(Editor's Note: Sadly, John and Sandy have retired. Sold off all their goods and left. We will leave this story here for history sake. It is now an official Ghost Town.) One of the stranger places we visited on our tour of Southeastern Arizona is John & Sandy’s Rattlesnake Crafts & Rocks.
John makes wallets, belts, and other useful items and souvenirs out of rattlesnake skins and sells them out of an old trailer. He also collects a lot of stuff others have discarded as junk.
Here you will find literally tons of Old West artifacts lovingly horded for decades and on display for your amusement. Old signs, bottles, tools, boots, lanterns, you-name-it.
Here too is a fine rock and gemstone collection. But the only stuff that’s for sale is what’s price-marked inside the old trailer.
Although we met Sandy, there’s no one here to wait on you. And payment is by the honor system. Just outside the trailer is as box with a sign over it that reads:
Rattlesnake Crafts, Self-Serve Today
If you like anything that’s priced, leave money or check payable to:
“John Weber” in box. Thanks!
I purchased a knife in a snake skin sheath to use both as a letter opener and a conversation piece. Inside the box on a note pad I wrote what I had taken and the price – $19 – and dutifully placed a crisp $20 bill in the clip.
You might think that I over-paid by a dollar. Not so. Just walking around this place looking at the extensive collection was well worth the extra buck.
Gleeson: A Ghost Town
While you're out there, continue east on the unpaved road another mile or so and you'll come to the ghost town of Gleeson. On your right you'll see a restored home with a plaque in front of it. Just a little further on the right is the old jail. There are ruins on the other side of the road too.
For more Ghost Towns in the area see our page "Ghost Towns and Tours of Southern Arizona" listing stories and sites around Southern Arizona.