Tour Stop 12: Hance House, c. 1917
112 South Coppinger Street, Camp Verde, AZ 86322
Built in 1917, the Hance House was constructed next to the surgeon’s quarters at Fort Verde for George Washington Hance, one of the valley’s most illustrious residents. The building is a strong example of a side-gabled vernacular house in Camp Verde.
George Hance and his brother arrived in the Verde Valley in 1868. Over time, he became involved in many aspects of life in the region. He was Camp Verde’s first postmaster and served for over 20 years as the Justice of the Peace for the Lower Verde District. Hance also served as a notary public, school board secretary, road supervisor, majordomo, tax assessor and first secretary of Arizona’s Republican Party.
In the 1870s and ’80s, Hance operated Cienega Stage Station, a favorite overnight stop for travelers. He also supplied wood and hay to the army and was active in numerous fraternal organizations. An anti-prohibitionist, even though he never drank, Justice of the Peace Hance was famous for swearing-in witnesses on a copy of Dana’s Mineralogy, a geology textbook he believed was of “equal importance” to the Bible.
The Hance House is owned and maintained by the Camp Verde Historical Society. It is available for tours during Fort Verde Days celebrations, special events, and by appointment. The house is completely furnished with period furniture and household accessories, as well as tools, art, books, clothing and other miscellaneous items.