I found this book on the history of Mt. Lemmon at the Palisades Ranger Station on Mt. Lemmon last summer and have been trying to get time to read it ever since. The complete title is: Look to the Mountains: An in-depth look into the lives and times of the people who shaped the history of the Catalina Mountains.
Visitors to Southern Arizona are often amazed at our "Sky Islands"; tall mountains rising suddenly and majestically out of our flat desert lowlands. Several of Arizona's major observatories are located atop Sky Island peaks. Southern Arizona’s 7 Sky Islands are the mountains ranges named Baboquivari, Whetstone, Chiricahua, Hauchuca, Pinaleño, Santa Catalina Mountains, and Santa Rita. The tallest of these is 10,720' Mt. Graham in the Pinaleño Mountains above Safford and the Gila River.
Mt. Lemmon, tallest peak in the Santa Catalina Sky Island, has a unique history. Few people realize what a special place Mt. Lemmon is, aside from the allure of a cool summer escape. From ancient paleo-Indians 4,000 years ago, to the complex Hohokam culture a thousand years ago, to the Spaniards of the 1542 Coronado Expedition, to the Apaches and 19th century Mexican and Anglo-American pioneers of Arizona's Territorial Period, to the residents of a 21st century metropolis, Mt. Lemmon (9,159') and the Catalina Mountains on Tucson's northern periphery have been exploited and enjoyed by many peoples seeking woodland resources and a respite from the scorching desert floor.
Look to the Mountains was written by long time local resident, Suzanne Hensel. It was twelve years in the making and was published by Mt. Lemmon Woman's Club in 2006. Every one of the chapters in this book is a story in itself, full of anecdotes, history, and very personal lives of the people who were here before us. Read More