Camp Verde Civil Works Administration Jail, c. 1933
When the military abandoned Fort Verde in 1891, it left the Camp Verde community without a jail. It was not until 1933 when Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal offered federal money for public projects that the town obtained the funds to construct a new jailhouse. A Prescott stonemason lead a crew of ten men from the Civil Works Administration (CWA) in constructing the new 20 by 28 foot building made of poured concrete walls decorated with local river cobbles. Built over a four-month period, the new jail is a wonderful example of Verde Valley Depression-era vernacular architecture.
Camp Verde has several other New Deal projects still visible in the downtown area. Look for the Works Progress Administration's (WPA) stamp in the retaining wall in front of the Camp Verde Visitor Center and the WPA 'modern sanitary privy' on the grounds of the Camp Verde Historical Society's Hance House (Tour Stop 12).
The CWA-built jail served the community until the early 1960’s. After its retirement as a jail, residents used the structure as the town library for several years. Camp Verde Historical Society restored the two-cell jail in 2010, spending some 2,000 volunteer hours on the project.
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