including the art of Hopi children, is incorporated in a changing exhibit. The First Works exhibit is a collection of children’s art work. In addition, the park maintains a collection of returned artifacts from within the Winslow area. These pieces include prehistoric pottery wares, stone and bone tools. There are also historical art works by Fannie Nampeyo, Charles Loloma, Paqua Naha (First Frog Woman) and Helen (Feather Woman) Naha dating from the late 1880s to the late 1960s.

Homolovi’s gift shop is operated by the Homolovi Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. They offer books on the natural and cultural history of northeastern Arizona, including unusual and rare books. The shop has an excellent selection of Hopi and Navajo artwork.  Suvoyuki in the Hopi language means to accomplish work through a joint effort. The annual Suvoyuki Days event in July starts with an open house day at the park that celebrates the partners who have helped to protect and save Homolovi area archaeological and cultural sites from destruction. The event features corn roasting, a morning
run, archaeological information, and artist demonstrations. The next day, the event moves into the community at Sipaulovi Village where visitors can see meet artists and learn more about the Hopi tribe.

Hiking Homolovi provides the visitor with the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the ancients. Nusungvö which means “Place of Rest” in the Hopi language is a 1.2 miles primitive hike across high prairie grasslands. Tsu’vö which means Path of the Rattlesnake in Hopi, is a half mile loop trail between the twin buttes within the park. It is a nature trail and an archaeological trail where the visitor can see milling stone areas and petroglyphs.

Diné is a one and a half mile trail that goes to Diné Point. The Homolovi I trail is an easy quarter mile stroll on an old dirt road. The Homolovi II Trail is a half mile paved trail that is wheelchair accessible. The 100-yard trail allows access to the largest of the Park’s archaeological sites and contains an estimated 1,200 to 2,000 rooms.

Homolovi Ruins State Park, HCR 63, Box 5, Winslow, AZ 86047

Tel: 928-289-4106  Web site:

Yuma Territorial Prison

July 2, 2011

On July 1, 1876, the first seven inmates entered the Territorial Prison at Yuma and were locked into the new cells which they had built themselves. At Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park the visitor
has a chance to walk through the strap iron cells and solitary chamber of Arizona Territory’s first prison. A total of 3,069 prisoners, including twenty-nine
women, lived within the walls during the prison’s thirty-three years of operation. Twenty-six successfully escaped but only two of these were from within the prison confines and eight prisoners died from gunshot wounds. The youngest prisoner was 14 years old and the oldest was 88. No executions took place at the prison because hangings were a function of the county sheriff’s office.

An exhibit in the Visitor Center along with photographs introduces the visitors to territorial prison life. Other displays include original cellblocks, water tank, guard tower, sally port (entrance gate), library room and the dark cells. Interpretive panels are located throughout the historic site. The 3600 sq. ft. museum houses a video presentation and original prison artifacts. A large mural painting of Arizona Native Americans and by a World War II Italian prisoner of war graces one of the walls.

Despite its infamous reputation, largely put forth by films such as 3:10 to Yuma, the prison was a model institution for its time. Early pioneers such as John Cady referred to the prison as the “country club on the olorado.” Punishments included the dark cells for inmates who broke prison regulations, and the ball and chain for those who tried to escape.

Crimes ranged from murder to polygamy, with grand larceny being the most common. Most prisoners served only portions of their sentences. One hundred eleven prisoners died while serving their sentences, most from tuberculosis. Prisoners worked but during the free time they hand-crafted many items which were sold at public bazaars held at the prison on Sundays after church services. Prisoners received regular medical attention, and many convicts learned to read and write in prison. The prison housed one of the first “public” libraries in the territory, and the fee charged to visitors for a tour of the institution was used to purchase books. An early electrical generating plant furnished power for lights and ran a ventilation system in the cellblock.

By 1907, the prison was severely overcrowded, and there was no room on Prison Hill for expansion. When the prison became overcrowded, as many as ten prisoners were packed into a cell, which measured 8 feet by 10 feet. The convicts constructed a new facility in Florence, Arizona and the last prisoner left Yuma on
September 15, 1909. The Yuma Union High School occupied the buildings from 1910 to 1914 and the football team was known as the Crims. Empty cells provided free lodging for hobos riding the freights in the 1920s, and sheltered many homeless families during the 1930’s Great Depression. Townspeople used the complex a
source for free building materials which along with plus fires, weathering, and railroad construction,  estroyed the prison walls and all buildings except the cells, main gate and guard tower.

While it was active the prison kept excellent prisoner records. The boxes are at the Arizona State Archives, 1700 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85007. Those prisoners who died while incarcerated and were not claimed by family were buried in the graveyard just outside the penitentiary. A shallow grave was dug where a wooden casket containing the body was lowered, covered with the soil and then overlaid with rocks. Since 1950, most of the grave markers have been taken by souvenir hunters or deteriorated under the weather. Only the grave marker of J.F. Floyd has been found and it is now on display inside the prison
museum. Grave markers were typically made into a slab of wood, with the prisoner’s name, number, and date of death.

