Trip Planner: USA / Arizona / Camp Verde / Fort Verde State Historic Park
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.A visit to Fort Verde State Historic Park represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Camp Verde travel planner to plot your vacation.
Fort Verde was established at its current location in 1871. It is significant as "the best preserved and least altered of any military post associated with General Crook’s 1872-73 campaign against the northern Apaches."
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 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 auctionAfter 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 (40,000 m²) 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.
Fort Verde State Historic Park reviews
They had a nice small museum and the ranger showed us some of the old weapons that were used. They also have the parade grounds and three of the original other buildings which were open to go into...
They had a nice small museum and the ranger showed us some of the old weapons that were used. They also have the parade grounds and three of the original other buildings which were open to go into... more »
Don't be deceived by it's small size - Fort Verde State Historic Park is a great stop with lots of fascinating information on the history of the Fort as well as the region in general. The buildings...
Don't be deceived by it's small size - Fort Verde State Historic Park is a great stop with lots of fascinating information on the history of the Fort as well as the region in general. The buildings... more »
Well worth adding to the list of places to visit during a trip to Sedona. Located in Camp Verde, this place captures history of the area and provides a deep dive into what it was like living in the West over a century ago. Gives insight to the purpose of the Fort and its significance during the time period it was established. Each building gives a glimpse into the past. Everything well maintained. The rangers are very knowledgeable about the history. Be sure to spend time watching the videos and reading the placards all throughout the properties.
You know a state park is enjoyable when both kids said they would love to go back. We all enjoyed the lengthy museum followed by a walk around the grounds which included the officer quarters, jail and many more historic buildings. The rangers here love their job and made sure we had a great time.
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