Montezuma Castle
National Monument
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Chapter 4
Development, and Promotion of Montezuma Castle National Monument

"In general I might say that the Castle is in very much better condition for the work we have done on it."

Frank Pinkley, superintendent, Southwestern Monuments, to Stephen Mather, director, National Park Service, 1 August 1924

With the appointment of Martin Jackson as custodian of Montezuma Castle effective 16 December 1921, the monument began to receive substantially better care and protection than it had in the past. Despite the meager salary of ten dollars per month, Jackson demonstrated his dedication to the preservation of the prehistoric ruins and the emerging mission of the Southwestern National Monuments. During the course of his sixteen-year administration of the site, Jackson actively participated in the protection and improvement of the monument and made great advances in the development of its facilities. His efforts at the Castle were complemented by Frank Pinkley's tireless support and assistance. Pinkley served in 1921 as the custodian of Casa Grande and Tumacacori National Monuments, and had earned a reputation as the most outspoken advocate of the national monuments. During the mid-1920s, he made several lengthy visits to Camp Verde to assist with major repair and improvement projects at the Castle. As superintendent of the Southwestern National Monuments, Pinkley remained an ardent supporter of Montezuma Castle and continued to involve himself in issues pertaining to its administration. In a broader context, his enthusiastic campaigning on behalf of the system of national monuments generated increasing resources and attention, which helped with the ongoing efforts to protect, develop, and promote sites such as Montezuma Castle. Pinkley's vision for the national monuments and his commitment to work personally toward their improvement contributed greatly to the developments at Montezuma Castle during the administrations of Martin and Earl Jackson.

Soon after his appointment as custodian of Montezuma Castle, Martin Jackson accepted a contract for needed improvements at the monument. Frank Pinkley was impressed by Jackson's thorough completion of previous contracted work and felt confident in his ability to get the job done; it became clear that the Park Service had finally found in Jackson a reliable and capable person to manage the ruins. In early correspondence with the new custodian, Pinkley passed along some helpful hints to ease Jackson's initiation into the Park Service culture. True to his character, Pinkley emphasized his own vision of the national monuments and those responsible for them. In addition to giving advice about filing reports, interacting with visitors, and promoting other monuments, he laid out his expectations: "You are not getting paid ten dollars a month just for making four trips over to the Castle. That is leg work, which will be the small part of your duty. I want you to carry the Castle around in the back of your mind and study its problems during your spare moments. If you are really interested this way in the monument, you will be worth many times ten dollars a month to the Service and we will get some good work done up there in the next few years." [1] Frank Pinkley set high standards and placed many demands on those responsible for the national monuments. Although Park Service officials in Washington did not highly value the eclectic assortment of national monuments and devoted few resources to their care, Pinkley prized these reserved sites and worked diligently to accomplish as much as possible with the limited staff and funds at his disposal. He set a personal example for the other custodians by his dynamic, energetic, and efficient management of the Casa Grande ruins. [2] Although Jackson served only as a part-time custodian at a nominal salary, he lived up to Pinkley's expectations and did much to improve conditions at Montezuma Castle.

Martin Jackson came to the Verde Valley in 1912 with his wife, Ada, and their two boys, Earl and Norman. During the roughly ten years before his appointment as custodian of the monument, Jackson lived near many of the region's archeological resources and developed an appreciation for them. He and his family resided on a homestead approximately one mile from Montezuma Castle along Beaver Creek and visited the ruins from time to time. The Jacksons made a living by truck gardening and raising chickens. A skilled house painter, Martin supplemented the family income by taking painting jobs around the Verde Valley. After accepting the custodianship of the Castle, he continued his work activities and began a routine of inspecting the monument once a week, interacting with visitors, and writing monthly reports. The periodic repairs and improvements at the monument also required some of his time and brought additional income to the Jackson household. [3]

The Park Service did not have funds to pay for resident custodians at most of the national monuments at this time; in 1921, for example, Frank Pinkley at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument served as the only full-time custodian. The agency reserved only a small portion of its budget for repair and improvement work at these sites. [4] NPS budgets from the 1920s reveal the disparity between the neglect of the national monuments and the development of the national parks. For example, in 1923, the agency budgeted only $12,500 for the administration of the entire system of twenty-nine national monuments. By 1927, the situation had scarcely improved; less than $15,000 was allocated to Frank Pinkley for the management of the eighteen southwestern monuments under his supervision. In contrast to the minimal funding for the monuments, some of the larger and more spectacular national parks received immense appropriationsincluding Mesa Verde, $72,300; Grand Canyon, $132,000; and Yellowstone, $398,000. Even national parks that attracted relatively few visitors and that NPS officials regarded as insignificant received more money and attention than all the national monuments together. [5]

The fiscal situation during the 1920s reflected the values of the agency's leadership, which advanced the goal of developing the national parks while ignoring the "second-class" monuments. Frank Pinkley frequently voiced his frustration with the blatant neglect of the national monuments and articulated his own vision of the protection and promotion of these sites. Although NPS officials did little to directly address Pinkley's concerns about the overlooked monuments, they saw the opportunity to delegate to him responsibility for all of the monuments located in Arizona, New Mexico, southwestern Colorado, and southern Utah. Pinkley's resourceful management of Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and his constant attention to issues at the other monuments had already proved his commitment to the cause of the national monuments. His personal style, knowledge of the region, and strong belief in the value and potential of the neglected sites made him the ideal person to oversee their administration. After some internal discussion about his place in the agency and consideration of him for the post of superintendent at Grand Canyon National Park, officials appointed Frank Pinkley as superintendent of the fourteen Southwestern National Monuments during the NPS Superintendents' Conference at Yellowstone National Park in October 1923. By placing Pinkley in charge, Park Service officials relieved themselves of the trouble of managing these monuments and focused their attention on issues of development at the national parks. [6]

Pinkley's appointment marked only a symbolic commitment by the Park Service to the care of the national monuments; the funding and attention they received changed little during the next several years. Pinkley continued to plead with NPS officials about the need for greater resources to protect and preserve the vulnerable monuments properly, only to see them repeatedly overlooked in agency budgets. Yet the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication with which he approached his responsibilities as superintendent compensated for the lack of NPS resources and consideration. The example of his own efforts and his warm and sincere personality helped the "Boss," as he was affectionately called, motivate the crew of volunteer and part-time custodians to realize his vision of the Southwestern National Monuments. His combination of high expectations and personal support drew out the best in the men assigned to administer the various monuments.

Though the Park Service refused to finance a resident full-time custodian to manage Montezuma Castle National Monument, Pinkley was able to obtain limited funds for repair work. Shortly after his appointment as custodian, Martin Jackson accepted a contract for forty-five dollars to undertake various projects at the monument. By February 1922, he had repaired and cleaned the upper and lower trails to the Castle, improved the road between the state highway and the upper trail, reinforced and repainted the ladders leading up the cliff to the Castle, repaired the two large holes dug by vandals and restored the affected walls, extended the drainage ditch on the mesa directly above the Castle, and installed signs warning visitors of the dangerous conditions in the unstable "addition" section of the Castle. [7]

Such repair work proved a poor substitute for more consistent management of the site. Frank Pinkley observed: "We will never have things right at the Montezuma Castle until we have funds enough to put a resident custodian in charge, but with Mr. Jackson in charge on this part time basis, we are doing all we can now and the affairs of that monument are in better condition than at any time in the last twenty years I have known it." [8] Similar to the situation of most of the other southwestern monuments at this time, the administration of Montezuma Castle was sustained by the dedicated efforts of its part-time custodian and the constant support of Frank Pinkley. Repair work only corrected the severe problems at the monument and fixed the damage that vandals had done to the ruins. The shortcomings of this policy became readily apparent; within a few weeks of his repair of the holes dug out by vandals, Jackson reported that someone had removed reeds from the ceilings of one of the interior rooms of the Castle. Stopgap measures did not replace the degree of protection afforded by a full-time custodian. Frustrated by the ongoing problem of vandalism, Jackson observed that "we don't stand much chance to catch these persons at their work when we keep a man in charge only one day in the week." [9]

The rising popularity of automobile travel in the 1920s and the subsequent increases in tourism to national parks and monuments added to the challenges of management at such sites. [10] Martin Jackson noted in his 1922 annual report that visitation to Montezuma Castle had doubled in each of the previous three years. After the completion of the new road linking the county highway to the foot of the Castle ladders in November 1923, the number of visitors continued to rise dramatically. [11] The increasing visitation to the monument meant a greater potential for vandalism and the heightened impact of more people traveling through the ruins.

