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Author Archives: Susan Olberding

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Healer of the Lonely Dell

On Christmas Day in 1871, Emma Batchelor Lee, her soon-to-be infamous husband, and six young children arrived at a desolate location next to the Colorado River in between Grand and Glen canyons that would become their new home. She originally called the site ‘Lonely Dell,’ but the area would become better known as Lee’s Ferry.

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Escaping from the Phoenix Indian School

Anglos moving into the Arizona Territory during the late 1800s believed that the Native Americans already there should be acclimated into Anglo culture. During that time, Indian boarding schools were built and native children were removed from their homes and placed into these schools. For one Hopi, however, going to the Phoenix Indian School was a choice he made reluctantly out of respect for his grandfather and because he believed he would find a book full of knowledge. But he didn’t stay long.

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Kaibab Plateau – The Waterless Mountain

The road from Jacob Lake to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is a lovely journey through grassy parks surrounded by spruce and fir trees at a an altitude of more than 8,000 feet. The pleasant coolness refreshes after travelling through the beautiful, yet harsh, high desert of the Vermillion Cliffs and House Rock Valley. The lack of streams and lakes on the plateau has limited human settlement there, yet there is enough snowfall to allow trees and grasses to thrive.

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The ‘Hart’ of Hart Prairie

On the western slopes of the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff is a beautiful area known as Hart Prairie. Its 8,500-foot elevation suggests short summers and long, cold winters, but surprisingly; it was one of the first areas around Flagstaff to be homesteaded because of its lush grasses, bountiful timber and readily available water.

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Brief rise and fall of the Arizona Cattle Company

Hidden behind buildings and a school playground along busy Highway 180 in Flagstaff is one of the few remaining historic barns in Arizona. If the walls could talk, they would tell of the ranching life in the 1880s and the quick rise and fall of its probable builders, the Arizona Cattle Company.

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Times Past: Campfire Comrades

Evenings spent around a campfire often warm the body. The fire glow can also warm the soul as friendships are formed and deepened. In some cases, romances start, business pacts are arranged and plots are hatched. Three memorable campfires, with lasting impact to Arizona, are recalled here.

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