On May 16, 1870, an army post was established near the present town of Whiteriver in order to assist the White Mountain Apache Tribe to peacefully protect their lands. That same month, the post and surrounding area was designated as a reservation for the tribe. Fort Apache is owned by the White Mountain Apache Tribe. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located in the heart of Apache country, Fort Apache was an isolated outpost of Anglo expansion. Today it recalls a turbulent period of both conflict and cooperation between representatives of the United States and the various bands of the Western Apaches.
Fort Apache is perhaps most widely recognized in association with the famous renegade leaders from various Apache bands, such as Geronimo and Cochise, who were pursued by the soldiers from Fort Apache and the White Mountain Apache Scouts, including Chiefs Alchise and Diable. It was these men who were instrumental in bringing a lasting peace to the Southwest.
Today, visitors may stroll through old Fort Apache with the aid of a self-guided walking tour or a guided tour. Over twenty buildings dating from the 1870's through the 1930's comprise the 288-acre historic site. Also located on the premises are prehistoric ruins, prehistoric and historic petroglyphs, the old military cemetary, the Apache Culture Center, and a recreated Apache Village.
Fort Apache is situated four miles south of Whiteriver, Arizona (headquarters of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.) To get to Fort Apache, take State Highway 73 east from Carrizo or south from Pinetop. The Fort is approximately 22 miles from the turnoff.
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