Summer season events open at the Rim Country Museum at 10 a.m., Saturday, May 14 when the Walking in History tours start with the Code of the West Tour.
The Code of the West Tour gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy a day spent tracing the locations and history found in Zane Grey’s novel “Code of the West.” Set in Little Green Valley near Payson, the story tells of the romance between Cal Thurman, a local rancher’s son, and the school teacher’s sister Georgiana — a “vision of youth and beauty” with “big violet eyes” and “lips as red as carmine” who, at 17, is “an outrageous flirt.” On her first visit to Arizona, Georgiana has much to learn about the heart of a cowboy and the “code of the West.”
Stops on the tour include Little Green Valley, historic Kohl’s Ranch and a drive up Tonto Fish Hatchery Road to view the original Zane Grey Cabin site in the distance. While at Kohl’s Ranch, tour members will enjoy a no-host lunch (outdoor picnic with grilled chicken or steak or portabella mushroom sandwich and sides for $11) and a visit to the old schoolhouse (now a summer cabin for the Kohl family).
Betty Kohl Adams, author of a book on the history of her family and their ranch, will be there to speak to visitors and sign copies of her book.
After starting at the museum in Payson at 10 a.m., the tour (drive your own auto) will travel about 40 miles round trip and conclude around 3 p.m. A museum docent will guide the tour.
Make a reservation as soon as possible. Call the museum at (928) 474-3483 to sign up.
This is the first in a series of tours planned by the Rim Country Museum for 2011. Also on the schedule are:
• Arizona Charlie Meadows guided auto tour, July 9 — See site of Meadows’ family ranch in Whispering Pines; visit historic Main Street where Payson’s rodeo was first held (Charlie Meadows and John Chilson founded rodeo); see where Charlie arranged his sisters’ double wedding. Tour will depart Rim Country Museum at 10 a.m.
• Bucking Bulls, Aug. 13 — August is rodeo time in Payson, so hearing about how bucking bulls are bred and raised is a topical subject. The event will be at the Rim Country Museum (time to be determined).
Along with other events scheduled for the fall, these tours are free, except where a fee is indicated.
For more information, check online at rimcountrymuseums. com or call (928) 474-3483.