July 23, 2017

The American Ranch: The Ritz of Stage Stops


It was in 1876 when Jefferson Harrison Lee built the large two-story hotel and stage stop. It was located at a prime intersection on the Prescott to Hardyville tollroad. Named the American Ranch, it was the most elaborate stage stop on the entire 150 mile road. (*1)

July 16, 2017

Remembering the USS Yavapai

Rare photo of the USS Yavapai

When naval history is written, it's the large capital ships that get all the attention. Yet aircraft carriers and battleships require a large amount of support ships--not just destroyers and submarines, but a myriad of logistical ships that require fuel, food, and fresh water.

The USS Yavapai was a ship that provided these necessities to the smaller ships; quietly "serving with distinction" in her logistical missions in Iwo Jima and Okinawa before going to Korea and China.

July 9, 2017

Bill Fain: The Father of Prescott Valley


According to Lew Rees, former Fain Signature Group executive director, and former CEO of the Prescott Valley Chamber of Commerce, Bill Fain was the most important man in Prescott Valley history. (*1)

“'He had the brains, the fortitude, the work ethic and the strength to put together a community. His handprint is on every aspect of Prescott Valley and, indeed, the entire quad-city area,' Rees said." (*1)

"Known as a man of his word – and for his generosity, work ethic and foresight – Bill Fain’s handshake was all anyone needed to seal a business deal." (*1)

July 2, 2017

Cleator: The Ghost Town That Was Sold Twice


The area in which Cleator, Arizona stands today was the scene of one of the earliest settlements of anglos in Yavapai County. At first the area was known as "Turkey" with nearby "Turkey Creek." (*1)

The selection of this name was obvious enough. Even to this day one can happen upon wild turkeys in this area of the Prescott National Forest.

June 25, 2017

Mystery Man Entombed in Thumb Butte


It was Sunday, January 22, 1911. Two young men had made the risky climb to the summit of Thumb Butte. While enjoying the view and carefully moving about the top, one looked down into a deep crevice and was shocked to see a person!

"So stupefied and astounded were they, that after a few minutes observation...and satisfying themselves that life was extinct; (they) hurriedly left the scene and gave alarm in this city."

June 18, 2017

The Complete "Lost History" of the Yavapai County Courthouse


The reasons why Yavapai County needed a new, third, (and current) courthouse seemed endless. First, the Old Courthouse had become too small for the growing county. Added to that was this stunning list of deficiencies: