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The Walnut Grove Dam

In 1863, prospectors led by Joseph Walker and Pauline Weaver, discovered placer gold along the upper Hassayampa River, northeast of Wickenburg, and not too far north of Wickenburg, where a surface nuggets covered the ground on what came to be called Rich Hill. Gold fever resulted in a large influx of prospectors hoping to strike it rich. However the lack of water needed to placer mine brought disappointment and frustration. The Hassayampa has yearly cycles of a lot of water and no water in the summer. It was said that there was either enough water to float a steamboat or …

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A Sheep Camp Story

I had heard about an ocotillo fence that was part of an old sheep herders camp. The camp was located close to Constellation Road, near Wickenburg, Arizona. After a fifteen mile ride on my ATV, which involved much searching, I found the location. The remains of an ocotillo fence were there.

There was an old man at the camp. We sat around and talked. He related the following story to me.

His granddaddy, Reed, started the camp we were in and he was the one who planted the ocotillo fence. One spring just weeks before the lambing season he hired …

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4WD Historic Trip to Bradshaw's Grave

There have been several comments on my article about Bradshaw’s Grave and there seems to be an interest in visiting the site. I would be happy to lead a group out to the grave and share the history of the area that we pass through. We will visit several abandoned mines. We will pass by the ghost town of Swallow; we will also go by the sight of the former Whipsaw Nudist Colony (which was established by Hippies in the 1960’s). We will be close to the site of the Wickenburg version of the Hatfield and McCoy feud. We will …

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Ygnacio Garcia's Gifts to the Community

After the Walnut Grove dam disaster in 1890, the narrow minded leaders of the community of Wickenburg refused to allow the Mexicans and Chinese who had perished in the ensuing flood to be buried in the local cemetery. Ygnacio Garcia was a local rancher who responded to this affront and donated land for a cemetery so they could have a proper burial place. The cemetery is located about one mile west on Highway 93. The cemetery is on your left set back from the highway. Not wanting to acknowledge the generosity of a Mexican, the town called the cemetery “Catholic …

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Cochineal Scale

When Cortéz and his conquistadors entered Tenochtitlan they were taken back by the bright red color of some of the clothing worn by the Aztecs. They had nothing like it back in Spain where they only had plant materials to dye clothes and the colors were not very bright. They were quick to seek out the source of this bright red dye. The source of the red color was from the cochineal scale, a small insect that attaches itself to the purple prickly pear cactus (Santa Rita Opuntia). When crushed this scale results in a bright red color When they …

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