Established in 1873, the San Carlos Indian Agency established a reservation for the area’s Western Apache bands. About the same time, a U.S. Army post was created nearby to exert military control. The original agency and army post are known today as Old San Carlos. From 1874 to 1877, the U.S. government’s peace policy directed additional Apache groups and other regional natives to San Carlos. The ensuing turmoil initiated the now familiar Apache Wars. These campaigns were fought through the 1870s and 1880s, as Apache rebels intermittently broke from the reservation and returned to former haunts or sought refuge in northern Mexico. By most accounts, Old San Carlos was an inhospitable locale.
In this recent IMAGES OF AMERICA release Tucson authors, Paul and Kathleen Nickens, present over 200 rare and mostly unpublished historic photographs of Old San Carlos, from its inception in 1873 to its demise in 1928, when Coolidge Dam was constructed on the Gila River, causing the inundation of the original agency location.