Verde Heritage 1921: MONTEZUMA CASTLE IMPROVEMENTS

"That the government this year will expand and improve its facilities at national parks and monuments is the declaration of J. W. Sullivan, caretaker of the Montezuma Castle National Monument near Camp Verde. Just how much will be spent here is not certain."

"A new road is prepared for the visitors to the ancient cliff dwelling that fills a niche in the lime cliff above Beaver Creek. This road enables the driver of an automobile to approach to within a few hundred feet of the cliff. A new trail, following an irregularity in the face of the cliff, gives access to the dwelling from the side and dispenses with the 2 lower ladders by which the place heretofore has been approached."

"The new approach does away with a walk of nearly a mile over hot and weary cobblerocks in the bed of the creek, and will much improve the curiosity for the visitor."

"A generous fund is sought this year to increase the facilities at national parks and the total estimate as submitted will be $2,473,594.50. This will be spread over 19 national parks and 24 monuments, an area of 12,774 square miles or 8,175,360 acres. The increase ... over the current appropriation of $973,820 is admittedly large but it should be remembered that these grounds, the property of the people, comprise an area larger than the combined states of Massachusetts and Connecticut. The number of visitors to the national parks and monuments has increased from 356,097 visitors in 1916 to 1,058,455 visitors in 1920.

(Weekly Journal-Miner; Prescott; March 9, 1921; page 5.)

Proclamation 696 by President Theodore Roosevelt established Montezuma Castle National Monument on December 8, 1906.

Frank Pinkley, National Park Service, was appointed to supervise the operations at Montezuma Castle during 1921. Martin L. Jackson became the custodian on a part-time basis, then, during 1926, he built a home and lived there with his family. Artifacts displayed in their home served as the first museum.

Visitors were able to climb the ladders and explore the castle until 1951 when the ladders were removed.

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