In the mid-19th century, in the remote southwest desert that was Arizona Territory, there were not many ways to earn a fortune. Life was mostly a struggle just to survive, let alone prosper.
In the early 1850’s, 10’s of thousands of young men from the eastern United States, Midwest, and Texas, became infected with a disease called “gold fever”. And many passed through the dirty, dusty little Mexican village of Tucson before proceeding west to the rich placer streams and rivers of Central California.
A few realized that the surest way to make a quick fortune was not to prospect for gold, but to sell necessities to the fast-growing population of prospectors: shovels, picks, Levi’s (jeans), food, etc.
Edward Nye Fish
Ed Fish was one. He had made a lot of money selling pre-fab houses in San Francisco, and when he arrived in Tucson he had the resources to start several businesses, including a mercantile store located about where Granada crosses Alameda and Congress streets downtown. Today, the once-elegantly furnished Edward Nye Fish home houses our Tucson Museum of Art’s western art collection. Read More