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Tag Archives: Arizona history

San Carlos Apache Reservation (access required)

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Despite its stark appearance, the U.S. Indian Agency at the San Carlos Apache Reservation was a marked improvement over the “…log hut with an earthen floor and canvas doors” that served as headquarters when John P. Clum, newly appointed agent, arrived on the reservation on Aug. 8, 1874.

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The Douglas Trolleys (access required)

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Landmarks along G Avenue, the main street of Douglas, Arizona, are the Phelps Dodge Mercantile store at left, the Gadsden Hotel next to it (which burned down in 1928 and was rebuilt in 1930) and the Bank of Douglas on the corner at right.

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First Catholic School in the Territory (access required)

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The original St. Joseph’s Academy (called the Convent School) was established in 1868 adjacent to Tucson’s old St. Augustine Cathedral. It was a thick-walled adobe building, built in the “fashion of the country’’ with earthen floors and a roof of sagebrush and cactus interfaced on pine rafters and covered with mud.

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Steamboats on the Colorado (access required)

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Impressive as the steamboat Gila appears, Martha Summerhays, an Army wife who journeyed on the boat in 1874, described the steamer in less than glorious terms: “We had staterooms, but could not remain in them long on account of the intense heat. After a hasty meal and a few remarks upon the salt beef and the general misery of our lot, we could seek some spot which might be a trifle cooler. Conversation lagged; no topic seems to have any interest except the thermometer, which hung in the coolest place on the boat; and one day when Major Worth looked at it and pronounced it 122 degrees in the shade, a grim despair seized upon me.”

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Amelia Earhart in Arizona (access required)

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Earhart’s destination was Los Angeles, where a national air meet was in progress. Attempting to avoid publicity, she chose small out-of-the-way landing fields for refueling stops. Her landing in McNeal on September 12, 1928, was a surprise to the community.

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The Gouldings of Monument Valley (access required)


Harry Goulding was born in Durango, Colorado, in 1897. He was from a family of sheepmen, and he ran sheep in Colorado and New Mexico as a youth. He talked his way into the Army in World War I, being underage, and ended up as a mule sergeant in the 7th Engineers. After his discharge he headed back west to find a spot where he “could look a hundred miles in any direction and not see a second lieutenant.’’

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Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theatre (access required)


In its heyday between 1881 and 1889, the Bird Cage – replete with wallpaper imported from Paris, massive grand piano, orchestra pit, box seats and well-stocked bar – was the most famous honky-tonk in America.

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Superstition Gold Feud


Celeste Marie Jones arrived in the Superstitions in the 1950s to search for gold. She had some financing – some say from a church in Los Angeles – and she got more financing in the form of food and supplies from Bob Corbin and his partner, Joe Robles, who themselves had prospected for gold in the Superstitions. The two men packed in food every Friday night one whole winter in exchange for a 10 percent share of anything Jones found.

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