Local History

Southern Arizona has a vibrant history. Coronado’s Spanish Conquistadors. Apache Wars. Mining boomtowns now deserted ghost towns. The Gunfight Near The OK Corral and the Earp Vendetta Ride. The Bisbee Massacre. And so much more.

In the following pages you will find some most interesting “Local” history about a time or place. These are our picks of True West stories, some obscure, but all rewarding.


Saguaro Fruit Harvest: Learning To Live Off The Sonoran Desert

Jennifer_Robin-Laughing

Neighbor Roy & I attended an Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Study Program in late June. We learned how to harvest and process saguaro fruit the way the Tohono O’odham have done it for millennia. We learned many other interesting things, like how the O’odham calendar alines with changes in their natural … Continue reading

Big Sycamore Stands Alone: A Book Review

Aravaipa Canyon

The full title is Big Sycamore Stands Alone: The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle For Place. I was instantly drawn to it because, according to the book’s jacket, it promised to reveal a new and in depth understanding of a proud people who once inhabited all of a large, rugged landscape the Western (aka San Carlos) Apaches call Arapa, a place that has great meaning for them still.

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Historic Downtown Tucson: A Collection of Picture Postcards

Tucson, Arizona: 2013.

As a “city”, Tucson really came into its own in the first decade of the 20th century, even though the city was legally incorporated in 1877. It never amounted to anything of importance until the Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in 1880. The railroad connected Tucson to the outside world. It brought hardware, lumber, and fresh produce at affordable prices. Even today, you can see how the architecture of the city changed after the arrival of the railroad. 

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Fairbank: A Ghost Town Slideshow

Fairbank Picnic

Fairbank ghost town (aka Fairbank Historic Townsite) is about a 20 minute drive from Tombstone. It is located along the San Pedro River within the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area. Fairbank was established in 1881 as a depot for the railroad. The town was named for N.K. Fairbank, one … Continue reading

Apache May: An Indian Girl On The Slaughter Ranch

This is the dress and vest Apache May wore when Sheriff John Slaughter discovered her.

“Texas” John Slaughter was the sheriff who cleaned up Cochise County after the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday left Arizona. He was as tough as they come and, among the outlaw class, earned the moniker “that wicked little gringo”. As despised and feared as he was by the outlaws, he … Continue reading

Tom Jeffords and the Chiricahua Apache Reservation

Tom Jeffords. Photo taken in 1885.

Editor’s Note. Karen Weston Gonzales is a talented free lance writer. I first read her story about Southern Arizona pioneer, Tom Jeffords, in Tombstone Times to which I subscribe. The story is reprinted here with permission. The story is true and offers a clear account of one of the most … Continue reading

Oro Valley Farmers Market: Farm Fresh History!

Oro Valley Farmers Market at Steam Pump Ranch

Not long ago, Oro Valley Farmers Market moved to historic Steam Pump Ranch on North Oracle Road. The ranch was started in 1874 by German immigrants George Pusch and Johann Zellweger. In order to make the ranch viable, they needed a lot of water.  So the partners purchased a steam … Continue reading

Coronado National Memorial: A Video

Coronado National Memorial

In this video, Mike Foster talks about the Coronado National Memorial and the Coronado Expedition for which this memorial is named. This is a great Day Trip for a warm day. Bring a picnic for the top of Montezuma Pass at 6500 ft. elevation. Explore the cave on the property. … Continue reading