A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

The Hassayampa Well

What better way to launch the Before and After section of wickenburg-az.com than with a report on something that currently exists but will soon be removed forever?

I’m talking about the Hassayampa Well, one of the few “attractions” listed in the AAA Tour Guide‘s entry for Wickenburg.

I don’t know the story behind this attraction, and I hope someone who does shares what they know by using the Comments link below. (I just tried Googling it and came up empty; I guess this entry will fill that gap, anyway.) I just know it the same way any other winter visitor might know it — if they know it at all — as a shady spot along the Hassayampa River where someone made an effort to share some history with passersby.

Hassyampa Well
The sign for the Hassayampa Well, just over the bridge.

It’s easy to pass by the Hassayampa Well. As you’re coming into town on East Wickenburg Way (from Phoenix, etc.), it’s just after the bridge on the right hand side of the road. Get in the turning lane and make that first right. Then pull into the small parking lot there and get out to take a look.

Hassyampa Well
The view of the well site from the turn.

The site consists of a ramada under which you’ll find a stone well (closed up), ore bucket, and bench. There’s a wooden sign there with the legend of the Hassayampa River written out as rhyming verse. If you don’t know the legend, you ought to visit the site to read it for yourself — while you can. The whole area is surrounded by tall trees that offer natural shade from Arizona’s sometimes brutal sun.

Hassyampa Well
The Hassayampa Well.

Nearby is a matching sign for the Hassayampa River,which also mentions the legend. What it doesn’t say is that before the area was developed and the Yavapai Indians lived here the river flowed above the ground year-round. With thousands of people living in the area, sucking water out of the ground, the water table has dropped considerably over the years. Although the river’s water can be seen year-round north of town at Box Canyon and south of town at the Hassayampa River Preserve, it’s rarely visible at the bridge. (Of course, 2005 was a bit different; after heavy flooding, the river flowed through town for about five months before dropping back under the sand.)

Hassyampa Well
Another sign tells you about the river.

Although I admit that I’d only visited the Hassayampa Well once before today, I’ll be sad to see it go. It’s a remnant of Wickenburg’s old days, when quaint tourist attractions were erected just to give visitors something interesting to see, along with a dose of history. Back then, the town was more interested in walk-through traffic than drive-through traffic, more interested in preserving history — even fabricated history — than giving trucks and Phoenix/Las Vegas traffic a faster way to buzz through town.

If you do want to check this out, I recommend that you do it soon; with the coming “roundabout” planned by ADOT and the Town of Wickenburg, I expect this site will be torn up before long. That’s when the only thing left of the Hassyampa Well will be our memories and photos like these.

Last 5 posts by John Aabbott

4 comments to The Hassayampa Well

  • Sarah Okey

    What a great shame to tear it down, real or not. Would be much better to incorporate it into their “modernization” of the site….and yes, it can be done. There is always a way, just takes someone to look for it.

    Neat site…enjoyed all your before and after pictures.

  • Charles Thornsbury

    When I lived in Wickenburg, the well was a very popular site for tourist and I think it’s a shame that the folks who have decided to just tear it down and let it fade into the past do not see this. Not to mention, as Sarah Okey said that it could easily be incorperated into their so called “vision”. I have heard many different stories about how the new road is going to destroy downtown but that is no reason to help it along. I would like to see the well become one of the many reasons a tourist or whoever would want to make the detour into town. I have been all over this world and there has been no place as of yet that has made such an impression on me as Wickenburg. Although I was born and raised here in Kentucky, Wickenburg will always be my second home.

  • Linda Krantz

    My father was stationed at Williams Field in Arizona during WWII, and he visited Wickenburg and the Hassayampa Well. He has photos of the Legend sign and the shelter there, with him in his army uniform. He memorized the poem when he was there…and he can still say it from memory (at age 93).

  • Mary McCool

    When my dear adopted dad was alive, he took my picture at that well with the sign. No longer have the picture. We started going up there from here in 1980 and continued til the late ’90’s until he was no longer able to walk a great distance. That was in the day when Nancy’s Indian Trading Post was up there and the wash house as well as the Greyhound Bus Depot. Since 2004 or 2005, I’ve taken other friends up there to see the Well and the sign. if that’s all gone in 2012, all that’s left to see up there is the jail tree and the haning tree. I was just up there April 2, 2012 and missed out on the Well and the sign. Our picnic was great within perameters.