Fort McDowell

After the end of the Civil War in April, 1865 and about two-and-a-half years after Arizona became a territory, Fort McDowell was established about twenty miles southeast of future Cave Creek at the confluence of the Verde River and Sycamore Creek.  The important garrison date was September, 1865.  And the important purpose was to protect the early miners and later the ranchers from hostile Native Americans which included the Tonto Apaches and the Yavapai in central Arizona.  Historian Frances C. Carlson states, “All of present-day towns of the Salt River Valley, including the city of Phoenix, can trace their beginnings to the army’s decision to build this isolated outpost.”  Mrs. Carlson further states, “In 1865 the army sent a small force of three hundred men marching across the desert from California to establish Fort McDowell.”