Fort Verde State Historic Park

If you’re in the Camp Verde area, a visit to the Fort Verde State Historic Park is an interesting stop, especially if you are interested in the history of the state of Arizona.

The information sheet we received when we visited the park says “General Crook’s U.S. army scouts and soldiers were primarily based at Fort Verde. They were charged with preventing Apache and Yavapai Indian uprisings in the late 1800’s.

When we arrived at that visitor’s center, we were greeted by a very knowledgable young man dressed in a uniform of  a Sargeant of the U.S. Army from that time period. He asked if Bill was a veteran. Bill told him he was a veteran of the Vietnam War, but he didn’t have any identification with him to prove it. The “Sergeant said “well, we will just take your word if it”, then he shook Bill’s hand and thanked him for his service. He also gave Bill three Veteran pins. One was a Vietnam Veteran pin, and the other two were different welcome home pins they have been giving out to Vietnam Vets for the past two years. In addition, because Bill is a Veteran, we got in for half price. Very cool.

 

The visitor’s center is filled with all kinds of unique items used during the time the soldiers were at the camp. The dish shown below opens up, and one side becomes a frying pan, while the other side becomes a plate. The handle folds over the entire thing to keep it closed when traveling.

There are four separate living quarters on the grounds. The first one we visited was the Surgeon’s Quarters. Every permanent military command had a physician. They are usually on contract with the government. The doctor treated patients and performed surgeries in his home. Long term care was provided in the Hospital by the Hospital Matron.

Medicine was rudimentary with little to offer in effective treatments.

Antiseptic procedure during surgery was just being developed. There were no vaccines or antibiotics.

A severe injury to a limb often ended in amputation. A surgeon’s pay was $123.00 per month which did not usually attract top physicians. In fact, they were frequently incompetent. Some signed on for the adventure; others signed on to explore the West. Many were scientists who had contracts to collect new specimens to send back East to museums!!

The Commanding Officer was usually the senior company captain assigned to the fort. His salary of $166.00 per month made it possible for his wife to furnish the home respectably. She served as the center of fort social activities. The Master Bedroom also served as the bathing area for the commander’s wife. Men and children bathed in the kitchen. The next two pictures are of the Master Bedroom in the Commanding Officer’s Quarters.

Well now, I don’t know about that tiny bathtub… I can tell you right now, it would not be a pretty site if I had to take a bath in that little thimble of a tub… ha!

The next four pictures are of a teenage daughter’s bedroom.

A problem for parents was educating their children. Primary education was usually in the home. Young ladies were sent to “finishing schools” if possible, but generally they stayed with the family until married.

Well now, here again, I have to inject my thoughts… I have never seen any teenage daughter of mine keep her room as neat as this… Just saying.

Of course, there was always a parlor in the Commanding Officer’s Quarters. It was used for both formal and informal entertainment. Musical activities, cards, readings, and social gatherings were some of the most common types of amusement. This was also where gentlemen suitor’s would sit, and be interrogated by the Commanding Officer, while he waited on the teenage daughter to come down for their date…

The next four pictures are of the younger children’s room. Toys were often homemade, but store-bought toys were also available.

The younger children’s room also served as a multi-purpose room where the caretaker of the children could sew,

or knit, while watching the younger children.

The Commanding Officer’s Wife, often held “lavish” dinner parties. Of course, she didn’t cook the meal, but she would greet you in her finest attire, and you would be seated at a table fit for a King. When Bill saw this room all he said was “I want a piece of that chocolate cake”. Oh, that boy and his deserts! 🙂

There was also a Married Officer’s Quarters as shown in the next two pictures. While identical to the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, up to four families could live in each home. Cramped quarters were often a reality for the families of junior officers. As you can clearly see, this dinner table pales in comparison to the Commanding Officer’s dinner table… But hey, they have a big ham, and some homemade bread, so I would be good with that… :),

and, they even have a homemade pie cooling on the stove… Bill would be good with that too!

As we moved on, we came upon the Bachelor Officers’ Quarters. Unmarried officers lived a sparse, makeshift lifestyle because of low pay, slow promotions, frequent moves, and extended time in the field.

Now this was something I could never, ever, do… I could only get two holes in the picture, but this is a three hole out-house. Three holes!! I have a hard enough time going in my own home… I could never sit next to anyone and do that… No way, not this girl! I’d have to go find a big bush… 🙂

This was another fun, educational, outing for Bill and I here in Camp Verde. Our time here is winding down. We are leaving Friday morning, and making our way to Oregon, where we will spend the rest of the summer. I hope you enjoyed following our Camp Verde adventures, and that you will enjoy reading about our Oregon adventures as well. If so…

Stay Tuned!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bill
    May 21, 2017 @ 23:03:19

    That was an educational outing, and yes the cakes and pies looked real and yes I would consume apiece or two if they were.
    Lots of fun for our final few days.
    Love you Girly

    Reply

  2. gotham girl
    May 22, 2017 @ 02:10:47

    How fun! OH my gosh…so hard to believe that your time is almost over and you’ll be heading to Oregon. I am so counting the days to have some fires on the beach and enjoy some amazing wine nights with my frister!!! Love you!

    Reply

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