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.

Test Walls of Caliche stand near the park maintenance area. Not ruins by the Ancestral Peoples these small clumps are created by archeologists.
Non historic test walls in various stages of decay.


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.

YCC student in safety vest doing patching work by flinging mud onto ruins walls with a hand broom.
Youth Conservation Corps students and volunteers 'sling mud' to encapsulate the ruins.


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?

Last updated: February 24, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 W. Ruins Drive
Coolidge, AZ 85128


(520) 723-3172
General park contact number includes a phone tree for finding the employee you wish to contact. Callers may dial zero for the phone attendant. Voicemail is available for many of the extensions.

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