Learning From Past Missteps
How best to preserve the ruins has been a debate since the ruins were first visited. The actions of the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition financed by Mary Hemenway from 1887 to1888 led to some of the strongest protections. When members of the expedition visited the Casa Grande, their report on the extensive vandalism they found there prompted Mrs. Hemenway to mount an effort to save the ruins. The result was the establishment of Casa Grande Ruins as the first federal prehistoric and cultural reservation by President Benjamin Harrison in 1892.
Experimenting with New Possibilities
Trying to find the right mix of old and new for coating the historic walls has been a never ending test. Current efforts use a slurry of caliche soil and a small amount of additive.
Current Work Being Done
Every two years it becomes critical to apply a new layer of protection to the ruins. Under the supervision of an archeologist volunteers and staff apply a thin layer of protective coating. Care to volunteer and join us one summer?
Did You Know?
The Casa Grande Ruins were extensively excavated and studied by Dr. Jesse Fewkes in 1906. Previously, visitors removed artifacts and took pieces of the walls and roofs as souvenirs.