Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Tunnel: Between Superior and Miami

This tunnel is on the highway between Superior and Miami, AZ.  After having a great lunch in Miami, it was off to Globe.  More to come...

Noftsger Hill Inn: Once a School Now a Haunted B&B

The Noftsger was built in 1907 and was known as the Noftsger Hill Elementary school. It sits near the Old Dominion Mine in Globe and looks over the valley below. Stories of strange occurrences were reported even back when children filled its halls. Some would see a lantern light shining through the windows when no one was inside. The children often found the books in the room were moved from the place they were left at the end of the school day. Other objects had also mysteriously moved overnight as well. Children’s voices could be heard in the distance when there were no children present at the time. After the school was closed in 1981, stories of teachers buried in the basement circulated and many said that the place was haunted with their ghosts. A lady who lives nearby reported hearing a telephone ringing from inside the building but it was empty at the time.

Today, the Noftsger stands as a six room Inn and decorated with memorabilia dedicated to the mines that once made Globe a booming town. With all the paranormal claims at the Noftsger Inn, many of the souls from that era seem to be still hanging around the building. Some of the accounts are of children’s voices when no child was staying there, phantom footsteps, strange lights, objects moving on their own, and apparitions have been seen between the old walls of the Noftsger Inn.

While in Globe, this is where we like to stay.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Off To Globe

Sharon and I along with the POE team are in Globe doing a ghost hunt and conducting experiments.  We will share our experience with you.  Be looking for our posts on the trip.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Florence: POW Camp

Just north of Florence was located a huge prisoner of war camp for German and Italian detainees seized during the North Africa movement and called, “Camp Florence”.  This World War II site was built in 1942-43 and is the biggest prisoner of war complex ever built on American land.  Thousands of POW’s were held in this 5 acre compound which had a barracks, a hospital, a bakery, a swimming pool, athletic fields, and a few theaters.  The men even earned money by performing different tasks within the camp.
Camp Florence had around 13,000 prisoners by December of 1945.  In 1946 it was deemed a "surplus" and in 1948 it became a state hospital and incarceration center for first time criminals.  They moved most of the POW quarters to Queen Creek, AZ and used them for elementary schoolrooms.  Today it stands as a location for the Florence Public Health Service Clinic, serving the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Court is in Session

Pictures from inside the Florence Historical Museum.

Florence Historical Museum

On our way home from Tucson, we stopped in Florence to check out their historical museum.  Here are some of the items on display inside.

Florence capital building

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Frozen in July

It is frickin' hot in good ol' Phoenix and surrounding cities.  With the monsoon season upon us, we are getting the humidity too.  I thought I would post some pictures of winter and try and cool off.  If the pictures don't do it, a glass of iced coffee or green tea in an air conditioned building just might.

Hot coco and chilly outdoor seating.

Rocking by a warm fire.

How about some ice fishing?

Winter Wonderland

Frozen waters.

Take a ride on the zip line.

Cruise with the dogs.

Nighty nite.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tom Mix: The King of Cowboys

I always love it when an unexpected story comes my way. On our way home from Tucson last week, we decided to take the back highway Route 79. Sharon was telling me about a monument for a cowboy actor who died along that particular stretch of road. His name was Tom Mix and he was known as “The King of Cowboys”.

Thomas Edwin Mix was born on January 6, 1880 into a poor logging family in Mix Run, Pennsylvania. He spent his youth riding horses and working on a local farm. His days were consumed with thoughts of being in the circus as a knife thrower. He was rumored to use his sister to assist while he practiced throwing knives against a wall. But life would take him in another direction as an American film actor in many early Western movies. Between 1910 and 1935, he chalked up a staggering 336 films, some of which were silent movies. He was respected and revered by many of the famous cowboys to follow such as John Wayne.

