History of the Old West

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Old West StagecoachThe more I delve into the history of Tucson and Southern Arizona, the more fascinated I become with this place I call home. The Old West really comes to life when I visit historic places, such as Fort Bowie, AND know the significance of what happened there back in the day.

Below you will find my factual accounts of the people, both Native Americans and Anglo-Americans, who struggled to make their way in a mostly harsh and lawless land. Here you will meet the Apache leaders who led their brave and resourceful people against the horde of Anglo invaders. You will meet Texas John Slaughter, the sheriff who cleaned up Cochise County after the Earps left Arizona. You will meet Larcena Pennington, a young woman who was kidnapped by Apaches, then repeatedly stabbed and left for dead.

Through my accounts, you will discover the many ghost towns of Southern Arizona, such as Ruby and Fairbank, that are worth a good walkabout. And you will discover towns, such as Tombstone, that should be ghosts, but survived to the present to relive those bygone days.

I hope you enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoyed researching and writing about them.

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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

A Fate Worse Than Death: How Pennington Street Got Its Name!

Larcena Ann Pennington

How did Pennington Street in Downtown Tucson get its name? (a) Could it be named for some 19th century politician and merchant like Estevan Ochoa, who established a successful business supplying Indian reservations and U.S. Army forts northeast of Tucson? He served as mayor (1875-76) and has a downtown street … Continue reading

America’s Longest War: An Apache History!

Apaches

Which was America’s longest war? President Obama claims that the war in Afghanistan is America’s longest. But is that true? First, let me say that “wars” no longer start with a formal “declaration of war” nor end with a formal signing of surrender documents or “peace accords”. So part of … Continue reading

SASCO the Forgotten Ghost Town

Rockland Hotel

SASCO is a ghost town north of Tucson and just south of Picacho Peak. It was the smelter for the first Silverbell mine, which was 12 miles to the southwest and connected by rail. We had visited SASCO ten years ago; before we were Southern Arizona Guide and we had … Continue reading

Empire Ranch Fall Roundup 2013: A Slideshow.

32.Tombstone Ghost Rider 01

Every year in the fall for the past 13 years, the Empire Ranch Foundation has put on a grand celebration of ranching life in Southern Arizona. From the 1860’s to the 1960’s, the Empire Ranch was one of the largest and most successful cattle operations in the American Southwest. The … Continue reading

The Train To Tombstone: Arizona Territory, 1903.

Tombstone Train 1903

TOMBSTONE’S RAILROAD CENTENNIAL reprinted with permission from Tombstone Times. by Larry Jensen & Ray Madzia Picture the day. Feel the event. The Railroad was coming to Tombstone!!!! It had been nearly 25 years that folks had been arriving in Tombstone, but not by rail. The railroad had not laid tracks … Continue reading