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Explore Arizona History by Visiting 650 Year Old Monument

A short trip south of the Valley is a step back in time at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. The 650 year old Native American structure is located southeast of Phoenix off I-10. Park Ranger, Mike Yetter talks about the history and importance of the structure.

In 1694 Father Francisco Kino came to the region looking for places to establish missions. Kino was told about the site from the native people. He traveled to the location and wrote back that he had seen the “Casa Grande” and that is how it was named.

Casa Grande Ruins Casa Grande Ruins

The monument has an occupation of 800 years of human inhabitation. The site was developed as a civilization in 300 AD. It was around 1100 AD that the compound style was being built. The specific site of the Casa Grande was built in about 1325.

The Casa Grande Ruins is made from a caliche rich adobe. Caliche is prevalent in the southwest and probably found in your own back yard. When mixed with water and other additives, like gravel and sand, it could be formed and used to build. The base of the structure is 4.5 feet wide. It is three stories tall on the outside and four stories on the inside with 11 rooms. The building looks larger the closer one gets. The roof structure protecting the monument was built in 1932.

The monument is a unique site to learn about Arizona Archeology and some of the treasures in the Park Service.