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By Tom Collins

In the 1880s, Prescott had only one “opera house,” the tiny theater on the second floor of the building designed and constructed by James Howey in 1879. Levi Bashford bought the building in 1880 and, in 1887, created a theater with a stage only 10 feet deep and about 30 feet wide.  The seating capacity was about 250.  Despite the cramped quarters, professional theater troupes occasionally performed there.  One such troupe was the renowned San Francisco Grismer-Davies Company, headed by the most respected duo in the city:  Joseph R. Grismer and his lovely wife, Phoebe Davies.  They arrived in Prescott via the Atlantic & Pacific Railway in January 1888 and presented a trio of melodramas:  The Streets of New York, The Wages of Sin, and Called Back.

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By Thomas Glover

Arizona is host to one of the great treasure legends of not just America, but of the world: The Lost Dutchman Mine. The mine is said to have been mined by a German immigrant, Jacob Waltz, who died before he could reveal its location. The mystery is shrouded in history, lore and several “curious” deaths. Ironically, it is also one of the most found lost mines in America.

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By Leo Banks

Wyatt Earp and Geronimo came of age on the Arizona frontier at roughly the same time, and their reputations have lived on into the 21st Century, becoming our biggest Wild West celebrities.  But they’re rarely talked about together. Did these legendary men have anything in common? Surprisingly, yes.

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By Bi Sallomi

Doctors were in short supply on the mid-19th century Western frontier so the home was the focus of both health maintenance and disease treatment. Experience and wisdom were valued in older family members, usually female, as they were the keepers of collective family and cultural knowledge. Over the years, a wife and mother might become well-practiced in the use of home remedies for various ailments, including mild digestive upsets, malarial fevers, insect bites and bleeding from severe lacerations. Midwifery and infant care were practiced primarily by women and doctors were seldom called for childbirth.
 

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By Barbara Patton In August 1864, Arizona territorial governor John Goodwin and his group of government officials had been living in tents for almost a year.  It must have been a welcome change to move into the large log house built for them in the wilderness capital of Prescott.

 

They had traveled into the new territory in December of the preceding year looking for a place to found a capital. They chose a spot in the North Central highlands with plenty of timber and water where the town of Prescott had recently been established. There was also gold in the nearby hills.

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By Jenny Pederson

What is folk art? Very simply, it is everyday people the world over creating works of art using traditional techniques passed down for generations. In the case of pioneers in the U.S., it often demonstrates the diverse European backgrounds of the makers.
 

Folk art is rooted in traditions from particular cultures and communities like Prescott and illustrate community cultural identities.

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By Eric Jacobsen

Between Congress and Yarnell lies the ghost town of Stanton, Arizona.  For years during the 1860s, the town was called Antelope Station and served as a stagecoach stop.  
 

In 1863, pioneer Pauline Weaver and other miners discovered gold along Antelope Creek.  A tracker named Alvaro tripped over a pile of gold nuggets “as big as potatoes.”  From that time on, the area became known as Rich Hill.  Eventually, it would yield nearly $500,000 ($7 million in 2019 dollars) in gold. The town soon grew to 3,500 people, all hoping to strike it rich.
 

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By Brad Courtney & Ron Williams

Few realize Virgil Earp’s law-enforcement career began in Prescott following an incident on Whiskey Row, although when Virgil and wife Allie originally arrived in 1877, he delivered mail, drove a wagon, and reputedly ran a saw mill below Thumb Butte.
 

On October 17, 1877, Colonel William McCall was in Jackson & Tompkins’ Saloon when two men—George Wilson and Robert Tullos—walked in and headed for McCall. One jabbed a pistol in his back while the other whispered threats.
 

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By Bob Harner

When it comes to history and legends about the West, Arizona has its share, and, at times, it’s difficult to separate the two. In Prescott, a prime example is the history and legend of Fleming Parker.
 

First some history. James Fleming Parker (usually known as Fleming Parker) was born in Visalia, California, in 1865. When he was ten, his mother died in childbirth, and his father committed suicide four years later. At 15, he was sentenced to San Quentin for cattle theft. After release, he worked as a cowboy, but supplementing his income with burglary soon landed him back in San Quentin.
 

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Compiled from Days Past articles by Barbara Patton and research and writings by Sue Kissel, Brenda Taylor and Nancy Kirkpatrick Wright.

Kate Thomson Cory was born in Waukeegan, Illinois on February 8th, 1861, to James and Eliza Cory. She was raised with a sense of justice and respect for all; her father was an abolitionist, Underground Railroad supporter and friend of Abraham Lincoln. In the late 1870s, the family moved to New York City, and, encouraged by her mother, Kate studied art at the distinguished Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art where she had success as a landscape artist.
 

In 1905, Kate met Louis Akin who had been in Arizona painting portraits of Hopi people and village scenes. His descriptions of the vivid colors and majestic panoramas of the Southwest piqued Kate’s interest, as did the idea of joining his proposed artist colony on Hopi lands.
 

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