Posted by: Lori Reinhold
Fort Verde State Historic Park is one of the finest surviving examples of Indian Wars-era military architecture in the entire state of Arizona. In the mid-to-late 1800s, Camp Verde served as a vital staging base for military operations in the region. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the settling of the West and the ensuing conflicts with Native Americans should consider paying a visit to Fort Verde State Historic Park.
The history of the park dates all the way back to 1863, when the New Mexico territory was divided, creating the new Arizona Territory. The territorial capital was established in Prescott in 1864. As Anglo settlers began inhabiting the lands near the Verde River, they inevitably came into contact with the Tonto-Apache and Yavapai Indians who originally lived in the area. After a year of raids and conflict, the white settlers demanded military assistance. Camp Verde was the answer. Construction of the Fort began in 1871 and was completed by 1873. Throughout the 1870s and 1880s, it served as a base for General George R. Crook’s army scouts and soldiers. In addition to the officers and enlisted men, the camp was also occupied by doctors, families, and friendly Native Americans.
During your visit to the park, you’ll have the chance to explore three historic house museums: The Commanding Officer’s Quarters, the Bachelors’ Quarters, and the Doctors’ and Surgeons’ Quarters, all furnished in the 1880s period style. There are a variety of fascinating exhibits featuring artifacts from the Indian Wars and the daily lives of the fort’s inhabitants. The folks who work or volunteer at Fort Verde are very informed about the history of the property and region. Plus, they often wear period style clothing! Fort Verde hosts regular war reenactments as well as Fort Verde Days, a fun-filled festival featuring a carnival, parade, storytelling, chili cook-off, quilt show, cornhole tournament, and much more.
Fort Verde is also the perfect jumping off point for other adventures around the Verde Valley. The Verde Valley is home to three National Monuments, two National Parks, four state parks, several museums, and endless opportunity for hiking, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities. Take a hike in the Prescott or Coconino National Forests or continue your historic tour and pay a visit to the Tuzigoot and Montezuma Castle Monuments. The kids might enjoy trips to the Out of Africa Wildlife Park or the fun-filled Blazin’ M Ranch. However you choose to do it, Fort Verde Historic Park and the Verde Valley make the perfect day trip during your stay at the Alma de Sedona Inn.
Planning a getaway to Sedona, Arizona? Book a stay at the lovely Alma de Sedona Inn, Sedona’s premier bed & breakfast for warm service and breathtaking red rock views.