A Once-in-a-Lifetime Adventure for Serious Arizona History Buffs

Bob Stuart

Arizona Pathfinders, a nonprofit volunteer group of the Arizona Historical Society, is conducting a five-day tour from Thursday, Sept. 9, through Monday, Sept. 13, to one of the most beautiful valleys in Arizona, tucked under the Mogollon Rim. This was the site of America’s bloodiest decade of frontier violence which exploded into a range war involving the Tewksburys and the Grahams, the Daggs and the Blevins, the Apache Indians, and the Hashknife cowboys. This was a volatile mix that ravaged Gila County at the end of the 19th century.

This tour, accompanied by Eduardo Obregón Pagán, noted Arizona State University historian and author of Valley of the Guns: The Pleasant Valley War and the Trauma of Violence, offers a unique opportunity to explore sites not typically open to the general public, view the remaining evidence of this frontier war, and hear stories on its effect on settlers who struggled not only to stay but to survive.

We’ll visit the Rim Country Museum; the Pleasant Valley Museum in Young, Ariz.; the Q Ranch Pueblo; the shoot-out sites; the cabins with gun ports; the cattle trail to Holbrook; St. Joseph’s Pioneer Museum; the Rock Art Ranch, with its collection of hash knife artifacts; and one of the best preserved and most extensive collections of ancient petroglyphs in the world, at Chevelon Canyon.

On the way home, we will visit the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and the Shoofly Village Ruins.

During the tour, we’ll spend two nights in historic Zane Grey (American author) country at Kohl’s Ranch Lodge; one night at the Best Western Hotel in Holbrook with dinner at the Mesa Italian Restaurant; and one night at La Posada Hotel in Winslow with dinner in the Turquoise Room.

The tour will be by private car. Cost is $749 per person, double occupancy. The single supplement is $275 for a total of $1,024. Full cancellations accepted until Aug. 9. Contact Bob Stuart at 520-825-4239 or Mary Lee Fitzgerald at 973-202-4276 for a registration form and more information.