Camp Reno VIII 2017 - Passport in Time

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Arizona - Tonto NF
Closed! Camp Reno: Military Outpost in Tonto Basin, Part VIII

A_pool_of_water,_a_remnant_of_the_last_rains,_in_a_dry_wash_in_Tonto_National_Forest.jpg By Janet Ward, NOAA ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
A pool of water, a remnant of the last rains, in a dry wash in Tonto National Forest

October 23-27, 2017

Must commit to entire session

Join us on the Tonto National Forest for yet another hike into Arizona’s historic past! The remote U.S. Army outpost, Camp Reno, was established in 1868 in the Tonto Basin – in the heart of Apacheria – as an extension of Fort McDowell. During its nearly two-year occupation, the outpost served primarily as a depot for supplies and a base of operations for expeditions against the Apache, but was also the scene of peace overtures and negotiations for the end of hostilities between the military and the Tribes. However, these meetings to discuss peace were not always, themselves, peaceful in the end: incidents of raiding and skirmishing occurred even while talks were being held. This continued throughout the life of the outpost. The camp was officially abandoned by the Army around 1870, but served as a convenient staging area for later military expeditions against the Apache. During the mid-1870s, the area around Camp Reno became a focal point for ranching and, years later, a mining operation. By the 1880s, however, the camp existed mainly in memory.

During this phase of the PIT project, we will revisit the site to continue our goals of locating and recording structures and features associated with the historic military outpost, preparing maps and documenting artifacts. Once again, our aim is to provide a clearer picture of everyday life at the outpost during its use, and we also hope to locate and document evidence of the Apache presence at the camp. Participants will conduct survey and testing to locate and record structures associated with this historic military outpost. We will also continue work on that portion of the Reno Road that accessed the outpost. One additional task thrown into the mix this year will be the excavation of an old vandal hole at a feature that appears to have been a bakery or kitchen. Volunteers will assist in preparing maps of the site and its features, help to assess damage, and will work with FS staff to collect and document artifacts.

Metal detectors will be used extensively during the fieldwork, so please indicate on your application if you own and are willing to bring a metal detector. While this is not a requirement for project selection, it would certainly be helpful as we explore the past at Camp Reno – we hope to see you again this fall!

Number of openings: 8

Special skills: Must be physically capable of hiking over moderate to rough terrain for extended periods at times, and in a variety of weather conditions; previous archaeological survey, mapping, documentation, historic artifact identification, photography, sketching, and/or metal detector experience helpful, but not required

Minimum age: 18 years old

Facilities: Tent and RV (up to 32’) camping available at no charge at FS Cholla Campground; water, bathhouse; no hook-ups; additional, primitive camping possible in project area; no facilities; very limited accommodations available in nearby Punkin Center; Payson is a full-service community with hotels/motels, restaurants, and a full range of other amenities; volunteers responsible for own lodging/personal camping equipment, food, water (if staying outside of Cholla Campground), and transportation

Nearest towns: Punkin Center, ~ 16 miles; Payson, 35 miles

Applications due: September 11, 2017

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