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Camp Naco Update 2010

ARIZONA BUFFALO SOLDIERS ASSOCIATION

  Camp Naco Sign Dedication

 

            On Friday, April 9, 2010, at 2 pm, the Naco Heritage Alliance will dedicate signs recently posted at Camp Naco, the Mexican Revolution era (1910-1920) military camp in Naco, Arizona.  Local residents are aware of Camp Naco’s story, known by some as Newell’s Camp or Newell Cantonment, but many visitors to this area pass this site and see a military-style compound and can only guess at its background.  Now signs will be posted to announce the Camp’s history and the efforts to preserve this historic property.   Arizona Legislative District 25 Congresswoman Patricia Fleming will participate in the ceremony.

            In partnership with the Town of Huachuca City, who received Camp Naco in 2006 as a donation from VisionQuest, the Naco Heritage Alliance has coordinated resources and various community stakeholders in working towards a common goal to preserve, restore, and give new life to this piece of Arizona’s past. 

            In 2007, the Arizona Preservation Foundation included Camp Naco in its 2007 Most Endangered Historic Places list.  While the buildings at Camp Naco are in varying stages of disrepair, some are still in remarkable condition even after 90 years of Arizona wind, sun, and monsoon rains.  Others, unfortunately, have not weathered as well.  These adobe structures represent a piece of history, and intervention is necessary to prevent further deterioration and to give Camp Naco a future.

            Efforts over the past three years to preserve Camp Naco have given hope to the preservation of this site.  In April 2007, a grant from the Southwest Foundation for Education and Historic Preservation in the amount of $17,500 was awarded to begin preservation efforts.   The Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson, AZ, led by Dr. Bill Doelle, sponsored the community-based preservation group, now known as the Naco Heritage Alliance, in submitting for this grant.   In May 2007, over fifty volunteers, most of whom were students of the Basic Officer Leadership Course at Fort Huachuca, gathered at the Camp with community members to remove years of trash and overgrown brush from in and around the buildings.  The rewards of that clean-up are still noticeable today.  And in June 2007, the Town of Huachuca City was awarded an $80,169 Arizona Heritage Preservation Fund grant to focus on the initial steps towards preservation, such as a Building Condition Assessment, a security fence around the compound, completion of the National Register of Historic Places nomination,  and continued site clean-up. 

            Despite all of these significant achievements, Camp Naco will remain endangered for quite some time.  The Town of Huachuca City, the Naco Community, the Turquoise Valley Golf Club, various community stakeholder, and the Naco Heritage Alliance, now a 501(c)(3) organization, continue to work together to save the Camp, and they welcome all friends who share in this interest. 

      For further information or to join efforts to preserve Camp Naco, contact Rebecca Orozco at the Center for Lifelong Learning, Cochise College, email:  orozcor@cochise.edu, or by phone at the Sierra Vista Campus, 520-515-5382, or at the Douglas Campus, 520-417-4772.

 

 

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