Montezuma Castle to host 'Rough Riders'
Troop 1A of the Arizona Rough Riders Historical Association will be joining staff and visitors at Montezuma Castle National Monument, Camp Verde, on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., commemorating the birthday of President Theodore Roosevelt along with the accomplishments of northern Arizona's all-volunteer "Rough Riders" of the Spanish American War of 1898.
From 10 a.m. to noon, speakers will discuss the legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, including his role in designating five national parks, 18 national monuments, and over 200 national forests, bird reservations, game preserves, and reclamation projects during his tenure as the nation's 26th president. Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Montezuma Castle one of the nation's first four national monuments on December 8, 1906, along with El Morro and Petrified Forest. Devils Tower in Wyoming was the country's first national monument.
Also during the morning session, members of the Rough Riders Historical Association will discuss Colonel Roosevelt's military career including recruiting, training, and leading the First Volunteer Cavalry of the Spanish-American War. The commemorative group will also deliver informal presentations on the war, the era, social mores, and contributions of northern Arizona's Troop A, the first volunteers in the country to fill recruitment quotas in 1898.
The accomplishments of Prescott's William Owen (Buckey) O'Neill, first to volunteer and also the captain of Troop A, will also be a topic.
From noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 29, visitors will have an opportunity to discuss the era with members of Troop 1A, and view period military gear, dress, and accessories appropriate for the era. The ladies of Troop 1A will also be in period dress and will focus on social customs and conventions of the late 1800s.
Regular admission fees apply Oct. 29, but there is no additional charge for the program. There is no fee for children 15 and younger and Federal recreational passes are accepted, including the senior, annual and access passes. Montezuma Castle National Monument is located off exit 289, Interstate 17, and is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas Day. For additional information, call 928-567-3322, ext. 0.