The Original Fort Mcdowell…

I have been driving past the Fort McDowell reservation for years. I have always wondered about where the original fort was located. No one seemed to know. I had read about the soldiers who had stayed there and endured the mild winters and the difficult summers. I bought the book “Vanished Arizona” and read it over the holidays. It was a story of a military  man’s wife’s recollections of the 1870′s serving in forts across the territory. It really motivated me to try harder to  find the original Fort.  I searched on the web and was not able to find until I was recently directed to a map that identified the location of the last remaing vestiges of  the officer quarters. The only thing left are these unmarked crumbling adobe walls surrounded by development. They are all that is left of the testament to the men and women that made history here in the territorial days of early Arizona.

These pictures are the same view that Martha Summerhayes  described looking out this very window of the officers quarters.  The Four Peaks Mountains loom in the distance,  with a dusting of snow from  a recent storm. The Rio Verde (Verde River) is nearby and provides the same recreation today for those trying to lessen the Arizona summers. I love her quote below of her favorite daily ritual of  bathing  in the Verde River.
“Now the Verde River was not a very good substitute for the sea, and the thick water filled our ears and mouths, but it gave us a little half hour in the day when we could experience a feeling of being cool, and we found it worthwhile to take the trouble. Thick clumps of mesquite trees furnished us with dressing-rooms. We were all young, and youth requires so little with which to make merry.” (Vanished Arizona, Martha Summerhayes)


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