In what was becoming an annual ritual during the 1920s, Frank Pinkley pleaded with the NPS leadership for more money for full-time custodians and improvements for the national monuments, only to be given minimal sums for their administration. He challenged the agency's priorities and justified his requests for expenditures for the monuments based on their inherent qualities, their need for preservation, and the significant numbers of visitors they attracted. However, the Park Service continued to favor the development of the system of national parks and granted only token appropriations for the administration of the national monuments. The agency allocated only $175 for improvements to the trails and ladders at Montezuma Castle for the 1922 fiscal year. Such minimal funding covered only the superficial work needed; the general condition of the ruins continued to worsen.

In 1922, the Park Service did slightly enlarge the budget for the monument. Concerned about the neglect of Montezuma Castle and its unrealized potential as a tourist destination, Grace Sparkes, secretary of the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce, wrote to Representative Carl Hayden to complain about the lack of NPS attention to issues at the site. Hayden took the matter up with Acting Director Arno Cammerer and inquired why the monument received such sparse funding. [12] At nearly the same time, Montezuma Castle became the subject of national interest when the ruins were selected as the setting for a major motion picture. The Universal Motion Picture Company obtained a permit from the NPS Washington office to film scenes for one of its upcoming Western action thrillers and sent a crew to the monument in July 1922. According to Earl Jackson, son of custodian Martin Jackson, the ladders leading up to the Castle were removed for a few hours during the filming of several scenes and were later replaced. When the film, The Galloping Kid, starring Hoot Gibson, played in Camp Verde in September 1923, unusually large crowds showed up to view it. The Castle also gained notoriety when the 1922 Report of the National Park Service featured a photograph and description of the prehistoric ruins. The local and national attention paid to Montezuma Castle at this time served in two ways to benefit the fiscal outlook for the monument: the publicity attracted greater numbers of visitors to the ruins, for whom additional resources would be needed; and the spotlight on the ruins emphasized the disrepair and dilapidation they had suffered, and supported a course of action to rectify this situation. [13]

In response to this new attention and Frank Pinkley's persistent requests, the NPS raised the amount of funding for the administration of Montezuma Castle in order to take care of the long overdue stabilization and repair of the ruins. Not since the 1897 efforts of the Arizona Antiquarian Association had any large-scale stabilization of the Castle been undertaken. The subsequent impact of visitor traffic, damage by vandals, and erosion by natural forces had taken their toll on the prehistoric dwelling and made serious repair work imperative. The agency budgeted three hundred dollars for Montezuma Castle for fiscal year 1923. This sum proved insufficient for all of the needed work, but it allowed Pinkley and Martin Jackson to begin the repair of the most seriously damaged areas of the Castle. During the next three years, the two men used the annual NPS allotments for a number of different projects that contributed to the preservation of the ruins and to the safety and accessibility of the monument.

For several weeks each summer between 1923 and 1925, Frank Pinkley left his post at Casa Grande to assist Jackson with repairs at Montezuma Castle. Atop a tall, precariously placed ladder, they patched the front walls of the structure with buckets full of mud and rocks. The dangerous nature of the project scared away all potential contractors, leaving Jackson and Pinkley to do the work themselves. They hired a crew of three local American Indian men to haul the rock and mud supplies up to the Castle for use in the repair of the damaged walls. In the summer of 1925, Martin's son Earl, then just fifteen years old, was also hired to assist with the stabilization efforts. [14]

The National Park Service received much more than its money's worth for the immense amount of work done at Montezuma Castle during these three summers. With limited funds yet a wealth of dedication and enthusiasm at their disposal, Pinkley, Jackson, and crew significantly prolonged the preservation of the ruins. They repaired and replastered the front wall of the lower two-thirds of the Castle, strengthened the "addition" section, stabilized parts of the cliff ledges, repaired damaged wall and floor sections throughout the structure, restored doorways and lintels, removed the disfigured corrugated iron roof put in by the Arizona Antiquarian Association, rebuilt portions of the roof, cleaned out the interiors of the front rooms, and scrubbed off hundreds of names written on the walls. Certain aspects of the repairs proved to be extremely intense and dangerous, such as the "mudslinging" required to strengthen the front walls (figure 18). Frank Pinkley described the difficulties of this work: "It took 1,800 bucket loads of mud and rocks to do this and it was a rather ticklish piece of work looking up at the footing of that wall over our heads for nearly four days. We were working on a three foot ledge quite a ways up in the air and if the wall abovewhich was hanging to the cliff by its eyebrowslet go without cracking or warning us we stood a fine chance to get brushed off onto the slope below with ten thousand pounds of material coming down on top of us." [15]

Montezuma Castle
Figure 18. Repairing the Castle walls, ca. mid-1920s. Montezuma Castle National Monument administrative office, photograph files.

Despite the hazards and challenges of the job, both Jackson and Pinkley agreed that their efforts were worthwhile and greatly benefited the monument. The three summers of concentrated repair work restored the ruins to their best condition in many years and prepared the site to handle better the growing numbers of visitors. The summer repairs called extra attention to the ruins, and the two custodians actively promoted the monument in the warm, personal style that was fast becoming the trademark of the Southwestern National Monuments. In a letter praising Pinkley's many contributions to Montezuma Castle, Jackson observed that "his presence here created a local interest and pride which has heretofore been somewhat lacking in this immediate vicinity, and you can realize what local pride means in the protection of the monument, especially when the custodian is not there all of the time, as is the case here." [16] Pinkley also expressed his satisfaction with the care Jackson gave to the monument and again recommended that the Park Service hire him as a full-time custodian. Agency officials continued to maintain that the expense of a permanent custodian was unwarranted at this time. In any event, the improved conditions of the ruins and the recent support from the local community signaled the beginning of better times for the monument. [17]

At the time of the repair of the prehistoric ruins, it became clear that the rest of the monument seriously needed other improvements. In the early 1920s, practically no infrastructure existed to accommodate visitors and facilitate their travel to the monument. Both Pinkley and Jackson recognized the need to develop facilities to make Montezuma Castle more accessible to the public. As soon as the agency made available some funds for development, Jackson began work to improve the general conditions at the monument. The construction of a new road was his first project. Before 1923, two primitive access roads connected the state highway to rough trails leading to the Castle. These roads presented numerous difficulties for visitors, especially in times of bad weather. Jackson contacted Yavapai County officials about the possibility of building a new road. Although it was to be located primarily within the boundaries of the monument, the county agreed to build and pay for its construction. In November 1923, the county road crew completed work on the new Montezuma Castle entrance road. It passed from the highway north of the Castle down around the cliff to the foot of the ladders. At this time, Jackson relocated the signs indicating the location of the monument to the new entrance. The new route to Montezuma Castle made travel easier and led to considerable increases in visitation. [18]

