The earliest military presence in the area was former Camp Goodwin, constructed in 1864 and named for Arizona’s first territorial governor, John N. Goodwin. The camp was abandoned after a short time due to failed buildings and malaria from a nearby spring. In 1876, the current site of the community was chosen as a “new post on the Gila,” selected to replace Camp Goodwin. Initially, the site was named Camp Thomas in honor of Civil War Major General George Henry Thomas. Until 1882 the area would be known by several names including Clantonville, Camp Thomas, Maxey and finally Fort Thomas.
At its peak, the fort consisted of 27 buildings, all constructed by the occupants of the fort and made of adobe. Malaria remained a problem throughout the occupation of the area, and led to Fort Thomas being called the “worst fort in the Army.” The fort also had no government funding until the year 1884. After the capture of Geronimo in 1886, the Army gradually removed the troops stationed there until the fort was handed over to the Department of the Interior in 1891.
The early town had a poor reputation, and was home to several houses of prostitution and saloons. In 1895, the community grew significantly when the Southern Pacific railroad’s construction in the area was halted due to native Apache people refusing to let the railroad continue construction through their reservation.
The opening “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'” sequence in the 1955 film Oklahoma!, with Gordon MacRae singing the famous song while riding a horse past the stalks of corn “as high as a elephant’s eye”, was filmed in Amado.
From Spain and Mexico the family moved north, settling about 1850 into Southern Arizona, then part of Mexico. In 1852, Manuel Amado began ranching south of Tucson between the Canoa and Otero Spanish land grants. With no fences, his cattle roamed from the border to north of Tucson. The railroad opened a station nearby in 1910. In 1919 the Amadoville post office was established. A year later, the name was changed to Amado. Information courtesy of:
Stop and dine at The Firefly Restaurant. The menu rotates and serves delicious seasonal plates year round. The patio is the perfect place to savor the flavors of wine and savory dishes. My favorites are the Irish Beef Stew and the Autumn Kale Salad.
3001 E. Frontage Rd.,
Amado, AZ 85645
Eden was an agricultural town established by Mormon settlers in the 1880s and named after the town of the same name in Utah. The post office was established in 1882.
Eden Hot Springs was the site of a bloody murder and suicide the night of Feb. 19 when Englishman Jonathan Bailey shot Dr. James A. Dassault through the head with a .9mm Glock automatic pistol and then killed himself with a shotgun blast to his throat as local officers arrived on the scene.three-story hotel was completed in 1903, and it was described as a “feudal castle lost in the desert.” In 1905, a swimming pool measuring 255 feet by 70 feet was added, the largest in the state. The hot burnt to the ground in February 2008.
Bonita was the town that catered to the soldiers and ranch hands in the area as well as Fort Grant. Its post office was established in 1884 and lasted until 1955. The store was also known as DuBois Mercantile Co. History has it that Billy the Kid’s first killing occurred in Bonita in August 1877. Frank P. Cahill, a local blacksmith was killed after a fight with Billy.
Ruby Ghost Town: Mining started around 1877. The Montana Mine produced gold, silver, lead, zinc and copper. At its peak in the mid-1930s, Ruby had a population of about 1,200. If you want to take a step back in time this is an excellent day trip or a stellar spot to go camping.
The town had electricity powered by diesel engines and a physician, Dr. Woodard, hired by Eagle-Picher in 1930.
A concrete jail was erected in 1934 as a temporary holding cell for prisoners who were transported to Nogales. Before the jail was built, prisoners were secured to a mesquite tree. Remains of the jail still stand.
Between 1928 and 1940, 773,197 tons of ore were milled from the Montana Mine at a profit of $4.5 million. Eagle-Picher built a 400-ton flotation mill and developed the workings to a depth of 750 feet with six main levels extending several thousand feet along the ore vein.
Squaw Peak Resort is located at 7677 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85020. 27 acres of Spanish-Mediterranean architecture and endless hours of fun. Enjoy the 4-acre water park and recreation area featuring a lazy river, 130-foot water slide, and 18-hole miniature golf course.
