April 30, 2017

The Dynamite Attack on JS Acker's House

It seemed just a normal sleepy night in Prescott early on Saturday, April 21st, 1917, when at 2:30 am an explosion rocked the city.

It was "a diabolical attempt to blow up the home of JS Acker, (at) 205 North Mt. Vernon Street." (*1)

It seemed someone wanted to see the future donor of park land to Prescott dead. But why?

April 23, 2017

1872: The Gruesome Fate of the Young Braggart

It was 1872 when the John Sturns family was making its way from Arkansas to Del Rio Springs. On the way they picked up a young man heading in the same direction.

It was prudent for the family of five (as well as the lone traveller) to join together as they headed deeper into Indian country and the lawless wilderness. An extra gun could mean safety and survival.

The young man told the family not to worry. He wasn't afraid of any injuns. He boasted that he was going to shoot the first Indian that he laid his eyes on!

Perhaps he thought doing so would mark a passage into manhood. Perhaps he wanted to amass a fearless reputation in his new haunts. Whatever his motivation, it would all end up horribly wrong.

April 9, 2017

1868-71: The Last Indian Raids on Kirkland Valley

One method used by Native Americans during the Indian Wars could be described as "guerrilla attrition"--sudden, stealthy strikes aimed at absconding with the very things the settlers needed to survive.

Kirkland Valley was not immune.

April 2, 2017

Highway 79: the Prescott to Jerome "Shortline"

When it first opened August 1st, 1920, it was declared "Yavapai's Greatest Attraction." (*1)

"Members of the National Geographic Society...proclaimed (Highway 79) as 'the most beautiful drive in America.'" (*2)

To cynics (and the carsick) the curvy, mountain road might seem to have been designed by a carnival-ride engineer, a drunk, or both. In fact, Highway 79 would be considered an engineering marvel even by today's standards. It cut the travel time and distance between the two cities nearly in half.

While some history is buried under the sands of time, Highway 79 was eventually buried under a ribbon of asphalt and given a new number: 89A. Still, the twists and turns of this roadway only mirror the odyssey taken to construct it.