as told by Marshall Trimble




We are a land of anomalies and tamales.  The first white man to enter Arizona was a black man.  His name was Esteban and he was a reconnaissance man for the Coronado Expedition of 1540-1542.  Coronado would spend two years searching for the fabled Northwest Passage and the Seven Cities of Gold.  He and his men were lost in Arizona , lost in New Mexico , lost in Texas and lost in Kansas .  It just goes to show that even back then men wouldn’t stop and ask for directions.

            Fiorello La Guardia, mayor of New York, visited Prescott .  On a balmy December 25th in 1939 at the Biltmore Resort, Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas.”

            The Colorado River spends more time in Arizona than it does in Colorado .  Back in 1858 a band of camels hitched a ride on a steamboat that was plowing its way up the mighty Colorado .

            Grand Falls, on the Little Colorado River is bigger than Niagara Falls when the river has water, a rare occurrence. 

            The mountain ranges of southern Arizona are called “ Mountain Islands ” by biologists, who regard them the most diverse in biotic life of any place in the United States . 

            In the summer of 2005 an alligator was caught in Pakoon Spring on the remote Arizona Strip, north of the Grand Canyon . A few years ago the skeleton of a whale was found in the usually dry Salt River .


The Lost Dutchman was a German, and as far as we know, he wasn’t lost. The Gunfight at OK Corral didn’t occur there.  The famous“Street Fight” took place on Lot 2 Block 17 between Fly’s Photo Gallery and the Harwood house.

The folks living in the town of Moccasin , on the Arizona Strip have to drive 360 miles and travel through three states just to get to their county seat at Kingman. 

One of the Old West’s most notorious feuds was fought at a place called Pleasant Valley . 

Montezuma never visited Montezuma’s Castle.  It was abandoned 100 years before the Mexican emperor was even born. 

The first automobile in Arizona was the aptly-named Locomobile and was owned by Dr. Hiram Fenner of Tucson .  He also had the first auto license and the first auto accident when he collided with a saguaro cactus.

Arizona’s first cowboy movie star was a woman, Dorothy Fay of Prescott .  She married Tex Ritter and was the mother of actor John Ritter.

Tom Mix’s horse Tony, was the most famous of the steeds ridden by the silver screen cowboys.  Tony was a native Arizonan, born in Prescott in 1910.  He was the only horse to star in his own film, and as far as I know, the only horse who had a stunt double  while his rider, Mix did his own stunts.f

The town of Pinetop is nestled in the largest stand of ponderosa pine in the world but it got its name from a tall, bushy saloonkeeper named Walt Rigney.  Soldiers from Fort Apache called him “Old Pinetop” and when people began settling in the area they named the town Pinetop. 

Nearby is a town called Snowflake.  It was named for rancher William J. Flake and Mormon apostle, Erastus Snow. 

The town of Tombstone got its name when soldiers told prospector, Ed Schieffelin that all he’d find in the Apache infested country would be his tombstone.  He struck it rich and named the town that sprung up around it, Tombstone .  It had a rough and ready reputation and today lives on past glory.  Folks there never lost their sense of humor either.  There’s a beauty salon in town named the “Curl up and Dye.”


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