Don’t forget to use your Marriott rewards when booking.
In March 4th, 1964, Dominic Bellissimo was tending bar at the now-famous Anchor Bar Restaurant in Buffalo, NY. Late that evening, a group of Dominic’s friends arrived at the bar with ravenous appetites. Dominic asked his mother, Teressa, to prepare something for his friends to eat. Teressa had deep fried the wings and flavored them with a secret sauce. The wings were an instant hit and it didn’t take long for people to flock to the bar to experience their new taste sensation. From that evening on, Buffalo Wings became a regular part of the menu at the Anchor Bar.
Try one of their sauces:
Mild, Medium, Hot, Spicy Hot BBQ, Garlic Parmesan, Honey Garlic Sweet & Sour, Chipotle BBQ or Suicidal.
While visiting Lake Meade we stopped for a soak in at a natural spring. Several particular areas within the NRA host a number of springs. One such area is found along the west side of the Overton Arm of Lake Mead, just west of Northshore Road. This area is home to Rogers Spring which produces water at a fairly constant 720 gallons per minute – the greatest flow of any spring within the park. The relatively constant year-round flow and the warm temperature (86 degrees Fahrenheit) are both indications of a regional source for this water.
The Hoover Dam is worth a visit. We spent a couple of hours walking over and around this man made structure. Check some interesting facts about the dam. This is where Nevada meets AZ.
Physically, Hoover Dam is a massive, concrete arch-gravity dam, 660 feet thick at its base and wide enough at its crest that traffic on old U.S. 93 coursed right over its top. Some 726 feet in the canyon below, or the equivalent of a 60-story building, the Colorado River lies tamed behind this great concrete wedge, its base as wide as two football fields are long.
On December 21, 1928, President Calvin Coolidge signed an act authorizing the Boulder Canyon Project, so named because a study originally had recommended the Boulder Canyon of the Colorado, not the nearby Black Canyon, as the site of the dam. On July 3, 1930, then-President Herbert Hoover signed the first appropriation bill. It was during dedication ceremonies on September 17, 1930, that Secretary of the Interior Ray L. Wilbur, while driving a silver spike for the railroad spur that would run to the construction site, announced that the name of the colossal structure was to be Hoover Dam. However, the soon-to-be-elected Democratic administration of Franklin Roosevelt continued to use the name Boulder Dam. It wasn’t until April 30, 1947, that a resolution of Congress made Hoover Dam the official name.
When driving in Northern AZ in the middle of nowhere is a funny stop to stretch your legs. On a road trip with my favorite sidekick Jojo we stumbled upon Nothing. Wikki offers an answer for this oddity in the middle of nowhere. Nothing AZ settlement was established in 1977, located 100 miles northwest of Phoenix Arizona, and roughly 20 miles south of Wikieup, the “rattlesnake capital of Arizona.” It is west of Bagdad at milepost 148½ on U.S. Route 93 (the Joshua Forest Scenic Parkway) between Wickenburg and Kingman, on the route from Las Vegas to Phoenix.
The town sign read:Town of Nothing Arizona. Founded 1977. Elevation 3269ft.The staunch citizens of Nothing are full of Hope, Faith, and Believe in the work ethic. Thru-the-years-these dedicated people had faith in Nothing, hoped for Nothing, worked at Nothing, for Nothing.
An added bonus are the hiking trails and the scenic views of the Joshua Trees.
According to ZA Highways when Mormon settlers first saw the plant they dubbed the “Joshua tree,” it reminded them of the bushy-bearded biblical leader. When Territorial Governor John C. Frémont caught sight of it during an 1844 trek through the Mohave Desert, he called it “the most repulsive tree in the vegetable kingdom.”
Joshua trees are not vegetables and they’re not among the 12 spies of Israel, but they are members of the agave family. What’s more, they’re plentiful along U.S. Route 93 from Wikieup to Wickenburg.