Jackson then turned his attention to other related matters. In 1924, he and son Earl began digging a well in front of the Castle because Beaver Creek, which did not flow year round near the Castle, had served as the only source of fresh water at the monument. After many complications and delays, Jackson finished the well and installed a hand pump in February 1926. He also built a campground for visitors and set up a display at his home for artifacts recovered during the cleaning and repair of the ruins. [19]

Jackson took a personal interest in the preservation and promotion of Montezuma Castle and went well beyond his duties as a part-time custodian to improve the conditions there and to make visitors' experiences as fulfilling as possible. In preparation for the busy summer tourist season, he devoted considerable time and effort to the annual cleaning and repairing of the Castle. He also earned local communities' respect and support by giving informational talks and tours of the ruins to various Verde Valley groups. However, Jackson regularly visited the monument only once or twice a week and could not provide the consistent care the ruins required. Continued reports of vandalism at Montezuma Castle during the mid-1920s underlined the need for full-time supervision. Frank Pinkley persisted in his pleas to the Park Service for a full-time custodian at the monument. [20]

The agency allotted Jackson five hundred dollars in 1926 for the construction of a residence at the monument. It reasoned that if he and his family lived on-site and spent more time at the monument, the ruins would be better protected. The family purchased lumber with the money and donated their labor for the construction of a two-room shelter cabin located in the middle of what is now the monument parking lot. Built from lime mortar and boulders collected from Beaver Creek, the cabin served as the Jackson family home beginning in 1927 (figure 19). The Jacksons decided to exhibit various items of archeological interest for visitors and used their living room as a museum during the daytime. Earl Jackson recalled that the famous child mummy, found near the Clear Creek ruins, was placed in an orange crate shaped to fit the tiny body. During the day, the mummy was exhibited on top of the family's old Singer sewing machine; at night, to prevent damage to the mummy, Earl slid the crate under the cot on which he slept. The Jackson family, of course, wanted a private space for their living quarters, so after the completion of the shelter cabin, they built a new structure down the road and moved the museum displays there. Within a couple of years, the Jacksons began construction yet again, adding a two-bedroom house above and joining the rear of the new structure. At this point, they moved into the new building and fashioned the east end of the structure, below their residence, into a concession shop that sold postcards, hand-tinted photographs of the Castle, refreshments, and various American Indian arts and crafts to monument visitors. Ada Jackson oversaw the operations of the privately run shop, which included making trips to the Navajo and Hopi Reservations to purchase items such as jewelry, blankets, and pottery for resale in the store. Years later, the family converted the old shelter cabin for permanent use as a museum and office. [21]

Figure 19. Shelter cabin and later monument museum. Photograph by George Grant, 29 November 1945, Montezuma Castle National Monument administrative office, photograph files.

Shortly after the Jacksons moved onto monument land, Martin began to assist Frank Pinkley with various ruin stabilization jobs at other southwestern monuments. These projects assured Jackson employment with the Park Service and relieved him from trying to save the family's failing chicken business. However, as he became involved with these other jobs, Jackson had less time to devote to his duties at Montezuma Castle. To help out with the expected large summer crowds, Pinkley requested that a temporary ranger be assigned to the Castle for the summer of 1928, and Earl Jackson was hired as a seasonal ranger, becoming the first full-time employee of Montezuma Castle. For the formidable salary of $125 per month, he worked twelve hours and more each day looking after the monument, guiding visitors through the Castle, and helping with the annual cleanup and repair of the ruins. At the end of the summer, however, Earl resigned from his position as ranger and returned to school at the University of Arizona. Shortly afterward, on 1 September 1928, Martin Jackson entered duty as the full-time custodian of the monument at a salary of $1,860 per year. Finally, after years of inadequate management and countless requests to the Park Service for better funding, Montezuma Castle National Monument began to receive the care and protection it deserved on a regular basis. [22]

As the Park Service began to provide the long-overdue resources for the management of Montezuma Castle during the late 1920s, archeological sites across the Verde Valley attracted much attention from the general public and from professional archeologists. In January 1928, C. A. Clark, a resident of Prescott, brought a well-preserved child mummy wrapped in fragments of cotton cloth to Montezuma Castle for display in the monument museum. Later that year, Clark requested the return of the mummy, which he claimed to have found on private property. When Park Service officials learned that Clark had actually removed the burial from a site located on a national forest reserve, they refused his request and obtained permission from the Department of Agriculture to keep the mummy on display at the Castle. [23] This incident generated considerable publicity throughout the Verde Valley and prompted many local residents to search for prehistoric artifacts of their own. Martin Jackson commented on this unfortunate situation: "Ever since the mummy was found there has been an awful epidemic of digging by pot-hunters up and down the Verde Valley. Everybody and his dog has looked for a mummy, and I am sure that they were not all completely disappointed, even though they did not find a mummy. If something is not done soon, I am afraid there will be a sadly depleted number of interesting ruins in the Valley." [24]

The mummy incident had both negative and positive repercussions. The vandalism and pothunting inspired by Clark's find stripped many previously unexcavated ruins of their valuable archeological artifacts and led to the damage and destruction of many fragile sites. At the same time, the monument museum registered record numbers of visitors, most of whom came to see the famous child mummy. Jackson used the mummy display as an interpretive and educational tool for talks with the numerous visitors about the preservation of antiquities and the scientific information they yielded when excavated by properly trained authorities. In addition, local individuals donated to the museum interesting collections of artifacts and remainssome of which may have been obtained during the recent excavations. The Park Service would have preferred that these objects remained unexcavated. Nonetheless, the donations helped to build the growing museum collection and furnished material for educational displays on the prehistory of the region. [25]

Local pothunters' wanton destruction of prehistoric sites captured the attention of professional archeologists and prompted a wave of new research efforts in the Verde Valley to salvage resources and collect information about the prehistory of the region before they were forever lost. During the late 1920s, however, debate erupted in the archeological community regarding jurisdiction of the resources located within Arizona. In response to the increase in the number of expeditions to Arizona by private and federal institutions that often removed artifacts out of the state, supporters of Arizona-based institutions pushed for greater state control over archeological explorations done in Arizona. They encouraged the introduction of State Senate Bill 97, "An Act to prevent further despoliation of the pre-historical sections of Arizona." Among its provisions, the revised version of this bill stipulated that 50 percent of all collections made on federal or state lands in Arizona be donated to some public museum located in Arizona and that any proposed exploration or excavation obtain a permit from the board of supervisors of the county in question and from the later-established state archeological commission. Governor Hunt signed the bill into law on 12 March 1927. In the midst of the controversies surrounding the interpretation of this law, a number of recently formed Arizona archeological institutions began competing for control of the state's prehistoric resources. The feuding between institutions, often stemming from regional differences, sparked the rise in archeological activity throughout Arizona in the late 1920s and early 1930s. [26]

During this time, individuals and institutions with different federal, state, and private affiliations began a variety of archeological projects in the Verde Valley. Although only some of these projects directly involved the ruins at Montezuma Castle National Monument, all of them contributed to the general understanding of the prehistory of the region and in some way affected the management of the monument. As researchers discovered more about the ancient people and cultures of the Verde Valley, the National Park Service expanded its preservation, promotion, and interpretation activities in the area. Thus, a summary of the more significant archeological research efforts from this period provides a picture of the context in which NPS advances occurred.

