Showing posts from April, 2013

Geronimo’s Castle and Bowie

In the tiny town of Bowie, Arizona is a large teepee known as Geronimo’s Castle. In the 1940’s it was a Greyhound Bus Station, and later had a café and shop within its atypical walls. It was also once a filling station, and a bar with the motto, “Stop in for a bottle of beer”. Accounts are told that Chief Geronimo was captured on that site, but history tells another story. Sadly, the place closed its doors in 2004 and is now an abandoned place worth seeing. The owners are hoping to someday reopen the establishment and serve all the weary visitors traveling through Bowie.

Bowie is located in southeast Arizona, Cochise County, near the New Mexico border. Just off Interstate 10 east of Tucson sits this small standalone settlement.  The community was named after nearby Fort Bowie, and was established in 1880. It survived by the activity of the Southern and Pacific Railroad which ran through the town. Today, around 600 residents call Bowie home and it is a nice place to visit. If you like …

Abandoned Arizona

The following are pictures from some of my favorite abandoned places I visited around the state.

Arizona Travels: Ancient Cliff Dwellings

Throughout the state of Arizona, there are several ancient Native American ruins built in the cliffs of the rocky mountains. They were constructed in the 12th century and made of limestone, mud, or other various materials found in the region. The cliffs offered protection from all the dangers surrounding the settlement. Many of the dwellings are remarkable well preserved and worth a visit.

Tucked in the mountains and just outside Sedona in the Verde Valley is the site where cliff dwellers once lived. Since the building’s foundation resembled an Aztec lodging, it was therefore given the name Montezuma Castle. The remarkable structure was built by the southern Sinagua people in the 12th century. Sinagua is Spanish for “without water”. They used limestone to build their abode, which is a soft material causing varying breakage over a long period of time. Because Montezuma Castle is wedged tightly inside the rock cliffs, it has been protected by the elements and has remained intact for over…

Mummy in the Bathtub

This is a bizarre story of a mummified man found in a bathtub in a cottage located in Phoenix. It was 2008 when the Phoenix police responded to a call by the owners of a group of cottages. They led the police to cottage #4 which was rented out to an adult male named Larry since 1995. Larry seemed rather quiet, kept to himself, and paid his rent on time until 2007. When they went to confront him on the nonpayment, they found the cottage abandoned with his items still in the premises. Larry never returned so the owners decided to clean up the place and remove his stuff. They found the place stacked from floor to ceiling with trash, and personal items in such deplorable conditions. The smell was horrendous and for the owners it was a hording nightmare. With the assistance of others, they started removing the debris. When they finally reached the bathroom, they found the tub covered with plywood and plastic. They removed the items from the tub and found it full of dirt and sand. As soon a…

Arizona Travels: Bisbee "Queen of the Copper Camps"

Snuggled below U.S. Highway 80, and 82 miles southeast of Tucson is the historic old town of Bisbee. Like many of the mining towns in Arizona, Bisbee was first founded because a rich vein of minerals was discovered nearby. It was in 1877 when a civilian tracker named Jack Dunn lead a small group of soldiers into the Mule Mountains. This band of military men was on the hunt for unruly Apaches reported in the area. To their surprise, instead of finding Apache warriors, they stumbled across signs of mineral deposits consisting of lead, copper, and silver. Shortly afterwards, a claim on the mine was filed and the town of Bisbee was born.
Word spread quickly of the wealthy find in the Mule Mountains and soon many traveled to the Arizona Territory in hopes of striking it rich. With so many claims being submitted, the small town of Bisbee was given the nickname as the “Queen of the Copper Camps”. The population grew rapidly and all the men, women, and children who called Bisbee home were lack…

Rocky the Frog

When you travel up Arizona's Highway 89 from the town of Wickenburg to the back roads of Prescott, you will see a bizarre site on the mountains along the way.  Not far from Congress sits a rather noticeable green frog-like structure perched high on the mountains.  It appears to be looking off into the distance perhaps waiting for a giant fly to buzz by so it can zap it and have a meal.

The story is told that it has sat there since the 1920's when an artist, Sara Perkins, and her two boys hiked up the side of the mountain to paint one of the boulders.  Apparently the threesome saw the rock as a giant amphibian and painted it green.  They added other colors to give the frog its life-like form so that all can see what they envisioned.  During this era when the boulder was painted, Highway 89 was the main route between Phoenix and Prescott.  Many people saw and enjoyed the Perkins sculpture.  It became a popular roadside attraction and brought many to the nearby town.  This was g…

Back in Time

I wrote this four years ago with the title, "It Was All They Knew".  In honor of the coming hot summer months, I thought I would post it again for those who missed it the first time.

As I sit watching “Back to the Future III” for the hundredth time, I wonder how this modern woman, would be able to survive traveling back to Arizona’s Wild West. It is simple, I wouldn’t! Let’s not forget all those crazy notorious cowboys and women that might shoot you for looking at them wrong, but no air conditioning, asphalt roads and ice water, how barbaric. I am curious on how in the hell they survived the extreme Arizona heat in the summertime. I know that these dusty hot conditions were all they knew, but if they had a taste of what we have nowadays, they wouldn’t want to go back to the Wild West era.

I can relax on my comfy couch, flipping through the cable channels to find something interesting to watch on TV. Next to me you might find my cell phone, laptop and a glass of iced coffee a…

Arizona Travels: The Mining Town of Globe

Globe has been hit hard by the mines closing and merciless economy. The population has dwindled over the years and many businesses have closed their doors in the historic district. Even though the town has been hit hard, there are still reasons to visit Globe. In the historic district you will find antique shops, and great places to eat. Since the city has lots of history, there are many places to tour and take in the sites.

The Old Dominion Mine is now open for tours and can be seen from the highway. You will be able to hike the trails and check out the new amenities. There are plans to open more of the mine at a later date with various other attractions.
The Gila County Historic Museum is another place to see while in Globe. This wonderful place has photos, artifacts, and other information on the history of Globe. Gila County Historic Museum 1330 N. Broad Street Globe, AZ 85001 Phone: (928) 425-7385 Open: Monday – Friday
A couple of other places to visit and take in their tours are the Gil…

Arizona Travels

I am currently writing an Arizona travel book titled, “Arizona’s Back Roads: A Travel Guide to Ghosts, Outlaws and Miners”.  Here is a description of what is in the book:
“This book is a tour guide through some of the remarkable past and perplexing conundrums that make up the state of Arizona and the southwest desert. You are first taken to the Native American ruins where the tattered decomposing walls of their dwellings is all that is left along with pottery shards, handmade tools, astonishing petroglyphs etched on boulders revealing the stories of what life was like many centuries ago.
I focus on six southwestern mining towns and the history of their establishments. What would bring people to the southwest with the danger of Indian attacks, extreme heat, and a wasteland of little water?  It was the minerals found in the soil and the hope of a better life that drove the families, businessmen, and greedy bastards to a life in the desert. The mining towns prospered in their heyday and e…

Tour the Abandoned Motel


Cactus N Stuff Antiques and Metal Art

Sharon and I came across an usual antique and rusty metal art store in Gila Bend.  The Cactus N Stuff shop has a great variety of antiques, Arizona items, and hand-made metal western art.  Next time you travel through or stop in the town of Gila Bend, be sure to drop in and check out the Cactus N Stuff shop.

Cactus N Stuff 404 W. Pima Street Gila Bend, AZ 85337 (928) 683-2411