Dragoon Springs was a stop on the
Butterfield-Overland stage route that went through Arizona. Located
right in the heart of the Chiricahua Apache homeland and just a few miles
away from Cochise's Stronghold in the Dragoon Mountains. Weary
travelers would have a chance for a meal and use of the "facilities" in the
comparative safety of the stagestop.
men that were building the station in 1858 were bludgeoned to death by
Mexican laborers. Their graves and the graves of four soldiers
killed by the Apaches are next to the well-preserved
remains of the stone ruins. The soldiers were Arizona Rangers, members
of the Arizona Confederate Army. Arizona was still a territory but
they seceded from the Union in March, 1861. They were involved in
skirmishes with the Apaches at least twice at this location, losing four men
in 1862 and killing five Apache shortly after.
The remains of the buildings are
preserved and can be viewed. To get here you take the Dragoon Road
exit off of I-10. Following this road you will reach the town of
Dragoon. Cross over the railroad tracks and the road curves to the
right, but you will turn right off the paved road. Follow the dirt
road around the northern edge of the Dragoon Mountains. You will see
some Forest Service signs that will direct you to the site of the
"Butterfield Overland Mail Stage Station". Note: Many of the buildings
in this area of Arizona were built of rock not adobe.