In the first of these projects, Earl Morris, representing the American Museum of Natural History, investigated the prehistoric Camp Verde salt mines in 1926, paying special attention to the recovered artifacts. To contextualize his findings, he also conducted a small-scale survey near Camp Verde and excavated one of the larger caves in the vicinity of the Clear Creek ruins. [27] The next project, undertaken during the spring of 1927, involved the partial excavation of the Castle A ruins located adjacent to Montezuma Castle. George Boundey, a ranger at Casa Grande National Monument, excavated the floor remnants and caves of the third, fourth, and fifth stories, and parts of the first and second stories of the ruins with the assistance of two unnamed engineers. Boundey placed the collected artifacts in labeled paper bags, but made no report of his work for the Park Service. [28] Within a year of Boundey's excavations, Frank Pinkley wrote the first comprehensive description of Montezuma Castle. The booklet offered his interesting interpretations of room use, construction, and building sequence. [29]

The early 1930s saw the first systematic surveys of portions of the Verde Valley. Earl Jackson, a graduate student under Byron Cummings at the University of Arizona and the son of the Montezuma Castle custodian Martin Jackson, performed an archeological survey of the entire Verde drainage area for his master's thesis. In this work, Jackson specified the location of numerous sites and made comparisons of sherds, burials, and artifacts that he discovered. [30] In a more focused survey, Winifred Gladwin and Harold S. Gladwin of the Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation attempted to identify the different prehistoric cultural groups present in the Verde Valley. Their work represented the first effort to study the ceramics of the region closely and proposed some interesting ideas linking ceramic variation and cultural manifestation. [31] Other surveys done at this time in the region included Frank Midvale's investigations of the extensive system of prehistoric irrigation canals and W. G. Attwell's survey and mapping of the Clear Creek ruins near Camp Verde for the National Park Service. [32]

In addition to the survey work taking place, prominent prehistoric cultural sites in the Verde Valley and other locations in Yavapai County experienced a rise in the number of excavations performed in the early 1930s. Byron Cummings had an active hand in much of this work and helped arrange excavation projects by the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona and by the Arizona State Museum. One such project involved Clarence R. King's work at the Hidden House ruins. King, an amateur archeologist, received the backing of the University of Arizona Department of Anthropology and in 1933 conducted excavations of the four-room masonry structure located in Sycamore Canyon in the Upper Verde Valley. King went on to assist Louis R. Caywood and Edward H. Spicer, graduate students who studied under Cummings, with their later excavation work at the King and Fitzmaurice ruins. At both of these sites, Cummings directed the research efforts and secured support for the projects from the Arizona State Museum and the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce Archaeological Committee (YCCCAC). The sponsors of the excavations hoped to learn new information about the producers of Black-on-grey pottery and to recover artifacts for display in the recently opened Smoki Public Museum in Prescott. [33]

Similar motivations influenced the excavation of the Tuzigoot ruins sponsored by Arizona State Museum and the YCCCAC. This effort received federal emergency relief funds from the Civil Works Administration (CWA). The Tuzigoot project, led by Caywood and Spicer, accomplished between 1933 and 1934 the most complete excavation in the region to date, an analysis of the architecture of the pueblo, and the collection and processing of numerous artifacts and remains. The YCCCAC and the Smoki People, an organization of white Prescott businessmen and women dedicated to the preservation of aspects of Native American culture, also helped establish a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project for the construction of a museum building at the Tuzigoot site. Prompted by the active campaigning of Grace Sparkes and other Verde Valley boosters, the National Park Service assumed the protection and management of the newly developed site. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the proclamation establishing Tuzigoot National Monument on 25 July 1939. [34]

During this period of concentrated archeological activity in the Verde Valley, the NPS also participated in the excavation of local ruins. Established as a CWA project, the excavation of Castle A at Montezuma Castle National Monument took place between December 1933 and April 1934 under the direction of Earl Jackson and Sallie Van Valkenburgh. The CWA research work employed a crew of ten people in addition to the two supervisors to excavate and remove dirt and fallen wall material from the base remnants of the large cliff dwelling located about one hundred yards southwest of Montezuma Castle. By the end of the project, the crew had excavated seven large rooms, cleaned out two previously excavated rooms, stabilized weak sections of standing walls, restored the walls and ceilings of one exemplary room, and test-trenched and excavated a small burial ground in front of the ruins (figures 20 and 21). The crew also contributed to the improvement of the monument grounds, using the large quantities of dirt and rock removed from Castle A to fill an arroyo that cut through the monument picnic grounds and had long been a nuisance. Most significantly, however, the excavation of Castle A supplied the Park Service with interesting new information about the ancient inhabitants of the area and offered another archeological feature at the monument for public presentation and interpretation. This endeavor, together with several subsequent federally sponsored projects, brought great changes to the management of Montezuma Castle National Monument. [35]

Castle A ruins
Figure 20. Castle A from the east, after the second tier of rooms was cleaned. From the report by Martin L. Jackson entitled, "Report on Montezuma Castle C.W.A. Work, Federal Project No. 5," National Archives, Record Group 79, box 2289, folder 619 (Civil Works).

Castle A ruins
Figure 21. Castle A ruins in the process of being cleaned, showing restored Room 5 (background) with other unrestored rooms (foreground).

The Great Depression and the New Deal programs of the Roosevelt administration had a tremendous impact on Department of the Interior and NPS operations. The national monuments benefited substantially from the large-scale federal involvement in emergency relief and development programs in the 1930s. The Park Service, which received increased appropriations and massive emergency funding, finally addressed the concerns Frank Pinkley had raised throughout the 1920s regarding the needs of the monuments. The agency began to rethink its previous policies toward the monuments and made provisions for the development and protection of many of the disregarded sites. The newly funded programs allowed national monuments such as Montezuma Castle to become integral parts of the Park Service system for the first time. The increase in expenditures of the 1930s also contributed to the movement within the agency toward greater centralized control and professional administration of protected sites. [36]

At the time of the excavations of the Castle A ruins, Montezuma Castle also received funding for several projects to improve the grounds and facilities at the monument. These projects prepared the monument to accommodate better the increasing number of visitors and helped compensate for the decades of NPS neglect. Yet the planning and implementation processes reflected the growing rift between the local Southwestern National Monuments staff and the new crop of agency specialists. Plans for the new developments at Montezuma Castle began soon after Frank Pinkley escorted a party of high-ranking NPS officialsincluding Director Stephen Mather, Chief Landscape Architect Thomas Vint, and Grand Canyon superintendent Hillory Tillotsonto Montezuma Castle in August 1930. The group noted that the parking lot, campgrounds, restroom facilities, and roads needed attention. Shortly after their visit, agency officials authorized the planning of monument developments and sent landscape architects and engineers to inspect the grounds and report on what they perceived to be the needed improvements. [37]

Agency specialists' plans, however, did not always agree with the ideas held by those with a more intimate knowledge of the Castle. In particular, Frank Pinkley voiced his displeasure with some of the decisions such "outsiders" had made about developments. Pinkley's frustrations stemmed from both his desire to implement his own plans for improvements and his annoyance with the increasing oversight and centralized control of matters pertaining to "his" group of monuments. Yet with the dramatic changes taking place within the agency in the early 1930s, Pinkley no longer had the same authority over the Southwestern National Monuments that he once enjoyed. In correspondence with NPS Chief Engineer F. A. Kittredge, he complained about the plans for Montezuma Castle laid out by the crews from the Landscape and Engineering Divisions: "I would like to put in my own estimate, using the Engineering and Landscaping Divisions as consulting divisions only, letting my estimates stand or fall before the Director and the Budget and then, after getting some of the money, call you and the Landscapers in to expend it, just as we get our other money, but I haven't time nor energy to protest against the method in use." [38]

