The 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.
Dragoon Springs is located at the northern end of the Dragoon Mountains in Cochise County, Arizona. The springs were an important source of water for Native American people a thousand years ago or more. In September 1695, Spanish troops camped here. They described this place as muy penascosa, “very rocky”. … Continue reading
Note: A high-clearance vehicle is advised. From Downtown Tucson, take I-10 east about an hour and exit Dragoon Road (Exit 318) Turn right (south) on Dragoon Road; continue 3.5 miles (past the entrance of the Amerind) to the town of Dragoon. You will cross several cattle guards. If you come … Continue reading
Few people have ever seen the Old West from this unique perspective. Please join us Monday, January 19, 2015 for a tour of two historic Southern Arizona ghost towns and a behind the scenes tour of one town that was “too tough to die”. Your guide will be Jim Gressinger, … Continue reading
This year’s Empire Ranch Fall Roundup & Open House is Saturday, November 1st. The day-long Roundup will feature presentations and demonstrations about cowboy life on the Ranch and showcase Western traditions, skills, music, and food. Ms. Karen & I went last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. This is a great … Continue reading
“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
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
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
Conspicuous by its absence, the Gunfight At The O.K. Corral, Tombstone’s most popular attraction, has not graced the pages of Southern Arizona Guide … until now. Why? At Southern Arizona Guide we have a guiding philosophy. If we cannot wholeheartedly recommend your establishment or event to our friends & family, … Continue reading
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
John Slaughter, who was a Confederate soldier, Texas Ranger and Cochise County sheriff, loved this porch. He was sitting there one day with his family when a cloud of dust swirled up from the south. Pancho Villa and his army rode onto Slaughter’s ranch.