Indian Ruins, Whiteriver, Arizona
We drove out to the Kinishba Ruins near Fort Apache and found the site to be large and in bad shape for being rehabilitated in the early 30s. Upon arrival we came up on elk and havalina, so be sure to make noise to spook anything that might be lurking in the brush. Luckily for me the havalina were standing below the site in a small canyon, just 60-100 feet below me. These ruins are a must see and worth the drive out to see them.
Kinishba is a large pueblo ruin containing nine masonry buildings constructed between 1250 and 1350 A.D. by the pre-Columbian Mogollon culture. The pueblo is situated on the upper end of a grass covered valley and originally had 400-500 ground floor rooms standing two or three stories high. At its peak, Kinishba may have housed up to 1000 occupants. The pueblo was vacated in the late 14th-early 15th centuries for unknown reasons.
Occupied by Zuni and Hopi ancestors until about 1400AD, the village was excavated and partly reconstructed in the 1930s by archaeologist Byron Cummings. In 1931 Byron Cummings, director of the Arizona State Museum, and his students began excavation and reconstruction of Kinishba.
Between 1934 and 1937 Kinishba also served as an archaeological field school where Cummings trained more than 70 students. In 1938 and 1939 Cummings and Apache enrollees continued to excavate and restore the ruins; they also constructed a small museum and residence. Cummings hoped to establish the site as a unit of the National Park Service, but in the absence of further federal funding, the reconstructed buildings and the new museum began to fall into ruin.
In 1993 the site was placed on Congress’s "Priority 1" list of threatened National Historic Landmarks. Today the site is cared for by the White Mountain Apache Tribe.