Photography, history, and stories from all my treks plus crafts, antiques, art, and much more...
Whittman: Round Two
Since we found a few abandoned places in Whittman, AZ, on our trip up to Kirkland, we decided to give it a second look before heading home. We were glad we did. The last time we stayed on the southwest side of US Route 60 (Grand Avenue), and this time we decided to check out the northeast side. As we figured, more abandoned homes, businesses, vehicles, and even boats. Whittman was a fantastic ending to our road trip.
Immersed in the Hereford’s history in Eagar, AZ, sits the 26 Bar Ranch. It was first known as the Milky Way Ranch in the 1940’s with its big white show barn which housed many Hereford cattle. The barn is now a local landmark. In 1964 the ranch became the 26 Bar Ranch or John Wayne’s Ranch, who was one of the owners. Wayne, along with Ken Reafsnyder and Louis Johnson, his business partners, kept the ranch until John Wayne’s death in 1979 from lung and stomach cancer. Lately, I have heard rumors that Bigfoot has been seen near the ranch. I don’t know if that is true or not, but it would be worth checking out. John Wayne and Louis Johnson
There are many strange stories in the Arizona files. One that is told is about the mummy found in the desert near Gila Bend nicknamed “Sylvester”. Many believe that he once was a 19th century cowboy, a con that loved to play cards. Stories are told that he finally got caught cheating and was shot in the stomach. He made a hasty exit while bleeding profusely from his wound. He got as far as Arizona’s Gila Bend desert when he fell off his horse and died face down in the sweltering heat. Shortly afterwards, he was covered by the blowing sands, which appeared to have dried his body overnight. This apparently preserved his body resulting in the mummified form he was found in. The more believable story was that he was found shortly after death and preserved in a high level of arsenic. Arsenic was used to stop the physical occurrences of a corpse rotting by killing bacteria and insects that invaded it. This custom of using arsenic was found to be poisonous by the 1900’s and never used
Located in the northern part of Gila County is the town of Payson, Arizona. Because of where it is located in the state, it has been christened “The Heart of Arizona”. Payson was established in 1882 and was first identified as Green Valley. Two years later in March, a post office was erected with the assistance of Lewis Edwin Payson. The people showed their gratitude by changing the town’s name to Payson. Also that same year, the first rodeo was held and deemed the “world’s oldest continuous”. It is still held in Payson till this day. In the 1950’s, after many complained about the trip from Phoenix to Payson taking eight to twelve hours, a new paved highway was constructed. State Route 87 (or the Beeline Highway), made travel quicker and easier for those wanted to get away from the heat of the valley to the gorgeous, serine forests in Payson. Website: http://paysonrimcountry.com/ GREEN VALLEY PARK THE OXBOW INN FIRST JUSTICE OF THE P