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?
Farmers have grown crops in the Salt and Gila River valleys for over 2000 years. The ancestral Sonoran Desert people grew corn, squash, beans, and cotton by creating a flood irrigation system with over 1000 miles of canals. More...