Pinkley feared that the money would be lost if work did not commence, so he begrudgingly accepted the plans for the scheduled improvements for Montezuma Castle. However, he made clear that he wanted to have a more active role in future plans for the monument. In spite of Pinkley's objections, the Landscape and Engineering Divisions directed the planning and completion of the new developments at the monument. The improvements to Montezuma Castle loosely followed general plans Assistant Landscape Architect H. A. Kreinkamp had first laid out in 1931. He had suggested moving the parking lot from in front of the cliff in order to clear a "sacred area" for the viewing of the Castle, building an administration building and comfort station, constructing safer ladders for access to the Castle, and stabilizing cliff ledges that showed signs of weakening. Several of Kreinkamp's ideas were implemented at different stages of the developments at Montezuma Castle during the 1930s. [39]

In March 1932, the Park Service installed new ladders to replace the old ones that had been in use since 1916. A crew of four local men helped Custodian Jackson build and erect ladders to connect the base of the cliff with the entrance of the Castle. Jackson also had the ladders painted to match the color of the limestone cliffs. In April, he added a locking door on one of the entrance ladders to prevent people from entering the Castle without a guide, thus providing the ruins an extra degree of protection. Later that year, a contract was awarded to W. Edens of Cottonwood for the construction of new restroom facilities. The new comfort station, completed in September 1932, was built along the foot trail to the Castle and was designed to adjoin the planned administration building. [40]

NPS architects and engineers also made final plans for a large CWA project at Montezuma Castle. Agency officials utilized emergency relief money to hire local unemployed citizens to carry out the long-awaited developments at the monument. Walter Attwell, the NPS engineer in charge of the project, initially experienced difficulty working with the crew that the Yavapai County Reemployment Agency had selected for duty. At this time, numerous men faced unemployment because of the July 1931 closure of the United Verde smelter at Clemenceau, one of the largest employers in the region. Some of the men enthusiastically reported for work with the county relief agency, but many others signed up expecting to do little for their pay. Attwell fired all of the delinquent laborers, most of whom came from the towns of Cottonwood and Cornville. He finally secured a crew of dependable men from the Camp Verde area, including five American Indians. In a report on the progress of the Montezuma Castle project, he commented on his labor situation: "The County's dole system has taught the destitute that the man who works receives the same pay as the man who goes fishing or the man who looks for bee trees. We are using a few Indians from Camp Verde who have proven themselves to be the best laborers we have had. They work hard, do their work well and spread no radical propaganda." [41]

Between February 1933 and March 1934, the crew of forty-three men built a new parking lot that left clear the "sacred area" in front of the Castle, erected a rubble masonry wall around the new parking lot, constructed another rubble masonry wall to protect the enlarged picnic grounds, cleared space for a new campground, and rebuilt the dangerous sections of the entrance road to the monument. In addition, the crew constructed part of a flagstone trail, helped connect a light plant engine and a two-thousand-watt generator to the museum and ranger's residence, and installed a telephone box at the monument. The one scheduled improvement that the workers did not accomplish was the construction of a revetment wall along Beaver Creek. However, Attwell purchased the necessary supplies and began work on the revetment as soon as he was able to secure more funds. [42]

New development of the facilities at Montezuma Castle continued in June 1934 as the Public Works Administration (PWA) sponsored additional relief projects. Under the supervision of Engineer Walter Attwell and Foreman Harry Brown, a crew of eight men hired through the county reemployment agency worked over the next several months on a number of needed improvements at the monument. By October 1934, the men had completed construction of the revetment wall to protect the Castle trail from the flooding of Beaver Creek, a garage and equipment shed for storage of a government car and monument supplies, a septic tank and sewer line, and an interpretive trail passing in front of the Castle cliff and the recently excavated Castle A ruins. In addition, the crew helped repair the still rough monument entrance road. [43]

The CWA- and PWA-sponsored projects gradually realized the plans NPS officials had drafted for Montezuma Castle. Assistant Superintendent Clinton Rose visited the Castle in 1933 and formulated a six-year development program for Montezuma Castle, building on the ideas H. A. Kreinkamp and others in the Landscape Architecture and Engineering divisions had suggested. With a larger budget and emergency funds at its disposal, the NPS began to implement elements of this plan between the mid-1930s and early 1940s. The development program shaped the infrastructure at Montezuma Castle and established the monument as a significant part of the Park Service system.

In 1939, the WPA contributed to the development of the monument by financing the construction of two new residences. The two large adobe homes provided comfortable living quarters for the families of the custodian and ranger, and allowed the former custodian's residence to be converted into needed office and museum space. The Jackson family finally had some privacy because their new home was more removed from the activities of the monument. The next few years also saw the completion of other portions of the development program, including a new campground and picnic area along Beaver Creek, a boundary fence to keep stray cattle out of the monument, a new electric system, and roads connecting the campground and residence areas. [44] The attention from the Park Service and the improvements funded by federal relief programs transformed Montezuma Castle from a "second-class site" into a first-rate monument.

These developments came just in time to prepare Montezuma Castle to accommodate better the growing visitation of the late 1930s. The influx of visitors at this time resulted, in part, from the recent improvement of the regional transportation network. After area promoters' persistent lobbying about the need to revamp miles of unpaved, weather-beaten roads in Yavapai County, public funds poured in during the 1930s and supported new highway projects, bridge construction, and road improvements. In particular, the completion of Highway 79 between Prescott and Flagstaff via Jerome and Sedona, the paving of the road between Phoenix and Prescott, and the construction of bridges crossing Beaver Creek, Oak Creek, and the Verde River all contributed to the increase in tourist traffic in the Verde Valley. Further, the tireless efforts of Grace Sparkes and the Yavapai County Chamber of Commerce promoted regional points of interest such as Montezuma Castle and attracted even more visitors to the area. [45]

The development of the roads and highways in the surrounding area called attention to the poor condition of the approach roads at Montezuma Castle. Although various crews made efforts over the years to improve these roads, weather conditions took their toll on the unpaved surfaces and made travel difficult. The NPS eventually oversaw a WPA project to repair the routes leading to the monument. Between January 1940 and April 1941, WPA crews made improvements to the road linking the Castle and Camp Verde and to the road between the Castle and U.S. Highway 89A via Cornville. Some portions of the roads remained surfaced in gravel; others were oil coated, and their general condition was significantly improved. As these transportation developments made access to the monument easier, NPS officials began considering new strategies to deal with the influx of visitors. [46]

Earlier concern about the impact of increasing tourism and regional growth prompted NPS officials to take measures to provide better control over monument resources. In February 1934, Frank Pinkley advised the NPS administration that the addition of certain tracts of land to the monument would assist in the management of the site. At the time of its establishment as a national monument in 1906, political opposition to the withdrawal of large federal reserves limited Montezuma Castle National Monument to the smallest necessary size160 acres. In the intervening years, however, NPS officials developed a better understanding of the management needs at the monument, including the land required to protect the resources effectively and accommodate visitors comfortably. Pinkley recommended transferring two parcels of land totaling 400 acres from Coconino National Forest to Montezuma Castle. Pinkley wanted the 160-acre parcel to the north of the Castle because it would place the entire stretch of the entrance road within monument boundaries; qualify for public works funds; simplify road maintenance; give the agency control of concessions along the main approach, which would help it to extend and preserve the character of the monument; and allow an erosion-control project to protect the Castle and other ruins from surface water runoff. The 240-acre section of land to the south and east would facilitate the maintenance of the southern monument boundary and add interesting natural and archeological features to the monument, including a mile stretch of Beaver Creek, a swimming hole, multiple acres of shade trees, several ruins sites, and prehistoric cultivated fields. [47]

