Many illustrations added by TGS Publishing.
The region described in the following pages comprises the valley of the Rio Verde, in Arizona, from Verde, in eastern central Yavapai county, to the confluence with Salt river, in Maricopa county.
From the Introduction
The written history of the region treated extends back only a few years. Since the aboriginal inhabitants abandoned it, or were driven from it, the hostile Apache and Walapai roamed over it without hindrance or opposition, and so late as twenty-five years ago, when the modern settlement of the region commenced, ordinary pursuits were almost impossible. Some of the pioneer settlers are still in possession, and are occupying the ground they took up at the time when the rifle was more necessary for successful agriculture than the plow.
The first notice of this region is derived from the report of Espejo, who visited some "mines" north and east of the present site of Prescott early in 1583; in 1598 Farfan and Quesada of Onate's expedition visited probably the same locality from Tusayan, and in 1604 Onate crossed the country a little way north of the present Prescott, in one of his journeys in search of mineral wealth. Nothing seems to have come of these expeditions, however, and the remoteness of the region from the highways of travel and its rough and forbidding character caused it to remain unknown for over two centuries. It was not until the active prospecting for gold and silver accompanying the American invasion and conquest began that the country again became known.
Valuable mines were discovered east and south of the site of Prescott, some of them as early as 1836; but it was not until after 1860 that any considerable amount of work was done, and the mining development of this region, now one of the best known in Arizona, may be said to date from about 1865. Camp Verde was first established in 1861, at a point on the northern side of Beaver creek, but was not regularly occupied until 1866. In 1871 it was removed to its present location, about a mile south of the previous site. It was abandoned as a military post in 1891, and gradually lost the military element of the name.
Concerning the archeologic remains of the Rio Verde valley almost nothing is known. In the early history of Arizona the Verde was known as Rio San Francisco, and vague rumors of large and important ruins were current among trappers and prospectors. The Pacific railway reports, published in 1856, mention these ruins on the authority of the guide to Lieut. Whipple's party, Leroux by name. Other notices are found here and there in various books of exploration and travel published during the next two decades, but no systematic examination of the region was made and the accounts are hardly more than a mention. In 1878 Dr. W. J. Hoffman, at that time connected with the Hayden Survey, published descriptions of the so-called Montezuma well and of a large cliff ruin on Beaver creek, the latter accompanied by an illustration. The descriptions are slight and do not touch the region herein discussed.
The remains in the valley of Rio Verde derive an additional interest from their position in the ancient pueblo region. On the one hand they are near the southwestern limit of that region, and on the other hand they occupy an intermediate position between the ruins of the Gila and Salt river valleys and those of the northern districts. The limits of the ancient pueblo region have not yet been defined, and the accompanying map (plate X) is only preliminary.
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