Thursday, January 21, 2010

Casa Grande

About 60 miles northwest of Tucson lies the ruins of an ancient native American village known as Casa Grande. Since our mobile casa is being fixed, and we’re spending a few nights in a pet-friendly hotel, we decided to visit Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. DSC_0131 This building was constructed in the 1300s by a people now known as the Ho-Ho-Kum, which means the people who are no longer here. There is no written history of these people and like other tribes of the period, they disappeared around 1400. There are several theories as to why they left, but none have been proven. Casa Grande was a three-story building, the use of which is not really known – but it may have been an apartment building or fort in the center of a walled village. Oh, the roof was built in the 1930s to protect and preserve the site.


Construction is a special kind of desert mud that dried as hard as concrete, with the roofs supported by beams carried from the mountains 60-75 miles away. These folks didn’t have pack animals or wheels, so all of the labor was done by hand with stone and wooden tools, since they didn’t have any metal tools either.

There were several housing groups within a short distance of the Casa Grande, and the theory is that the “big house” was used by the upper class, while the lesser residences were the dwellings of the laborers. Not much has changed in 700 years.







During the 1800s, long after the natives departed the area, a stage coach line ran right through the middle of the ruins which became a tourist attraction. This, of course, ruined the ruins ever further. We saw some photos taken during the period and there was more to Casa Grande than there is now. DSC_0136 In addition to taking souvenirs, some of those early tourists also left graffiti in the form of carved names on the building walls.

I just spoke with the repair shop and the work will be done tomorrow, so we’ll be back on the road. Next major stop, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.


Post a Comment

<< Home