Location: Department of Emergency and Military Affairs 5636 E. McDowell Road Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona 33.466156, -111.960035
Directions: The marker is inside the entrance of the Arizona Military Academy, located at the far west side of the base, and looks like a prison (bars on the windows).
Note: The AZ Military Museum is only open on Saturdays. A valid driver’s license is required for entering the base.
Historical Significance: This marker recognizes the rich military presence at Papago Park. In 1909, the northwest corner of Papago Park was put into use by the 158th Infantry Regiment of the First Arizona Volunteer Infantry (National Guard) as a small arms target and rifle range. Subsequent usages have included a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp (1933–1938); a training ground for infantry at the outset of World War II; a prisoner of war camp (1942–1946); an Army Reserve Center since 1952; and headquarters for the Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs since 1975. This adobe structure, which houses the Arizona Military Museum, was built during 1936 and 1937 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as an arsenal for the State’s quartermaster regiment.
The marker dedication was held in the entryway to the courtyard of what is now the Arizona Military Museum. Distinguished guests included: Arizona’s Official Historian Marshall Trimble and Major General David P. Rataczak. Once the ceremony was completed, everyone gathered in the base mess hall for cake and punch.
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