Back with the Hohokam

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
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Trip End Jun 01, 2011


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Where I stayed
Casa Grande National Monument

Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Found this interesting site while doing a search on the internet.  As with the earlier site of the Hohokam, the history remains the same.  First constructed in about 300AD, the village the village was a trading mecca.  The whole valley had about thirty to fifty-thousand inhabitants.  They were an agrarian folk, who constructed over a thousand miles of canals to water their fields.  Some of these canal remains still exist.  The "Great House", in Spanish, Casa Grande, was named by a Jesuit missionary priest from south of the area in the early 1800s.  The house had three floors above ground and a total of eight rooms.  It's felt that their leader, whatever title he may have had, lived there.  It was found by some cowboys who carved their names in the walls.  You know how cowboys are!  The structure is composed of caliche.  This is a bentonite-like substance which when exposed to water is soft enough to form and work, much like concrete.  The walls were "plastered" with a type of mud, varying in color from tan to a pale red.  Some of it remains in the inside rooms.  The floor supports were of fir or pine, which came from an area sixty miles north of the location.  These posts were probably obtained in trade with folks in that area.  The posts were then covered with sticks and caliche floors were added atop them.  The holes remain in the walls where the posts were imbedded.  None of the floors exist today, having rotted away over the ensuing years.  

The original roof cover was constructed in 1916 and lasted until 1939 when the current cover was constructed.  it was designed by the same architect who designed Central Park in New York City.  It cost $26,000 to construct.  To repaint it in 2009 cost in excess of $45,000.

The Hohokam, in addition to their farming pursuits, crafted jewelery from shells which the received in trade.  The made pottery, although not as intricate as that made by the Hopi, their northern neighbors.  Basket making was another skill they exercised.  One jar, on exhibit, would hold fifty pounds of corn.  

 Overall, it was an interesting an photoworthy spot to visit.  During the week and at this time of the year, the visitor numbers are light.  We made use of our Geezer Pass to gain free admission to this National Monument.  An asset for you seniors.

And then we moved on...
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