The NPS administration backed Pinkley's proposal and sought the approval of Forest Service officials for the land transfer. Forest Service chief F. A. Silcox consented to the removal of 360 acres from Coconino National Forest for the expansion of Montezuma Castle, noting that 40 acres of the land proposed for transfer were subject to homestead application; he requested that these 40 acres be restored to the public domain. Silcox emphasized, however, that he was making an exception to agency policy in this instance. His remarks reflected the bitter rivalry at this time between the Forest Service and the Park Service over the management of the national monuments:

I have concurred in these two proposals because the areas are small and I do not wish to make an issue of these two minor transactions. As you know, however, I feel quite strongly that the administration of the National Monuments within the National Forests should be restored to the Department of Agriculture in the interest of economy, efficiency, and avoidance of overlapping administrations. I do not wish my action in these two cases to be taken to imply any change in that fundamental belief, or otherwise to establish a precedent. [48]

Following the approval of the secretaries of the interior and agriculture, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the elimination of 360 acres from Coconino National Forest for the enlargement of Montezuma Castle National Monument on 23 February 1937.

Although this land addition assisted with the management and protection of the resources at Montezuma Castle, the increase in visitor traffic presented other challenges for the monument. By the early 1930s, NPS officials observed the damaging effects of the guided trips through the ruins and considered options to mitigate the problem. After visiting the monument in 1933, the assistant superintendent of the Southwestern National Monuments, Bob Rose, commented that the agency could either prohibit public access inside the Castle in order to preserve the ruins in their current state or strengthen the structure to withstand the impact of the frequent tours. The viewing and interpretation of the interior of this unique prehistoric cliff dwelling was an essential part of the visitor experience at Montezuma Castle at this time, and NPS officials did not wish to discontinue this practice. Hoping to balance the needs of preservation and tourism, Frank Pinkley came up with an incredible proposal to build a tunnel in the cliff behind Montezuma Castle so that "visitors could be conducted around behind the rooms to the Castle, allowed to look into the rooms and see everything, but still not get onto the original floors and ceilings, which are causing considerable worry for fear they may give way or be destroyed by constant traffic of visitors." [49]

Pinkley promoted his tunnel idea in the pages of Southwestern Monuments Reports, his popular monthly collection of site reports and personal "ruminations." He requested that the NPS Engineering Division evaluate the feasibility of building the tunnel and prepare sketches of construction plans (figure 22). [50] Engineer Attwell enthusiastically supported Pinkley's idea and claimed that it would better preserve the ruins, leave no conspicuous scar on the landscape, and improve the accessibility to and safety of the Castle for visitors. Attwell also noted the relative ease to build the tunnel and the tremendous benefits it would offer for both preservation and tourism purposes, writing, "It is just a few hundred feet of hole inside of a solid rock cliff. I know many miners who can easily and safely handle this project. . . . If the public were in a tunnel, they and the Castle would both be safe." [51]

Figure 22. Proposed tunnel at Montezuma Castle. Sketch prepared by the office of the chief engineer in Southwestern Monuments Reports, supplement (August 1933).

Pinkley's tunnel idea attracted considerable attention among NPS officials, yet not everyone shared Attwell's positive appraisal of the proposal. Martin Jackson objected to building a tunnel in the cliff, claiming that the construction process might threaten the stability of the Castle. In addition, he argued that the tunnel would leave a visible blight on the cliff, would alter the backdrop of the Castle, and would deprive visitors of the experience of actually entering the rooms built by the prehistoric inhabitants. Chief Architect Thomas Vint opposed the tunnel idea because he felt it presented an "artificial way to reach the Castle." He instead favored a plan to guide visitors through the Castle interior by way of a prehistoric trail between the talus slope below the cliff and the base of the second ladder; the bottom ladder would then become unnecessary. He argued that the experience would be heightened if visitors entered the Castle in the same way as did the original inhabitants. In addition, Vint supported the idea of giving lectures about the Castle at the foot of the cliff, where the monument parking lot formerly stood, in order to reach more peopleespecially those who did not go up into the Castleand to reduce the amount of traffic in the ruins. He reasoned that if rangers provided detailed information about various aspects of the Castle using prepared models and displays before ascending the cliff, many visitors would refrain from taking the guided trip through the ruins. [52]

The tunnel proposal reached the NPS Washington office for review, but agency officials decided against building a tunnel at Montezuma Castle on the grounds that it would be "an artificial entry to this cliff dwelling [and] would take away the feeling of [the] difficult approach." [53] Pinkley's bitter response to this decision reflected the growing rift between the local monument staff and NPS administration, especially in terms of their respective ideas about preservation. Pinkley expressed his opinions in Southwestern Monuments Reports:

Shall we continue to put visitors through the Castle and wear it out in the next fifty years or shall we let them look into it from the outside and preserve it indefinitely? The decision is that, because of aesthetic values, we will use models and keep some of the people out and thus lengthen the life of the ruin to a hundred years. Thus we will destroy the ruin at the end of a century, but in the meantime we will have saved this lovely feeling of difficult approach, which will no doubt be a great satisfaction to the people who would like to visit the ruin in the succeeding century! [54]

Following the rejection of the tunnel proposal, visitation through the Castle interior resumed, and the ruins suffered continued damage and deterioration. Concerned about the impact of visitor traffic, NPS officials directed Assistant Engineer J. H. Tovrea to produce a structural analysis of Montezuma Castle. In his report from March 1938, Tovrea noted several sections of the structure in need of serious stabilization and recommended that the NPS install a series of footpaths and rails to reduce vibrations caused by visitor traffic (figure 23). In the spring of 1939, the agency provided the funds to carry out the stabilization of Montezuma Castle and assigned Tovrea to supervise the construction of an elaborate system of support columns, concrete footings, ceiling braces, walkways, and handrails. The various components of this stabilization scheme were designed to lessen the impact on the walls and floors and to prepare the ruins to accommodate visitors better. During excavations in preparation for the repair work, Tovrea and Custodian Earl Jackson discovered a well-preserved child burial. At Frank Pinkley's suggestion, Engineer Tovrea designed a cement box with a glass cover and battery powered light and established the burial as a feature of the Castle tour. In addition to the work Tovrea carried out, Earl Jackson patched up several deteriorated sections of the building and secured a weak cliff ledge underneath the Castle with angle irons and masonry. [55]

Figure 23. Stabilization plans, ca. 1938. Plans prepared by J. H. Tovrea, assistant engineer, in Structural Analysis Report of Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Castle National Monument, March 1938, National Archives, Record Group 79, box 599.

The stabilization and repair work undertaken in 1939 greatly improved the condition of Montezuma Castle, but visitor traffic continued to cause structural problems. The monument staff and NPS officials made several efforts to reduce further the impact on the Castle by limiting the number of visitors allowed to enter the ruin. Between 1938 and 1940, the agency implemented a schedule of hourly guided tours, restricted the number of people allowed to enter the Castle at one time to nine plus one guide, and began charging an admission fee of twenty-five cents. [56] These new policies regulated the volume of visitation inside the Castle, but they did little to address the fundamental problem: allowing people to walk through the ruins was gradually deteriorating the structure.