Prison T-shirts, baseball caps, key chains, handcuffs, and books about the prison are available in the gift shop inside the Visitor Center.

Yuma Territorial Prison, 1 Prison Hill Road, Yuma, AZ 85364

Tel: 928-783-4771

Web Site:


Fort Huachuca Museums

May 31, 2011

Established in 1877, a time when army forts were generously sprinkled over southeast Arizona, Fort Huachuca is the only one which survived to the present day as an active military post. Established during the Indian Wars, the fort was the headquarters of the 4th Cavalry patrols that pursued Geronimo and his band and brought about their surrender to General Nelson Miles in 1886. It also was a site of the use of the heliograph for communication during the pursuit of Geronimo in the Indian wars.

Huachuca has served as home of the famous Buffalo Soldiers, who chased Pancho Villa in Sonora, Mexico in 1916 after his attack on Columbus, New Mexico and Agua Prieta, just across the border from Douglas, Arizona. In World War II two Black infantry divisions, the 92nd and 93rd, were trained on Fort Huachuca’s ranges and served valiantly in the Pacific theater and in northern Italy. Today Fort Huachuca is an important military intelligence and communications center.

The museum re-creates the story of the U.S. Army in the Southwest, displaying uniforms of various periods, early equipment and weapons and model rooms, which present the daily life of the soldiers and their families. There is a museum store which sells books on many topics and mementos. The museum is housed in a building which was first used as bachelor officers’ quarters, then a chapel, and officers’ club and a headquarters building.

Exhibits include pioneer life on the post up thorough recent wars.  Helmets and breastplates from the era of the conquistadores are showcased along with miniature wagons. Fully furnished period rooms show how officers’ wives made life on the frontier attractive.  The kitchen features a butter churn, wringer washer, and a sewing machine. Don’t miss the Buffalo soldier statue located at the traffic circle at Winrow Road and Smith Street. Several exhibits are
dedicated to the role of the Buffalo Soldiers at Fort Huachuca and the American West. In the museum annex, visitors can see more displays, a diorama of a
cavalry camp scene, wagons and an artillery gun.

Because of the Fort’s active military status it is necessary to stop at the gate before entering to visit the museums. The visitor will be asked to show a picture ID such  as a driver’s license, as well as vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

B Troop, 4th US Cavalry (Memorial) commemorates the history of the U.S. Army’s participation in the Indian Wars in the Southwest. B troop is not connected to the museum. Established at Fort Huachuca, Arizona on July 4, 1973, B Troop dresses in authentic uniforms of the U.S. Army in the 1880s. The group participates in military ceremonies, parades, and mounted cavalry demonstrations across Arizona and the nation.

The first soldiers at Fort Huachuca ensured the protection of the first Anglo settlers in the San Pedro Valley and later were responsible for protecting the border with Mexico. As soon as the first permanent houses were completed, soldiers began sending for their families. The first to arrive was Caroline
Whitside, the wife of Captain Samuel Whitside, the post’s founder and first commander. Their 20-month-old son Dallas died and was buried in the camp’s
first graveyard and was later relocated to the current post cemetery which may be visited. Many who served at Fort Huachuca earned distinguished  eputations in the world including the father of Fiorello LaGuardia, an ardent social reformer who would become mayor of New York. Malin Craig, the son of the post’s first quartermaster and a member of Whitside’s troop, would become Army Chief of Staff just before World War II. In the museum the traveler will find everyday household utensils, books, quotes from diaries and journals, flags, and photographs.

The U.S. Army Intelligence Museum

            This museum acts as a central repository for historical artifacts which put the military intelligence mission into perspective. In addition to being of general interest, it provides a teaching tool for the U.S. Army Intelligence School. Although military intelligence gathering has existed since the dawn of warfare, the craft gained a vital role in the Army during the Civil War and has grown during each conflict. Its role is now recognized as a formal Army organization the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps. The first aerial photography was taken from a hot air balloon but on display is an early drone which was used to remotely photograph and survey an area. General John “Blackjack” Pershing took the lessons he learned from chasing Pancho Villa to World War I.

Visitors will see surveillance and espionage tools from the Civil War, the notorious Enigma Machine coding device used by the Germans during WWII, one of our Cold War espionage jeeps, a surveillance drone and a 12’ x 10’ section of the Berlin Wall, replete with graffiti political statements.

US Army Intelligence Center Fort Huachuca Museum Boyd & Grierson Fort Huachuca AZ 83613-6000 Tel: 520-533-3638