Ms. Karen, my father Bill, and I visited Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Located in the town of Coolidge near Florence, this place has been on Ms. Karen’s bucket list for as long as we’ve lived in Tucson. I wasn’t so enthusiastic because I had seen a few Google images and it didn’t look all that interesting.
As usual, Ms. Karen was right. This prehistoric site is seriously interesting. Our federal tax dollars have paid for a very fine Visitors Center. The docent who led the tour was both knowledgeable and entertaining.
The Hohokam built this city in a most inhospitable place. They had to bring water to their desert agricultural fields from the Gila River via deep canals.
The purpose of the “Big House” is unknown, but clearly it had some astrological function involving the sun and moon. Archeologists speculate that the city was abandoned around 1300 A.D. because of prolonged drought.
Currently, (2020) entrance to this museum is free. For more information, visit the Casa Grande Ruins National Park Service website.