The Verde Salt Mine and The Importance of Salt Through History

Imagine with me for a moment, you’re a miner, in the 1920s. Your employer has commissioned you and your fellow workers to dig extensive tunnels beneath the rocky ground of the Verde Valley. Somewhere, in the midst of your work, as you trace through the rich layers of salt, you find it—a body! This body, …

The Hohokam Pipette and Possible Mesoamerican Connection

The American Southwest is replete with the tales and mysteries of an ancient people, as told through their enigmatic rock-writing, also known as, the petroglyph. From these ancient peoples, one culture differentiates itself from its prehistoric brethren in a number of ways; one of these being their motifs, such as the somewhat unsettling, “pipette.” Pipettes, …

The Cibecue Creek Mutiny and Massacre

I’m sure many of you are familiar with Cibecue Creek, a tributary to the Salt River, in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona, from which flows the beautiful Cibecue Falls. Did you know, however, these tranquil waters were host to a bloody massacre in the latter 1800s? In the years leading to this night, following …

The Legendary Kakaka of the Yavapai

To the Prehistoric (and perhaps some modern) Yavapai, many of the ancient sites of the Verde Valley, particularly in Sedona, were the dwelling places of the Legendary Kakaka, that is, ‘Little Indians.’ These Little Indians, they believed, were the originators of their songs and dances, having taught them everything. It was said they had the …

Ancient Cobblestone Dwelling

Hidden under a large alcove, in a canyon flanking a major Arizona river, you find this beautiful ancient site. Today, two rooms comprise the main structure. Between the Southern and Northern rooms, you’ll notice that almost nothing remains of the rafters that once supported the second floor—in fact, there are no timbers in the southern …

My Favorite Sedona Ruins

If you’ve followed my work for any length of time, you undoubtedly are familiar with my love for Sedona. While it may be a world-famous tourist destination, it’s a great place to escape the crowds—and actually, if you go far enough into any Sedona canyon, you are unlikely to see anyone. But beyond the views …

Ancient Creek Ruins, Sierra Ancha Wilderness

These ancient dwellings are built into a small alcove overlooking a creek in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness. Their likely construction, sometime between 1280 and 1350 A.D., was determined, in part, by the tree rings found in the beams along the roof. I have visited a number of ruins in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness, much of …

Village Of Rio Puerco, Petrified Forest

This is the Village of Rio Puerco, thought to have been settled by the Pueblo natives (Anasazi) from 1250 to 1380 A.D. It is believed that a series of droughts led them from scattered living to congregating in large pueblo communities, such as this. The Village is located near the banks of the Puerco River. …

Historic Clevenger House, Superior, Arizona

This lovingly-crafted stone and mortar home was once that of the Robert Clevenger family, in the early 1900s. Built in Queen Creek Canyon, the northern wall is the canyon, itself. The majestic Picketpost Mountain looms to the South, and the ghost town of Pinal once stood less than one mile to the east (as the …