Christopher Creek congratulates Payson for its recent milestone. They had an official all-time record for November rainfall with a total of 7.38 inches. Given that the Creek had a nearly identical amount we will claim an unofficial record here as well. Last weekend’s storm brought 1.5 inches of rain and local snowfall amounts averaging around 10 inches. With more rain promised this week, we will be out of the drought and back to our annual average.
Santa is coming to town. He has promised to stop by the Firebelles’ Christmas dinner next Friday evening. Then on Saturday, Dec. 14 he will visit the CCHOA children’s Christmas party at the fire station at 3 p.m. That evening look for him in the light parade which will line up at Tall Pines Market at 6 p.m.
To finish the story of how we got here, let us have a brief look at the rest of the district. Just up the canyon there was a ranch, once home to the notorious John See, from whence the name See Canyon came. Corbett E. Sweat obtained a patent on that property in 1924. Later on that became the headquarters of our famous local bootlegger, Bob Kiser. In the early 1950s, Howard Walker bought the ranch and founded the Mountain Meadow Bible Camp.
Just a mile south of the Creek is Hunter Creek. Patented in 1922 by William H. Eubank, that was the home of Boy Scout Camp Wipilawiki. A group led by Melvin Palmer founded the Hunter Creek subdivision in the late 1980s.
Three miles to the east, Highway 260 crosses through a corner of the 13 Ranch. Sam Sharp was an early settler in the area, but is was Josine Roswell Hunter who received that patent in 1911. The intermittent stream running through the place became Hunter Creek. Hook Larsen, former Hashknife cowboy bought the 13 and later sold to Lewis Bowman. A piece of the 13 Ranch is home to the ADOT maintenance yard.
Further east is the Gordon Canyon Ranch, home to Charles W and Mary Allenbaugh for 40 years. Like the Bowmans, the Allenbaughs arrived in the area in a wagon, descending the two-track trail down the side of the Mogollon Rim. Charlie patented the ranch in 1916. Old age caught up with Charlie sometime after World War II and the ranch was sold to a speculator. The ranch property was subsequently sold off in five- and 10-acre parcels. It is currently home to Elk Haven Cabins and RV Park, Whispering Hope Ranch, along with others.
Close by to the east on Colcord Road, the ranch patented by Jack Payne in 1918 has been subdivided into large lots. Along the Rocking G Ranch Road, there are a dozen handsome, new homes on that property.
Across the road to the north is the ranch patented by William J Anderton in 1926. The Colcord Cove subdivision is located there.
The next place to the east was patented by Ed J. Nehrmeyer in 1921 and has since been subdivided. Around the curve on Colcord Road and just past the Chamberlain Trail is the turnoff into Colcord Estates. This subdivision has more than 150 dwellings winding down roads in Colcord Canyon. Early settlers were the Colcords, with Bill and Harvey playing a key role in the Pleasant Valley War. Albert R. Nehrmeyer patented this ranch years later in 1919.
Just to the east is the last ranch on the road and was patented by Effie A Hubbard in 1931. This is now known as Ponderosa Springs, with a fire station and another hundred or so cabins and homes.
On the west end of the fire district are two more ranches, which were subsequently subdivided as well. Back in the early 1900s, a number of different families with the name Haught came to Rim Country to settle. Samuel Haught was the one who filed for a patent on a ranch straddling Tonto Creek. His claim was finalized in 1916 and the property along the Fish Hatchery Road now has the name of Tonto Estates.
The road from Payson ended at the Claude Delbridge ranch at Tonto Creek. Col. Ellison had employed him until the late 1880s.
Sometime later the ranch was in the hands of John Davis. By 1917, he and the family wished to move on and it was that year that Lewis Kohl visited the ranch. A trade was made for some property in Tempe and Lewis, Necia and son, Glenn were in the ranching business. Lewis obtained patent rights in 1926. The famous Kohl’s Ranch became a hospitality hub long before the property was split up.
Some of these details were found in the writings of Frank Gillette, Katie Bell and from the Maps of Patented Lands in Northern Gila County Arizona prepared by the Northern Gila County Genealogical Society ... and that’s another week in the Creek.