In August 1941, Associate Engineer Montgomery reported new stresses on the Castle caused by the system of rails and walkways, noting that "These walkways are, in effect, bridges, and being rather light, are subject to vibration from the impact of footsteps thereon; this vibration is transmitted to the walls by the handrails embedded therein, and damage to the structure is bound to occur." [57] Later that year, the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey prepared a report for the NPS on the safety and stability of the Castle. The survey crew and Custodian Earl Jackson performed a number of tests to measure the vibrations caused by people crossing the walkways through the ruins. The final report observed, "These catwalks serve to protect the floor, but they are supported by the walls, and use of the catwalks is the same as applying a blow upon the walls at the points of support." [58] Despite evidence of the dangers caused by visitor traffic, the debate about the closing of the Castle continued for many more years within the agency. Finally, on 1 October 1951, the National Park Service closed Montezuma Castle to visitors and assured the ruins a more secure future. Earl Jackson had anticipated this change in 1935 and suggested building a large-scale model of the Castle to represent the architectural features of the building and enrich the visitor experience. The year after the closing of the Castle, the NPS took Jackson's advice and installed a large diorama depicting the Castle interior on a path below the Castle cliff. [59]

During the 1930s, the Park Service also began planning new interpretive programs for the monument. Interpretive programs at the national monuments had previously been delegated to the custodians in charge. Frank Pinkley had encouraged other custodians to share his vision of the southwestern monuments as places where visitors received the utmost personal attention; he had instilled in them an ethic of service. Pinkley advised his colleagues:

Be courteous always, but be a little more than courteous. Don't wait for the visitor to make the first advance. Meet him more than half way and make him feel that the Park Service is glad to see him come to your Monument. Let him see that it is a great pleasure to go around with him and give him the results of your study. And never let him get away without the gentle reminder that some other Monument or Park lies close to his proposed line of travel and that he will make the mistake of his life if he doesn't visit it. And always invite him back and tell him to send his friends over to see you. [60]

He cultivated a strong sense of loyalty among his close-knit staff and inspired them to work toward the common goals of protection, development, and promotion of the system of monuments. After his appointment as full-time custodian in 1928, Martin Jackson devoted much of his time to paying close personal attention to the interests and needs of visitors, including providing guided tours of the Castle (figure 24). In keeping with the spirit of the Southwestern National Monuments, he also worked to foster relationships with local schools and community organizations in the Verde Valley. To assist Jackson with interpretive duties during periods of high visitation, Earl Jackson, his son, served as a temporary ranger for the summer of 1928. Beginning in 1930, the agency began regularly hiring rangers to help with the various responsibilities at the monument. [61]

Custodian Jackson and visitor
Figure 24. Custodian Earl Jackson showing Montezuma Castle to a visitor. Photo on file at Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments administrative office.

Jackson continued to emphasize personal interpretative experiences at Montezuma Castle until the early 1930s, when NPS officials began playing a more active role in the administration of the national monuments. At this time, the agency took on a more centralized and professional character, with college-educated specialists taking over the development of new policies and programs. One of the initiatives of this newly reorganized bureaucracy involved the formation of the Division of Education, which became responsible for the interpretive policies for the Park Service. [62]

Specialists visited Montezuma Castle and developed plans for a new museum and interpretive programs. NPS officials prepared three different proposals for new exhibits at the monument. The plans submitted by Park Naturalist Bob Rose, Bandelier National Monument custodian Earl Jackson, and Junior Park Naturalist Louis Caywood all reflected the growing emphasis on interpretation within the Division of Education and the Park Service. Each of these plans recommended broadening the scope of the exhibits to provide visitors with more information on subjects other than the Castle itself. They advised using artifacts, maps, charts, pictures, and models to interpret relevant topics such as southwestern archeology, ethnology, history, geology, and plants and animals of the monument. Consistent with the ideas of the Division of Education, these plans were designed to offer monument visitors a more comprehensive educational experience. [63]

The failure to build a new museum building at Montezuma Castle caused the Park Service to postpone implementing most of these interpretive plans for some time. However, the monument staff incorporated several ideas from these plans as they updated the existing museum facilities and initiated the development of new interpretive features. These improvements took place shortly after Martin Jackson retired as custodian of Montezuma Castle in December 1936. After spending more than fifteen years living in the shadow of the monument, Martin had grown weary of the routine of escorting visitors up the ladders and through the Castle. Not long before he decided to retire, however, his son Earl had developed symptoms of tuberculosis while serving as the custodian of Bandelier National Monument. Martin Jackson and Frank Pinkley decided to delay the former's retirement until his son was sufficiently recovered to take over duties at Montezuma Castle. Earl spent some time recuperating with his wife Betty at Byron Cummings's home in Tucson and then assumed the custodianship of the Castle in January 1937, where he remained until November 1942. After leaving Camp Verde, Martin and Ada Jackson moved to Las Vegas, where they bought and operated an old hotel. Martin Jackson died on 10 March 1939, and Ada Jackson on 7 July 1953. Their cremated ashes were scattered from the cliff above the Castle. This memorial tribute appropriately symbolized their many years devoted to the monument. [64]

After he assumed his new responsibilities at Montezuma Castle, Earl Jackson observed the lack of visitor interest in the museum and began making small improvements. Most of the exhibits at this time consisted of artifacts collected from archeological excavations in the area. Jackson capitalized on his and his wife's interest in natural history to broaden the scope of the museum and to attract attention to more than the prehistoric features of the monument. Having only a minuscule budget and a small space, Jackson created several popular displays and fashioned the museum into a more important part of the visitor experience at Montezuma Castle. Between 1937 and 1940, he obtained donated display cases and filled them with a large-scale map of the Verde Valley, a miniature model of one of the Castle rooms, and specimens of local wildlife such as insects and snakes. In addition, Jackson began work on a small botanical garden and herbarium of indigenous plants and installed an aquarium stocked with native fish. Betty Jackson, an independent and vivacious spirit, also contributed to the interpretive developments at Montezuma Castle, playing an active part in many of the activities at Montezuma Castle and living up to Frank Pinkley's affectionate title for the wives of monument custodians: "Honorary Custodians Without Pay." Having previous experience as a bird-watcher, she recorded a bird list and began a bird-banding program at the monument. Her column "Bird Notes" became a regular feature in Southwestern Monuments Reports and formed the basis for a trailside exhibit on the birds of Montezuma Castle. [65]

The completion of the two new residences at the monument in 1939 permitted further improvements to the museum facilities. The museum had previously been located in a section of the concessionary building. After Earl and Betty Jackson moved into their newly built residence, they relocated the museum into the living room of the former custodian's residence. This new situation offered considerably more space for exhibits, a small laboratory, and an office for the monument administration. In 1940, the NPS appropriated five hundred dollars to remodel the old building for the purpose of a museum and to purchase and install standard museum cases. Archeologist Dale King spent part of the spring and summer of 1941 helping Jackson to revamp the new museum. They cleaned out the building, installed display cases and lighting, and designed and set up new exhibits. Complementing the new museum exhibits on regional archeology was a nature trail that had been developed in the spring of 1940. Named the "Sycamore Trail," after the trees lining the banks of Beaver Creek, this self-guiding tour followed the path between the concessionary building and the Castle cliff. The trail was marked with metal signs and supplemented with mimeographed booklets that described the flora and fauna of the region as well as features of Montezuma Castle itself. The Sycamore Trail impressed both monument visitors and NPS officials. [66]

At the time of these interpretive developments at Montezuma Castle National Monument, the Park Service began to express interest in the preservation and interpretation of additional sites in the Verde Valley. Organizational changes within the agency made consideration of the acquisition of sites such as the Clear Creek ruins and Montezuma Well more feasible during the 1930s. Local residents first notified Martin Jackson and Frank Pinkley of a large pueblo located on Clear Creek in 1923. After continued prompting by Jackson and Pinkley, more than ten years later the NPS began seriously investigating the possibility of acquiring this site. [67]

