Items 1 to 10 of 1328 total

By Mary Melcher, Ph.D., edited by Robert Harner

 

Sharlot Hall was just twelve years old in 1882 when her family moved by covered wagon from Kansas to Arizona Territory. The family settled onto a ranch near Dewey, and Sharlot settled into a life of ranching work. Her father placed little emphasis on formal education. Sharlot attended a school term in Dewey and a high school term in Prescott, but she was largely self-educated...

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By Kristen Kauffman

 

On October 17, 1903, an off-schedule train screeched through Prescott at 6 AM, waking up the town. This was intentional, meant to announce William Randolph Hearst, newspaper tycoon and politician (later of Hearst Castle fame), arriving with great fanfare.

 

With Hearst were fifteen congressmen and their wives, some hesitant to travel into the infamous “Wild West.” The purpose of the trip was for Hearst and company to tour the Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona territories and inspect these eligible candidates for statehood—and because Prescott was keen to impress them with proof of civilized living, one tour stop included a thorough inspection of the school....

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By Mick Woodcock

 

Last week we learned of problems in May 1886 with not having enough water impounded at the reservoir to meet Prescott’s needs. This dam for this reservoir was located on Miller Creek, behind today's Arizona Public Service power station near the old railroad bridge. By the middle of July 1886, a flood gate had been created which would allow the mud to be cleaned and keep it from accumulating. Apparently, this did not have the desired effect on water levels.

 

By the end of September 1888, the newspaper reported water at the reservoir as “getting alarmingly scarce.” In January 1889 a valve at the waterworks froze and burst, which stopped water pumping for ten days. A June 26, 1889 article in the Arizona Weekly Journal Miner stated “The city water works are dry….”

 

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The May 23, 1884, issue of the Weekly Arizona Miner stated in a short article that the Prescott
City Council would be holding a meeting to discuss the question of waterworks and other
matters. With that, the city launched into a project to provide water to be piped into the city
instead of relying on the city’s water ditches, which had to be cleaned periodically and involved
shutting off the water for two or three days. The city decided to open bids for constructing a
waterworks.

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By Kristen Kauffman

 

Today you would never know that Lynx Creek was once one of the most dangerous districts in Yavapai County, its secretive and rolling ridges serving as the backdrop for murder, kidnapping and theft.

 

Captain Joe Walker discovered the area and began gold panning in the creek in 1863 (and became the namesake for the township currently seven miles south of Costco). In no time, the vicinity was being mined by about 200 men with gold fever. At the time, the closest major settlement was Prescott about twelve miles away, which meant that these gold panners were removed from civilization–and the eye of the law. By 1868 things were out of hand; a band of thieves had stolen two mules from a Mr. Stanebrook, two horses from a Mr. Fredericks, and when the gang had not yet been caught, they murdered Juan Yeps, a passerby, for reasons unknown.

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By Bob Harner

 

While Virgil Earp’s time in Prescott in 1877-79 has been recounted in articles, books and presentations, his return in 1895 is less familiar. Following the loss of the use of one arm in an 1881 Tombstone ambush, Virgil and his common-law wife, Allie Sullivan, lived in California and Colorado. However, on October 23, 1895, the Arizona Weekly Journal-Miner reported, “Virgil Earp, an old-time resident of Prescott, and one of the historical characters of the territory, arrived here last evening with a view of locating here again . . . Mr. Earp and his brothers figured prominently as officers at Tombstone in ridding that community of outlaws.” The newspaper further noted that he had “rented a house in Prescott and expects his family to arrive tomorrow.”

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By Stuart Rosebrook, Ph.D.

Stuart Rosebrook, Ph.D. is the Editor of “True West” magazine and the incoming Executive Director of Sharlot Hall Museum. He has written about Edward S. Curtis for “True West” and been an admirer of the photographer’s work for many years.

 

Over nine decades after Edward S. Curtis published his final volume of The North American Indian, A Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States and Alaska(TNAI), no other photographer has attempted an artistic and literary project of such magnitude. While not financially successful for Curtis, his 20-volume project is regarded today as one of the most important photographic and ethnographic records of the Indigenous people of North America. As historian Larry Len Peterson notes in his introduction to Edward S. Curtis: Printing the Legends, “Curtis…left behind the greatest photographic publication in American history, TNAI, with each set containing over 2,200 photogravures.”

 

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By Cydney Janssen of the USDA Forest Service (Smokey Bear images used with the permission of the USDA Forest Service)

 

In 1941, an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine shelled an oil field near Santa Barbara and the Los Padres National Forest. Many experienced firefighters were away fighting in the Second World War and there was widespread concern that wildfires, whether started by America’s enemies at the time, or careless neighbors, could not only ravage the west coast, but become a serious nation-wide problem. Walt Disney allowed animal characters from the popular “Bambi” movie to be used in a successful wildfire prevention poster for one year only. The Forest service’s fire prevention campaign needed a new illustrated animal ambassador.

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By Erik Berg

 

In popular culture, beer and whiskey are the traditional drinks of the Old West. You are unlikely to see a western movie where the grizzled cowboy bellies up to the bar and asks the barkeep to recommend a nice bottle of wine–perhaps something French–that would pair well with venison and biscuits. But wine was popular on the western frontier and often promoted by establishments as a mark of quality and distinction. In Prescott the numerous saloons and merchants who advertised in the Weekly Arizona Miner frequently enticed readers with the popular promise of “Wine, Liquor, and Cigars.”

 

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By Worcester P. Bong

 

If you’ve visited the Bob Stump VA Medical Center campus in Prescott, Arizona, one building (Building 11) stands out among the white buildings around it. It serves as a reminder that the medical center’s campus sits on the grounds of the former Fort Whipple, a US Army post that was established at this site in May of 1864.  Building 11, its exterior painted light yellow with dark green trim, is located along the row of former Officer’s Quarters. Built between 1903 and 1908 and designated as one of six Lieutenant’s Quarters along Officer’s Row when built, it’s home to the Fort Whipple Museum. 

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