Fort Verde State Historic Park, Camp Verde

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State Park · Historic Site
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.

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.

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Fort Verde State Historic Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
415 reviews
  • The staff are very well informed and helpful. The video was helpful and informative and just the right length. Good souvenir shop. Great area to visit.  more »
  • Great example of an "old west" Army Post. A couple restored buildings and parade ground area. Shows you what a post was really a wooden stockade like you see on F-Troop and other....  more »
  • These people are awesome!!! Me and a group of 20 other people from Yavapai exceptional industries came by to learn some of the history and we’re pleasantly surprised at how fun and interesting it was. That staff was amazing and really try to make it as exciting as possible! I recommend anybody and everybody come and experience it for yourself. You won’t regret it!
  • Neat place with a well stocked museum. We spoke with the Ranger in the visitor's center for quite some time. He was very well educated about the fort, and even had several old army guns that he brought out for my husband to handle. The buildings are very well preserved and interestingly set up. Definitely worth the price of admission.

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