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Tuzigoot celebrates its 75th year
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:44

There was a birthday celebration in Clarkdale last week.Inside Tuzigoot’s museum and gift shop, visitors can view  artifacts and photographs, gaining a glimpse into the monument’s past. Tuzigoot officially became a national monument on July 25, 1939, 75 years ago.

The ruins that sit atop a hill in Clarkdale were part of an ancient apartment complex, today called Tuzigoot.

Construction on the earliest buildings in the complex started around A.D. 1000 by American Indians referred to as the Sinagua, eventually grew into multiple stories and 110 rooms.

The structure was continuously inhabited until about A.D. 1400, around the time that the Sinagua disappeared from the Verde Valley for reasons unknown, although drought or conflict has been theorized as possible contributing factors.

The building complex became a national monument in 1939 and on Friday, July 25, the National Park Service waived the $5 admission fee for the day to mark the 75th anniversary of the occasion.
There was also lemonade and cupcakes for the party.

Greg Vandas, a student intern from St. Louis, has been working for the local park system for about six months.

Friday, Vandas was one of the people greeting visitors coming into the park’s visitor center where an impressive collection of artifacts is on display, from hand tools made from bone to large ollas, or big clay pots.

“People have been coming in all day,” Vandas said. “We’re also selling all the books for 15 percent off.”

Constructed by workers under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal policies in the 1930s, the center is one of the few remaining National Park Service properties from that era still used for its original purpose.

To read the full story, see the Wednesday, July 30, edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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