Montezuma Castle
National Monument
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Chapter 1
The Prehistoric Ruins of the Verde Valley in the Nineteenth Century


1. Katharine Bartlett, "Notes upon the Routes of Espejo and Farfan to the Mines in the Sixteenth Century," New Mexico Historical Review (January 1942): 21—23; George Peter Hammond and Agapito Rey, Expedition into New Mexico Made by Antonio de Espejo, 1582—1583, As Revealed in the Journal of Diego Pérez de Luxán, a Member of the Party (Los Angeles: Quivira Society, 1929), 36—38.

2. See Bartlett, "Notes," for a summary of the speculations made by historians Hubert Howe Bancroft, Herbert Eugene Bolton, George P. Hammond, and Agapito Rey regarding Espejo's route. Bartlett makes a strong case that Espejo and party traveled through the Verde Valley and provides detailed notes illuminating Luxán's journals.

3. Hammond and Rey, Expedition, 105—6.

4. Herbert Eugene Bolton, Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542—1706 (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1916), 187. In this work, Bolton assembles a variety of primary documents relating to Spanish explorations, including those of Espejo, Farfán, and Oñate. This passage, written by Espejo, describes a region with features similar to those of the Verde Valley.

5. Bartlett, "Notes," 28—35. Bartlett's notes match Luxán's observations with existing features of the Verde Valley.

6. Ibid., 35—36.

7. For accounts of Oñate's journey through the Verde Valley on the way to California, see Marc Simmons, The Last Conquistador: Juan de Oñate and the Settling of the Far Southwest (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991), 1172—75; and Bolton, Spanish Exploration, 269—71.

8. For examples of recent research on the Spanish and Mexican periods of Arizona history, see Simmons, The Last Conquistador; James E. Officer, Hispanic Arizona, 1536—1856 (Tucson: University Press, 1987); David J. Weber, The Spanish Frontier in North America (New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1992); David J. Weber, The Mexican Frontier, 1821-1846: The American Southwest under Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982); John L. Kessel, Friars, Soldiers and Reformers: Hispanic Arizona and the Sonora Mission Frontier, 1767-1856 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1976); Thomas E. Sheridan, Los Tucsonenses: The Mexican Community in Tucson, 1854—1941 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986); Thomas H. Naylor and Charles W. Polzer, S.J., eds., The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain: A Documentary History, Volume I, 1570-1700 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1986); Charles W. Polzer, S.J., and Thomas E. Sheridan, eds., The Presidio and Militia on the Northern Frontier of New Spain: A Documentary History, Volume 2, Part I: The Californias and Sinaloa-Sonora, 1700—1765 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1997).

9. Robert Glass Cleland, This Reckless Breed of Men: The Trappers and Fur Traders of the Southwest (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1950), 182.

10. Ibid., 228.

11. Lt. A. W. Whipple, "Report upon the Indian Tribes," in Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean 1853—54, vol. 3 (Washington, D.C.: A.O.P. Nicholson, 1856), 14—15.

12. Ibid., 14—15.

13. A. Berle Clemensen, A Centennial History of the First Prehistoric Reserve, 1892—1992: Administrative History of Casa Grande National Monument (Washington, D.C.: National Park Service, 1992), 13.

14. Walter Hickling Prescott, Conquest of Mexico (New York: Random House, 1843), 13.

15. "The Land of the Aztecs," Arizona Miner, 11 May 1864.

16. Arizona Miner, 25 May 1864, quoted in Pauline Henson, Founding a Wilderness Capital: Prescott, A.T., 1864 (Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1965), 155.

17. Hubert Howe Bancroft, History of Arizona and New Mexico, 1530—1888 (San Francisco: The History Company, 1889), 4—5. The proliferation of such misnaming is exemplified in Will C. Barnes, Arizona Place Names (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1988), which lists a dozen Montezuma place names. Susan Wallace, wife of the 1880s governor of New Mexico, offered an apology for perpetuating the Montezuma myth by the frequent use of the name in her book The Land of the Pueblos (New York: John B. Alden, 1890). Although the repetition of the name seemed a glaring error after Bancroft's strong opinion, Wallace kept the references to Montezuma in her work because of the widespread familiarity and association with the name.