Mix enrolled in the Army on April of 1898 during the Spanish-American War. He married Grace I. Allin on July 18, 1902 and during his time off, he did not return back to duty. In November of 1902, he was listed as AWOL but never court-martialed or even discharged from the Army. After a year of marriage to Grace, they got an annulment. He turned around and married a woman named Kitty but this marriage only lasted a year as well. On January 10, 1909, he married again, this time to Olive Stokes.

After several years of different jobs while living in the Oklahoma Territory, he was hired at a 101,000 acre ranch known as the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch. He stood out as a skilled marksman and accomplished rider. In 1909 he won the National Riding and Rodeo Championship. A year later, he did his first movie in a supporting role showing off his cattle roping talents. Mix became an instant star and two years later a father when his wife Olive gave birth to their daughter, Ruth. Over the course of five years he was in over 100 movies, many with an actress named Victoria Forde. He became infatuated with her, fell in love, and divorced Olive.

By the 1920’s, he was in over 160 matinees that many would head to the theatre to escape from reality for a while. By 1929, he finished his last silent picture and at the age of 49 he was ready to hang up his spurs for good. Later that same year he was a pallbearer at the funeral of Wyatt Earp where it was rumored that he wept openly.

There were reports that on the day of October 12, 1940, Mix was driving his 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton on Arizona State Route 79 when his life came to a tragic end. After pausing at the Oracle Junction Inn, a well-liked gambling and drinking place, he called his agent, hopped in his car and headed on his way. They say he was moving at 80 mph when he hit the construction barriers near where a bridge was washed away by a flood. He couldn’t break in time, swerved his car, rolled twice into a gully, and was trapped beneath the car. In the back seat behind him was a large aluminum suitcase with lots of money, traveler’s check and jewels. The suitcase bolted forward hitting him in the head, breaking his neck and crushing his skull. Mix died instantly at the age of 60.

Along State Route 79 and marking the location where Mix died is a small stoned marker. The gully his car landed in is now named, “Tom Mix Wash”. On the stone marker is a plaque which reads, “In memory of Tom Mix whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterization and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the old West in the minds of living men”.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Biosphere 2

Biosphere 2 is a 3.14-acre structure originally built to be an artificial, materially-closed ecological system in Oracle, Arizona (USA) by Space Biosphere Ventures, a joint venture whose principal officers were John P. Allen, inventor and Executive Director, and Margret Augustine, CEO. Constructed between 1987 and 1991, it was used to explore the complex web of interactions within life systems in a structure that included five areas based on natural biomes and an agricultural area and human living/working space to study the interactions between humans, farming and technology with the rest of nature. It also explored the possible use of closed biospheres in space colonization, and allowed the study and manipulation of a biosphere without harming Earth's. The name comes from Earth's biosphere, Biosphere 1. Earth's life system is the only biosphere currently known. Funding for the project came primarily from the joint venture's financial partner, Ed Bass' Decisions Investment, and cost $200 million from 1985 to 2007, including land, support research greenhouses, test module and staff facilities. (From Wikipedia)

Biosphere 2 is the size of two and a half football fields. The structure is the biggest enclosed working system ever produced and sits at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson. Inside the well preserved edifice, scientists were able to test the changes of the air, water and soil enclosed inside. Also within the sealed walls was a rainforest, an ocean with a coral reef, mangrove wetlands, savannah grassland, a fog desert, an agricultural system, a human habitat, and a below-ground level technical enclosure. The sealed structure generated heating, cooling, and electricity through solar panels.

From 1991 to 1993, Mission 1 experiment with eight people was conducted where they were locked inside for two years. The second mission with a group of seven people only lasted six months because of disagreements over the cost of the project. The mission ended up being shut down early.

Sharon and I decided to take a drive up to see Biosphere 2 while waiting for our friend to get home. Even though they do provide tours, we just circled the parking lot and then left. We could see the massive structure from the road. Perhaps next time we will take the tour.

This little fella was feasting on a flatten rattlesnake in the middle of the road.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes

If Norman Bates spent more time taking care of the motel instead of his dead mother, the place wouldn't look like an abandoned mess.

Looks like Norman has a new friend.