Photography, history, and stories from all my treks plus crafts, antiques, art, and much more...
Around the Town of Coolidge
One of the places to visit while in Coolidge, AZ is the Casa Grande Ruins. These ruins were the first to be protected by the U. S. Government in 1892. I wrote a wonderful post about the history of this place, and you can click the link to read all about this historic site. Last week, Sharon and I took a drive to Coolidge to do some urban exploring. This place has some abandoned structures along with historic old buildings and antique shops.
Coolidge was embodied as a settlement in 1945 and was named after Calvin Coolidge our 30th President. Today, around 12,000 people call Coolidge home.
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
We have been to this trailer park for 12 years now. When we first laid eyes on it, there were several trailers still sitting on the land. Three were intact, while one was about to collapse. As we went there through the years, we watched two trailers disappear without a trace. The swing set that was still set up finally fell down from the harsh environment. The last remaining trailer finally crumpled and looks like a pile of rubbish. What once was a trailer park or graveyard, now looks like a junkyard. We ended up finding some items to take home and took lots of pictures. I think this is the last time we will go there. Time to find other abandoned places to photograph.
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