18. Edmund Wells, Argonaut Tales: Stories of the Gold Seekers and the Indian Scouts of Early Arizona (New York: The Grafton Press, 1927), 396—400.

19. For details of Woolsey's second expedition, see John S. Goff, King S. Woolsey (Cave Creek: Black Mountain Press, 1981), 40—42.

20. Henry Clifton, "The Woolsey Expedition," Arizona Miner, 25 May 1864.

21. The fact file at Montezuma Castle National Monument contains the following information provided by Mrs. Virginia Laudermilk in1946. She related an account that she obtained from Edmund Wells regarding the naming of Montezuma Well. Wells told her of a time when he was with a party from Fort Verde that was pursuing a band of Apache, and they came upon a large well. "The soldiers knew the Aztec Indians had attained a high plane of culture and that Montezuma was once their chieftan [sic] so they facetiously suggested the spring be called Montezuma's Well. Mrs. Laudermilk was careful to point out that the word 'facetious' was used by Mr. Wells." However, it seems that Wells arrived in the Camp Verde area around 1865—67, shortly after the events of Woolsey's second expedition. Further, Wells's name does not appear on a list of members of the Woolsey Party that was published in the 6 April 1864 edition of the Arizona Miner. It could be that he heard the stories from the Woolsey expedition of the naming of the Well and repeated them to Mrs. Laudermilk. Wells also described the discovery and naming of Montezuma's Castle by a small party, including himself, in his book Argonaut Tales, 347. Yet because of the date of his arrival in the Verde Valley, it seems doubtful that Wells was the first to come upon these ruins and name them.

22. Thomas Edwin Farish, History of Arizona, vol. 4 (San Francisco: Filmer Brothers Electrotype, 1916), 215—17. The other members of this party were William L. Osborn, Clayton M. Ralston, Henry D. Morse, Jake Ramstein, Thomas Ruff, Ed A. Boblett, James Parrish, and James Robinson.

23. Stephen C. Shadegg, "Camp Verde," Stephen C. Shadegg Collection, box 1, folder 6, Arizona Historical Foundation, Tempe; Robert W. Munson, "Territorial Verde Valley," Plateau 53 (1981): 25—29.

24. Munson, "Territorial Verde Valley," 25—29.

25. Marvin D. Jeter, ed., Edward Palmer's Arkansas Mounds (Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1990), 3.

26. Marvin D. Jeter, "Edward Palmer: Present before the Creation of Archaeological Stratigraphy and Associations, Formation Processes, and Ethnographic Analogy," Journal of the Southwest 41 (Autumn 1999), 336.

27. University of Arizona Library, Special Collections, Edward Palmer Manuscript Collection, AZ 197, part 2. In an article published in 1871, Palmer describes details of the corncob specimens he had retrieved from ruins in the Verde Valley. This article reflects Palmer's pioneering work in the fields of ethnobotany and archaeobotany. See Edward Palmer, "Food Products of the North American Indians," U.S. Department of Agriculture Annual Report for 1870, 404—28.

28. University of Arizona Library, Special Collections, Edward Palmer Manuscript Collection, AZ 197, part 3.

29. Jeter, Edward Palmer's Arkansas Mounds, 46.

30. University of Arizona Library, Special Collections, Edward Palmer Manuscript Collection, AZ 197, parts 2 and 3.

31. Jeter, "Edward Palmer," 335—54.

32. Palmer, "Food Products of the North American Indians," 420; Don D. Fowler and John F. Matley, The Palmer Collection from Southwestern Utah, 1875, University of Utah Anthropological Papers, No. 99 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah, 1978), 20.

33. Jeter, Edward Palmer's Arkansas Mounds, 46.

34. University of Arizona Library, Special Collections, Edward Palmer Manuscript Collection, AZ 197, part 2.

35. Jeter, Edward Palmer's Arkansas Mounds, 48—49.

36. Ibid.

37. Munson, "Territorial Verde Valley," 28—29.

38. John G. Bourke, On the Border with Crook (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891; reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971), 149, 210—12 (page references are to reprint edition); The governor's visit to the ruins is described in Wallace W. Elliott, History of Arizona Territory Showing Its Resources and Advantages (San Francisco, 1884; reprint, Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1964), 126 (page reference is to reprint edition).

39. "Curious Ancient Dwellings in Arizona," The Friend, 43 (7 December 1869), 134.

40. Ibid.

41. William C. Manning, "Ancient Pueblos of New Mexico and Arizona," Harper's New Monthly Magazine 51 (June 1875): 327—29.

42. The map used in Richard J. Hinton's 1878 Hand-book to Arizona: Its Resources, History, Towns, Mines, Ruins, and Scenery (San Francisco: Payot, Uphan and Co.; New York: American News Co., 1878), which shows the locations of ruins in the area, was based on military maps of the time. Increasing military presence in the valley led to more visitation to ruins sites by officers and civilians alike.

43. For information on the history of the ownership of Montezuma Well and surrounding area, see Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley (n.p.: Verde Valley Pioneers Association, 1954), 68, 147—48; Jack E. Beckman, "A History of Montezuma Well" (unpublished manuscript), 17—18; Til Lightbourn and Mary Lyons, By the Banks of Beaver Creek (Nappanee, Indiana: Evangel Press, 1989), 17—18, 22—24. The Montezuma Post Office is listed in John Theobald and Lillian Theobald, Arizona Territory: Post Offices and Postmasters, 1863 to 1912 (Phoenix: Arizona Historical Foundation, 1961), 114.

44. Hodge's descriptions were extensively copied by other writers, such as by California journalist Richard J. Hinton in his Hand-book to Arizona (1878), 382—83 and 418—22, or abridged, as in Prescott editor Patrick Hamilton's The Resources of Arizona (Prescott: n.p., 1881), 351, and in The History of Arizona Territory (San Francisco; W.W. Elliot and Co., 1884), 125—26. The authors use the name Montezuma Well, but refer to the cliff dwelling on Beaver Creek without using a name.

45. Hiram C. Hodge, Arizona As It Is (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1877); reprint, Arizona As It Was (Chicago: The Rio Grande Press,1967), 191—95 (page references are to reprint edition).

46. Ibid., 240—41.

47. William "Bucky" O. O'Neill, Central Arizona: For Homes, for Health, for Wealth (Prescott: Hoof and Horn, 1887), 9-11, 30-33, 120.

48. Walter J. Hoffman, "Ethnographic Observations," in Tenth Annual Report of the United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories. Embracing Colorado and Parts of Adjacent Territories (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1878), 477—78.

49. Ibid., 477—79.

50. Edgar Alexander Mearns, "Ancient Dwellings of the Rio Verde Valley," The Popular Science Monthly 37 (October 1890): 751.

51. Ibid., 755.

52. Ibid., 755—57. Mearns's field notes and artifact collection from his Montezuma Castle excavations are still housed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

53. Albert H. Schroeder to Custodian, Tuzigoot National Monument, 25 December 1947, Tuzigoot National Monument Fact File, Clarkdale, Arizona. Schroeder's memo was based on information he gathered while looking through the notes and collections made by Dr. Mearns in the Verde Valley in the 1880s, now located in the American Museum of Natural History, New York.

54. The Tuzigoot site was next investigated in 1933 when the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce sought prehistoric materials for display at the planned Smoki Museum in Prescott. Earl Jackson originally proposed the Tuzigoot site, and the excavation work was completed under the direction of Louis Caywood and Edward Spicer.

55. Mearns, "Ancient Dwellings," 746.

56. Ibid., 763.

57. Mindeleff was the first professional archeologist to do work in the Verde Valley, but it appears that both Frank Cushing of the Smithsonian and Adolph Bandelier were in the area in the early 1880s. Reference to their presence in the area can be found in Weekly Arizona Miner. 29 July 1881, 3, and Arizona Silver Belt, 19 May 1883, 3.

58. Cosmos Mindeleff, "Aboriginal Remains in the Verde Valley, Arizona," in 13th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1896), 179—261.

59. Jesse Walter Fewkes, "Archeological Expedition to Arizona in 1895," in 17th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1898). 519—46. His later research appeared in "Antiquities of the Upper Verde River and Walnut Canyon Valleys, Arizona," in 28th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1912).

60. Robert H. Lister and Florence C. Lister, Those Who Came Before (Tucson: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1983), 143—44.


A Past Preserved in Stone:
A History of Montezuma Castle National Monument

©2002, Western National Parks Association
protas/chap1e.htm — 27-Nov-2002