Christopher Creek, Yavapai County, Arizona Territory was our address back in the 1880s. We became a part of Gila County in 1889 and Arizona didn’t become a state until 1912. Much of Rim Country was caught up in the lawlessness and killings associated with a time shortly after the earliest of the settlers found their way to this area. The early 1880s saw the last of the Indian wars and the beginning of the Pleasant Valley War. September of 1887 would then be the most violent month of the decade-long feud between factions of the Graham and Tewksbury families.
Much has been written about the times and Arizona’s State Historian, Marshall Trimble tells of many of the popular books about the participants and their roles in the war. You can find that in the forward to Jayne Peace Pyle’s 2014 book entitled “Women of the Pleasant Valley War.” It is, as the name implies, the only historical look at these years from the viewpoint of these pioneer women. Jayne has written an amazing story of 20 different mothers, wives, or daughters of the men involved in this bloodiest of times. You must read her opinions on the causes of the war and applaud her research on the backgrounds of each of these women. As she tells their story, Jayne weaves each one into the events as they happened. Her work includes a definitive timeline of all the dates associated with the Pleasant Valley War. You will appreciate her insightful approach to life and times of this incredible saga. It is perhaps the best primer should you be drawn to look further into the history of our backyard.
Here we are into the middle of September. Our rain gauge has dust in the bottom. An average monsoon gives us around 17 inches of rain. To date, we are at 4.25 inches or exactly one-quarter of the average. It’s pitiful. The rainy season is over in a couple of weeks and there doesn’t seem to be anything encouraging on the horizon. What would you expect in a year like 2020?
Well, it could be worse. In the years 1895-96, the area went 502 days without a drop of rain.
Six months ago, we recall the insanity of the run on toilet paper. At the time, we mentioned the TP alternative that grows in the wild here in our neck of the woods. The plant named mullein is also called cowboy toilet paper. This dry spell we are in has stunted the growth of these plants. What normally grows nearly four-feet tall is lucky to be half that size. Those broad, fuzzy leaves in a normal year are just pathetic this year. The harvest does not look good.
A while back, James Haviland, the new owner at Creekside had a new sign built for the roof of the front of the restaurant. It is, indeed, a handsome replacement. Shortly thereafter, Chuck and Karen Schmitt took possession of the old sign. With painstaking effort, they did a restoration on the old plywood panels. The result is now hanging on their new fence alongside the place down on Apple Lane. A piece of history has found a new, longtime home.
It has taken me a long time to figure out what is meant by social media abbreviations, such as LOL or ICYMI. Would it be correct to assume what we do on this end is IMHO and what you do on your end is LMAO?
Finally, we learned that Chuck Schmitt broke a toe over the Labor Day weekend. We’ll just file that under Breaking News ... and that’s another week in the Creek.