Apex, Arizona Archaeology Project
Director: Dr. Emily Dale
Collaborating Institution: Kaibab National Forest
From 1901 to 1968, the Grand Canyon Railway carried tourists, goods, and resources along the 64 miles between Williams, Arizona and the Grand Canyon. One of the main functions of the railroad was to supply ranching, mining, and logging camps and move the extracted resources to larger towns for use or sale. The Saginaw and Manistee Logging Company established a new headquarters at Apex, Arizona, 52 miles from Williams along the Grand Canyon Railway and in the middle of Arizona’s largest ponderosa pine forests, to harvest the timber for railroad ties, building materials, and other wood goods. In operation from 1928 to 1936, Apex was host to a railroad siding, logging spurs, maintenance buildings, homes, and a schoolhouse.
The Apex, Arizona Archaeology Project explores how the building platforms, domestic trash scatters, railroad beds, and privies still at the site reveal evidence of the Scandinavian logging employees and Mexican railroad workers and their families, providing important and largely unaddressed evidence of life in northern Arizona during the Great Depression. We are also committed to educating the public on the site, the associated timber and railroad industries, and historical archaeology in general.
Summer 2023 Field School