July 31, 2016

Colony of Russians Arrives to Farm *UPDATED*

No one knows exactly why they came in early 1916. It was assumed that they were avoiding one of many purges in soviet Russia. (*1) But on January 12th, fourteen railroad cars carrying over 100 Russian colonists and their possessions arrived at Jerome Junction, southeast of present day Chino Valley. They brought with them 151 cattle, 103 horses, chickens, geese and all their household furniture and goods. (*2), (*3) & (*4)

In order to promote the area for farming, an enthusiastic pamphlet had been published.  It praised “Little Chino Valley” as “the only adequately irrigated body of rich, productive land in this great producing mining district of Arizona,” having the “perfect soil for potatoes” and “perfect conditions for dairying.” (*5) These promises undoubtedly brought the Russians to the area in the first place.

Their journey to this point was long and hard and there would be further challenges ahead. But the people of Prescott were excited to see these new immigrants and welcomed them openly.

July 24, 2016

When Nature Was the Only Drug Store (Updated)

During the 19th century, every region of the country had its own home-spun remedies that depended on that area's herbage. Today, these so-called "cures" seem to span between the humorous and the ridiculous.

This article, based on oral histories, focuses on the treatments that were unique to Arizona.

July 17, 2016

Lost History: Yavapai County Courthouse: The Construction

After the cornerstone was laid, (story here,) construction started immediately.

Under the contract, the courthouse was supposed to be finished by the end of 1917.  Even though the builders stated that it would be finished "long before that time," it was not completed until 1918. (*1)

July 10, 2016

The Mysterious Courthouse Cornerstone

Cornerstone of the Yavapai County Courthouse laid October 19th, 1916
After the contract to build the new courthouse was signed, (story here,preparatory work began immediately.

Of special interest and care was the building's cornerstone. A date of October 19th, 1916 was set for the laying of the cornerstone to coincide with the opening of the Fourth Annual Northern Arizona Fair. (*1) The mayor declared a holiday and all businesses closed for the festivities. (*2) Yet there are mysteries behind it.

July 3, 2016

Lost History: Yavapai County Courthouse: The Need

The Old (2nd) Yavapai County Courthouse, 1878-1916
There were four reasons why Yavapai County needed a new courthouse. First, the old one had become too small. The county had grown a great deal from 1878 to 1916.

Second, the old courthouse suffered from shoddy construction in the first place and was beginning to fall apart.

The third reason was a matter of civic pride and disgust: "It is unsanitary and reeks with foul smells," a magazine complained. (*1)