THREATS AND RESPONSES
The Preservation and Protection of Ruins in the Verde Valley
1. James William Tourney, "Cliff- and
Cave-Dwellers of Central Arizona," Science 20 (11 November 1892),
2. Ibid., 26970.
3. Among the articles on the ruins
appearing during this period were Charles Lummis, "Montezuma's Castle"
and "Montezuma's Well," both of which appeared in his column "Strange
Corners of Our Country," St. Nicholas 19 (July 1892): 7018;
Sharlot M. Hall, "The Cliff-Dwellings of the Lower Verde Valley,
Northern Arizona," Archaeologist 3 (April 1893): 11922;
Charles F. Lummis, "Montezuma's Castle," Land of Sunshine 6
(January 1897): 7073; Charles F. Lummis, "Montezuma's Well,"
Land of Sunshine 6 (February 1897): 1036; Sharlot M. Hall,
"Prehistoric Fancy-work," Land of Sunshine 8 (April 1898):
22123; "The Rescue of Montezuma's Castle," Land of Sunshine
10 (December 1898): 4445.
4. For more on the early
photographers of Arizona, see Jeremy Rowe, Photographers in Arizona:
18501920: A History and Directory (Nevada City, Calif.: Carl
Mautz Publishing, 1997) and Robert L. Spude, "Shadow Catchers: A
Portrait of Arizona's Pioneer Photographers, 18631893," Journal
of Arizona History 30 (autumn 1989): 23350.
5. Lummis, "Montezuma's Castle,"
Land of Sunshine 6 (January 1897), 73.
6. F. G. Steenberg, "Montezuma Castle
in 1894," Southwestern National Monuments, supplement (November
7. Ibid., 401.
8. S. J. Palmer Jr., "Montezuma
Castle in 1896," Southwestern National Monuments, supplement
(January 1940), 63.
9. The Mancos Times, 20 March
1896, quoted in Frank McNitt, Richard Wetherill: Pioneer Explorer of
Southwestern Ruins (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press,
10. Articles on the discovery of
prehistoric sites and the removal of valuable artifacts were featured in
papers such as the Coconino Sun, which also ran coverage on the
efforts to protect ancient cultural resources. The looting of sites was
common during the 1880s and 1890s, and was frequently written about in
the papers because readers were curious about the type and value of
discovered artifacts. Examples of such articles include "Aztec Remains
Result of Excavations Being Made on the Verde," Arizona Gazette,
8 November 1880; "An Ancient Burying Ground: What It Yielded Up to a
Prospector for Relics of Antiquity," Coconino Sun, 31 December
1898; "Pre-Historic Arizonans: Some Remarkable Discoveries Made in the
Vicinity of the Verde Valley," Coconino Sun, 8 April 1899.
11. The incorporators of the
association were Dr. Joshua Miller (president), Dr. James McNaughton
(secretary and treasurer), Col. Charles W. Johnstone Sr., Harry Z. Zuck,
Edmund W. Wells Jr., Thomas G. Norris, and C. W. Crouse. (Source: David
Wilcox's personal notes on the Arizona Antiquarian Association.)
12. One of Miller's exploration
trips was detailed in his article "A Visit to Tusayan," which appeared
in Arizona Educator 2 (October 1895): 910. Miller noted
that he was required to secure a permit from the Department of the
Interior for the excavation of the Tusayan ruins, which were on public
lands. However, it seemed that others had previously been to the site;
he wrote that except for the artifacts in his personal collection, most
other items from the Tusayan ruins ended up in "eastern or foreign
museums" or in the hands of curio dealers. Such experiences surely made
Miller feel more strongly about preserving Arizona antiquities and
precipitated his involvement with the Arizona Antiquarian Association
and the efforts to establish a museum for the preservation and display
of artifacts from around the territory.
13. Byron Cummings, "Arizona
Archaeological and Historical Society, 19161917," Manuscript
Series 200, box 6, folder 69, Arizona Historical Society, Tucson.
14. Article appearing in the
Oasis, 1897, quoted in David R. Wilcox, Frank Midvale's
Investigation of the Site of La Ciudad (Phoenix: Arizona Department
of Transportation, 1987), 16.
15. An excellent overview of the
activities and members of the Antiquarian Association is provided in
Wilcox, Frank Midvale's Investigation, 1619. Other
references are found in "The Arizona Antiquarian Society," Natural
Science News 1 (1 February 1896), 4; "The Arizona Antiquarian
Association," Arizona Educator 1 (10 January 1896), 10; "The
Arizona Antiquarian Association," Land of Sunshine 6 (January
16. Frank C. Reid, letter to the
editor of the Coconino Sun, 12 November 1896.
17. Frank C. Reid, letter to the
editor of the Flagstaff Sun-Democrat, 1 April 1897.
18. It is unclear who took part in
the Montezuma Castle repair expedition besides Miller. A brief note on
the association's work in a newspaper from 7 April 1897 mentioned Gus
Williams (J. A. Rokohl) and Mr. DeMora as two of the people helping to
make repairs to the Castle. Source: Sharlot Hall Museum Archives,
Prescott, Arizona, clippings file, folder 21.
