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Explore historic sites in Arizona and retrace the steps of Native Americans, settlers and outlaws.
The famed Boothill Graveyard in Tombstone includes the graves of Billy Clanton, Frank McLaury, and Tom McLaury. All three were killed by the Earps and Doc Holliday, during the short gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881 – the most famous gunfight in the Old West. Located on the northwest side of town, the Graveyard is a popular tourist attraction in Tombstone – just south of Benson.
This once booming mining town is now a National Historic Landmark District. Reenactments of the Wild West and events such as the Helldorago Days Festival are fun to experience while visiting southern Arizona.
Open throughout the year, the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is set in the city of Coolidge in southern Arizona – just over 20 miles northeast of Casa Grande. Located just east of Interstate 10, the monument is 55 miles southeast of Phoenix and 70 miles northwest of Tucson. The park is a preservation of ruins once belonging to the Ancient Sonoran Desert People.
The National Park Service’s fifth oldest unit, Casa Grande Ruins was the first archeological site preserved by the federal government, and was declared a National Monument come 1918. The site is divided between Compound B, open to guided tours during March’s Archeology Month, and Compound A – featuring the park’s visitor center and “Big House” itself.
Visitors may browse the onsite Casa Grande Ruins Museum, catch the 22-minute interpretive video showing every 30 minutes, and enjoy self-guided or ranger-lead monument tours. Kids are encouraged to try the Junior Ranger program and catch a puppet show, while families may enjoy the scenic picnic area.
Don’t miss the annual American Indian Arts & Music Fest in February, and have a closer look at the 1932 Olmsted shelter above Casa Grande – found on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and housing the ruins’ own pair of Great horned owls.
Plan your next visit to Arizona. The Casa Maplais Pueblo, located in Springerville, was once occupied for approximately 200 years by the Mogollon people. The site was abandoned in 1400 A.D. and is now open for visitors on guided tours. A unique feature of the Casa Maplais is the Great Kiva, made of volcanic rock.
Listed on the National Historic Landmark registry, the Pueblo is a must-see when visiting the Round Valley. Another attraction to include on your trip to Springerville is the Lyman Lake State Park – just 30 miles away. You can also visit nearby Eagar, conveniently located a few miles south of Springerville. Have a great time in northern Arizona.
Making its home just south of Chinle in northern Arizona, the Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site commemorates the relationship between early Mexican settlers and the Navajo Nation. The site was named a National Historic Landmark in 1960 due to its historical significance.
Things to do at the Hubbell Trading Post include guided tours of the Hubbell family home, viewing the Hubbell Trading Post’s extensive museum collection, and attending a “Sheep, Wool, and Weaving” workshop.
Under the supervision of the Bureau of Land Management, Painted Rock Petroglyph Site is located in the desert about 18 miles outside of Gila Bend. Painted Rock is a large gathering of boulders that have petroglyphs carved into the stone by prehistoric tribes. There are also other markings carved into the stone from more recent ancestors such as the Hohokam Native American tribe that is known to have occupied lands in that area over the years.
Painted Rock Petroglyph Site in southwestern Arizona experiences the harsh temperatures the region is known for. It is not uncommon for nights to drop below freezing and daytime temperatures to skyrocket to one hundred and twenty degrees, it is recommended that visitors bring plenty of water and prepare properly for weather conditions depending on the season. The site contains picnic tables, a Ramada, barbecue grills and fire pits for recreation, however no running water is available on site.
Opened in 1929, the Pima County Courthouse stands as a display of Spanish Colonial Revival style architecture. Located in Tucson, in southern Arizona, the courthouse holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is home to the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County, which also holds the office for the Treasurer and Recorder.
Downtown historic Tucson would not be the same without the glittering dome of the Courthouse building. Visitors can access the courthouse during business hours and experience the beautiful architectural details prominent throughout the building. The building also features a courtyard and fountain, perfect for viewing the outer architecture on a gorgeous fall day in Arizona. Those traveling to Tucson will not want to miss the historic district's charm and Spanish style architecture complemented by the Pima County Courthouse.
See ancient history in Arizona. Today's St. Thomas Indian Mission was built in 1922 on the grounds of the original mission built by Father Francisco Garces in 1780. It is located on the California side of the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona. It was dedicated in 1923 and guided tours are available.
The Mission is located on the Fort Yuma-Quechan Reservation, which borders Arizona, California and Mexico. Other Yuma attractions include the Yuma Crossing State Park and the Federal Wetland Area. Stay near the Mission and make your visit to southern Arizona an enjoyable one.
The most productive gold mine in Arizona history, Vulture Mine is located in the town Wickenburg in the northern region of the state. Vulture Mine was discovered by Henry Wickenburg in 1863 and sold a few years later, before its potential worth in gold was discovered.
The mine helped spur interest in Arizona and the development of the city of Phoenix, which eventually led to a population growth large enough to help earn Arizona statehood. Vulture Mine is estimated to have produced over two hundred million dollars in gold ore over the years it was in use.
Vulture Mine was shut down in 1942 during World War II by President Roosevelt. It remains closed to this day, however it is open for tours and visitors. Two hour, guided, walking path tours are available during business hours. The tour walks visitors through the old mining town of Vulture City as well as places of historic significance to the mine.
Constructed in 1868, St. Augustine Cathedral did not receive its Spanish style detailing until 1928, with a full restoration coming to completion in 1968. St. Augustine Cathedral, located in the southern region of Arizona in the city of Tucson, represents the Catholic diocese presence in the history of the town.
The Cathedral has witnessed the growth from a town of 600 to a flourishing city of over five hundred and twenty five thousand residents. St. Augustine has stood as a beacon of hope and worship in southern Arizona for nearly one hundred and fifty years and serves as the mother church for the Roman Catholic diocese in the Tucson area.
The architecture of this grand cathedral draws visitors from near and far, featuring the coat of arms of Pope Pius XI as well as a representation of Mission of San Xavier del Bac, a pilgrimage site located just miles outside of the city. On the interior of the building stands a seventeen-foot tall crucifix and a thirty-two rank pipeorgan, the crucifix being imported from Spain and specially designed for St. Augustine.
Visitors are welcome to view the Cathedral in all of its architectural beauty from both the inside and outside of the church. Those who wish to view and participate in mass are welcome and can inquire about scheduling at the St. Augustine Cathedral.