I got a call the other day from a woman named Rebecca who wanted me to take her mother on a helicopter ride around Wickenburg. Her mother, Betty E. Hammer Joy, had written a book about her grandmother, Angela Hutchinson Hammer, and part of the book takes place in Wickenburg. Rebecca wanted her mother to see first hand the places she had written about in the book, some of which are remote mines that aren’t easily accessible by car.
We set up a reservation for this coming Sunday. Before we hung up, Rebecca told me that she wanted to send me a copy of her mother’s book. She took my address and yesterday I received the book, Angela Hutchinson Hammer: Arizona’s Pioneer Newspaperwoman.
I browsed through the book right after I received it and was surprised by how much Wickenburg history it includes. In only a few minutes, I learned about the circumstances surrounding Henry Wickenburg’s death in 1905 and the 1910 fire in downtown Wickenburg that destroyed the Post Office and almost got the offices of the Daily Miner newspaper, where Mrs. Hammer worked. I haven’t had a chance to sit down and read the whole book, but I hope to get to it next week.
It’s great to read some Wickenburg history in a book that really isn’t about Wickenburg. Mrs. Joy’s writing style is clear and a real pleasure to read — not at all dry, as some history books tend to be. She writes objectively about Wickenburg history, providing the facts, both good and bad. I’m looking forward to reading about her mother — and also flying her around town so she can see Vulture Mine, Gold Bar Mine, and the other local places she wrote about in her book.