Associate Engineer Walter Attwell visited the site in March 1934 and proposed that the Park Service designate the Clear Creek ruins as a "research monument" affiliated with Montezuma Castle. He observed that the ruins were one of the largest prehistoric pueblo structures in Arizona, and despite the destruction pothunters had caused over the years, the site offered a tremendous resource of archeological data. In addition, Attwell noted that because of its location, about seven miles away from Montezuma Castle, the site could be administered in conjunction with Montezuma Castle National Monument and would serve as an interesting interpretational contrast to the cliff dwelling. Although Attwell emphatically recommended the preservation of the Clear Creek ruins, the Park Service did not take immediate action. Associate Archeologist Erik Reed visited the site five years later and echoed Attwell's proposal to include the ruins as a detached section of Montezuma Castle National Monument. He commented that the value of the site had been recognized in an archeological survey conducted by Byron Cummings and Harold Colton in 1934 and that the ruins were badly in need of protection from continued pothunting and vandalism. Further, Reed noted that the Clear Creek ruins were located within the boundaries of Prescott National Forest and were federally owned, which would facilitate the process of establishing them as a national monument. [68]

The Park Service probably did not pursue the acquisition of the Clear Creek ruins because the agency was already involved in the preservation of two other archeological sites in the Verde Valley. At the Tuzigoot site, a hilltop pueblo that had been excavated and stabilized as part of a CWA project between 1933 and 1934, NPS officials negotiated a transfer of land with the Phelps Dodge Corporation, the owner of the site. Grace Sparkes facilitated this land transfer process, which was delayed by numerous complications. On 25 July 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the bill establishing Tuzigoot National Monument.

At the time of Tuzigoot's entrance into the Park Service system, officials also endeavored to establish Montezuma Well as a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument. Various groups and individuals had expressed interest in Montezuma Well as a tourist attraction since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Soldiers from Fort Verde and local settlers frequented the unusual geologic formation as a location for picnics and outings, and articles in popular magazines from the turn of the century touted the site as a natural wonder not to be missed. As the Department of the Interior and the General Land Office researched the preservation of Montezuma Castle at that time, GLO agents also went to inspect Montezuma Well. Their reports noted its spectacular geologic, prehistoric, and natural features, and advised the government to take action for the acquisition and protection of the Well. [69]

When they prepared the executive order establishing Montezuma Castle National Monument, GLO officials investigated the possibility of including the Well in the withdrawal. However, they discovered the area was covered by the homestead entry of William B. Back, who had moved with his family to the Well property in 1888 and irrigated crops using the lime-coated prehistoric ditches built by the Sinagua (figure 25). Back built a number of structures on the property, including the family home, a log smokehouse, a blacksmith shop in an old Sinagua cave, and a pig pen in another abandoned cave. Back's homestead entry was patented on 18 July 1907, and a few years later he opened the Well as a tourist attraction. Starting in 1910, he offered guided trips around the Well for fifty cents and charged visitors twenty-five cents for rides around the Well in his rowboat. [70]

Back's ranch
Figure 25. Panoramic view of Mr. Back's ranch at Montezuma Well. Photograph (view no. 27) by W. J. Lewis in report to the commissioner, General Land Office, 11 July 1916, National Archives, Record Group 79, box 599, folder 1.

After Back died in 1929, the heirs to his family offered to sell the Montezuma Well property and expressed their interest in having the government take it over as a national monument. Park Service officials wanted to obtain the Well as a national monument, yet at this time federal funds could not be used to acquire privately owned land for the creation of national monuments. The Back family thus maintained ownership and continued to operate the site as a tourist attraction for the next decade. Bill Back Jr. moved to the Well in 1930 with his wife, May, and constructed a stone museum to house the numerous artifacts that had been recovered from ruins surrounding the Well. [71]

The Park Service continued to express interest in Montezuma Well and periodically sent officials to inspect the property in the event that it would be able to purchase the site later. The officials' reports praised the Well's features and strongly advocated that the agency take action before the owners sold it to someone else. [72] Grace Sparkes recognized the potential of Montezuma Well as a Yavapai County tourist attraction and championed the cause of its inclusion in Montezuma Castle National Monument. She corresponded frequently with public officials on the matter and prompted U.S. Senator Carl Hayden from Arizona to introduce legislation regarding the acquisition of the Well. After a great deal of negotiation between the Back family heirs and government officials, Congress approved a measure authorizing the purchase of the Montezuma Well property for the sum of $25,000 on 19 October 1943. This act established the Well as a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument and included the transfer of eighty acres from the Coconino National Forest to facilitate its administration. However, the Park Service had to wait until the end of the war before it could appropriate the money for the purchase of the Well. This delay created complications, as the Back family wished to sell it more promptly. Grace Sparkes and Earl Jackson's successor, Custodian Homer Hastings, obtained in 1945 an option for the purchase of the Montezuma Well property. Senator Hayden finally secured approval for the acquisition of the Well in the Interior Appropriation Bill for fiscal year 1947, and on 3 March 1947 the property passed into federal ownership and officially became included as part of Montezuma Castle National Monument. The acquisition of Montezuma Well made an important contribution to the preservation of Verde Valley resources. [73]

Under the custodianships of Martin and Earl Jackson, Montezuma Castle National Monument experienced significant changes. For the first time since its abandonment by the Sinagua, the prehistoric cliff dwellings received badly needed supervision and repairs on a regular basis. Frank Pinkley's tireless efforts contributed to these improvements and included the Castle within the emerging system of Southwestern National Monuments. Despite the meager funding and relative lack of attention from the NPS administration, Pinkley and Martin Jackson effectively carried out the protection, development, and promotion of the monument.

Increasing tourism and regional growth during the 1920s and 1930s, however, presented new challenges to the management of the Castle. The Roosevelt administration's response to the Depression had a profound impact on the operations of the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. The enlarged NPS bud-get and emergency relief funding during the 1930s allowed the agency to undertake a number of improvements at Montezuma Castle, including the development of facilities, the excavation of prehistoric ruins, and the updating of interpretational efforts. The organizational changes within the NPS led to a greater emphasis on the previously ignored national monuments and brought a variety of trained specialists to oversee the development of facilities and programs at these sites. These changes, however, also marked the ending of Frank Pinkley's leadership of the Southwestern National Monuments. As the NPS paid closer attention to the monuments, agency officials and specialists exercised greater control over decisions affecting the administration of these monuments. Although Pinkley's style of personal, dynamic management shaped the southwestern monuments system until the mid-1930s, the agency reorganizations led to greater centralized and professionalized administration after this time.

The conflicts between Pinkley and the agency ended suddenly with Pinkley's untimely death on 14 February 1939 at a training session for the custodians of the Southwestern National Monuments. Despite the different philosophies and styles of management, Montezuma Castle benefited significantly from both Pinkley's efforts and the later developments sponsored by the NPS administration. By the early 1940s, Montezuma Castle had been transformed from a forgotten prehistoric ruin into a modern, well-developed national monument. The recent changes reflected the NPS expanded vision of the national monuments by providing new facilities to accommodate visitors, offering them a variety of interpretive programs, and ensuring the preservation of the protected resources of the site. The management of the Castle also benefited from the expansion of monument boundaries, the establishment of Tuzigoot National Monument, and the eventual acquisition of Montezuma Well. At the brink of World War II, Montezuma Castle National Monument stood in its best condition ever.



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

©2002, Western National Parks Association
protas/chap4.htm — 27-Nov-2002