19. Dr. Joshua Miller, "The
Montezuma Castle Repair Expedition," The Antiquarian 1 (September
20. The ledger book for the Miller
Collection, now held at the Arizona State Museum, lists artifacts
gathered from Montezuma Castle as well as from other sites in the Verde
21. David R. Wilcox, Frank
Midvale's Investigation, 1619; for a history of the Arizona
Archaeological and Historical Society (and the Arizona Historical and
Archaeological Society), see Bernice Johnston, "Fifty Years of the
Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society," Kiva 32 (December
1966): 4253. A list of contributors for the purchase of the Miller
Collection is noted in Byron Cummings, "Arizona Archaeological and
Historical Association." Seventy dollars was turned over by the defunct
Historical and Archaeological Society for the acquisition of the
collection. Individual members of the society made up the difference,
with contributions of between ten and one hundred dollars.
22. An interesting contrast to
Miller is contemporary Dwight Heard, who purchased property with
archeological sites, excavated these sites, and then created the
well-known Heard Museum in Phoenix. For a discussion of Heard's
activities in archeology and the founding of his museum, see Ann E.
Marshall and Mary H. Brennan, The Heard Museum: History and
Collections (Phoenix: Heard Museum, 1995).
23. For a detailed discussion on the
background and creation of the Antiquities Act, see chapter 3 of Hal
Rothman, Preserving Different Pasts: The American National
Monuments (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989). A good
discussion of the Antiquities Act in regard to southwestern
archeological sites can also be found in chapter 3 of George M. Lubick,
Petrified Forest National Park: A Wilderness Bound in Time
(Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1996).
24. Edgar L. Hewett, Circular
Relating to Historic and Prehistoric Ruins of the Southwest and Their
Preservation (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904),
25. Sites such as Montezuma Castle,
Petrified Forest, and Devils Tower did not have the dramatic scenery
that characterized already established national parks and were
considered to be an "inferior" class of park. For a discussion about
Interior Department concern regarding inferior national parks, see
chapter 4 of Rothman, Preserving Different Pasts.
26. W. A. Richards, Washington,
D.C., to Edgar L. Hewett, Washington, D.C., 5 October 1904, reprinted in
Hewett, Circular Relating to Historic and Prehistoric Ruins of the
27. The proposed Rio Verde Forest
Reserve had been temporarily withdrawn by Secretarial Order on 14
December 1901. A 16 May 1910 Secretarial Order eventually restored the
land to the public domain, except for the portion that was part of
Montezuma Castle National Monument. This information is recorded in the
Bureau of Land Management plat maps and historical indexes, Phoenix
28. W A. Richards, Washington, D.C.,
to F. S. Breen, Flagstaff, 15 October 1904, reprinted in Hewett,
Circular Relating to Historic and Prehistoric Ruins of the
29. Special Agent George Wilson to
General Land Office, Washington, D.C., 25 July 1904, report at the
National Archives, Record Group 79, box 593.
30. An article appearing in a
journal about American Indian culture and issues in 1904 expressed
concern regarding the destruction of the ruins and provided further
evidence of the damage sustained by the Castle at this time. The article
noted that "One of the principal rooms in the great pile was completely
ruined last year by blasting open the supposed burial vaults there in
hope of getting relics for exhibition at the Pan-American exposition,
and during the past four months a great wall, which undoubtedly would
have endured a thousand years longer, fell with a crash into the canon
below, because of undermining by reckless curio seekers." See "Vandals
Destroy Our Treasures of Science," Papoose I (March 1903):
31. There is some question regarding
the status of the ownership of Montezuma Castle in the early 1900s. The
Bureau of Land Management plat mats and historical indexes list no
homestead entries or patents of this property. No mention of settlers in
Sections 16 and 17 in Wilson's report would seem to support this.
However, Mr. J. A. Rokohl (a.k.a. Gus Williams) of Prescott was reported
to be the owner of the landmark. In an article from 31 August 1899 on
Rokohl's marriage to Miss Carrie Collins, a reporter noted that the
couple left "to spend their honeymoon in Montezuma's castle which Mr.
Rokohl owns and which also he has preserved." ( Source: Sharlot Hall
Museum Archives, clippings file, folder 21). Another article referred to
Rokohl as "the First King of Montezuma Castle" (article from 7 April
1897, Sharlot Hall Museum Archives, clippings file, folder 2l). Mr.
Rokohl was a member of the Arizona Antiquarian Association and
apparently did help with the repair expedition at the Castle.
Interestingly, however, another newspaper story noted that a large metate
removed from Montezuma Castle by J. A. Pewette on 8 December 1897 was on
display at Rokohl's saloon in Prescott (Sharlot Hall Museum Archives,
clippings file, folder 21). That a member of the Antiquarian Association
would display an artifact taken from Montezuma Castle seems odd.
However, there is no clear evidence about Rokohl's claims to ownership
of the Castle.
32. Wilson to General Land Office,
25 July 1904.
33. Special Agent George Wilson to
General Land Office, 13 August 1904, report at the National Archives,
Record Group 79, box 593. William Back acquired the Well and began
homesteading there in 1879, but did not receive the deed for the
property until 1907.
34. Rothman, Preserving Different
35. Edgar L. Hewett to General Land
Office, Washington, D.C., 25 January 1905, National Archives, Record
Group 79, box 593.
36. Secretary of Agriculture James
Wilson to secretary of the interior, 12 December National Archives.
Record Group 79, box 599.
37. John McPharl, General Land
Office, to commissioner, General Land Office, 23 February 1905, National
Archives, Record Group 79, box 599; Secretary of Agriculture James
Wilson to secretary of the interior, 6 March 1905, National Archives,
Record Group 79, box 599.
38. US. Statutes at Large 34
(1906), Stat. 225.
39. Rothman, Preserving Different
40. Devils Tower was established as
the first national monument, proclaimed on 24 September 19116.