CASA GRANDE RUINS NATIONAL MONUMENT

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 No ticket or pamphlet

 

March or April 1994

Casa Grande Ruins, Coolidge, AZ

 

We went by the Casa Grande Ruins several times while living in Arizona as it was on the way to Phoenix and the Outlet Malls we'd visit.  We stopped by once.  Casa Grande means "Big House".  It's just about the oldest and largest prehistoric structure in North America.  The main complex is 60 feet by 40 feet wide at the base and has walls over a metre thick. Visitors are not allowed into the building. You see the construction with wooden beams supporting clay walls, and various internal features such as stairways and windows. It is thought that the Casa Grande may have been some kind of astronomical observatory because the four walls face the points of the compass, and some of the windows are aligned to the positions of the sun and moon at specific times. There are several other ruins in the complex, some of which has not yet been excavated. The metal roof over it (supported by 4 pillars) is imposing and not part of the original structure. It's a shield, to protect the building from the extreme temperatures.  The ruins are in the middle of nowhere per se...the are located between the Gila and Santa Cruz rivers, close to Coolidge and about 15 miles from the town of Casa Grande.  The structure is part of a complex of four buildings; it was made by the Hohokam Indians in the 1300's. When we went it was free to get in.  Now it's 3.00.  There is a small gift shop in the visitors center now which also contains restrooms and a water fountain. There are no food or drinks available on the grounds or near it. 
 

 

Left to Right: 1) Casa Grande Ruins 2) Postcard depiction of what the settlement would look like in it's time

 

Sites you might like to visit:

Casa Grande Outlet Mall

Phoenix

Hohokam Desert People

 

 


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