Sunday, January 24, 2010

Wickenburg, Arizona

We had one week left in Phoenix, and decided to take a day trip up to Wickenburg.  From Pioneer Park, we took Highway 74, connecting with Highway 60, right into Wickenburg.  It was a nice drive, decent highway.  .  We took the Walking Tour of Wickenburg, picking up the map at the Chamber of Commerce, which is housed in the old Santa Fe Railroad Depot.  There are bronze sculptures throughout the walking tour, with recorded messages on the history of the spot.  There are also some smaller sculptures of desert wildlife strategical placed on the side walks.  I had to look twice at a roadrunner, and the rattlesnake gave me a bit of a start. 

The Jail Tree (residents were too busy mining gold to build a jail, so the sheriff handcuffed prisoners to the tree used for hanging the bad guys)

Betsy at the Saloon

Henry Wickenburg

We toured the Desert Caballeros Western Museum.  This is a must see if you are in Wickenburg.  There is a Hall of History, which recounts the story of Wickenburg.  There was a large gold discovery made there by Henry Wickenburg.  Allegedly, he discovered the gold when he tossed a rock at an escaping mule.  The rock broke and gold was found.  Since that time, more than $30 million in gold has been dug from the Vulture Mine.  There was a section in the museum devoted to Cowboys, Indians, Minerals and a changing Art Gallery.  Unfortunately, the Art Gallery was closed when we were visiting, but the collection of Cowboy and Indian memorobilia and the Mineral/Gem exhibit was very impressed.  On the lower level, there is an early Wickenburg street scene, and examples of period rooms from the early 1900s, and an exhibit which features an old adobe home and stable.  This museum was well worth the admission price of $7.  The docents are quite knowledgable and eager to share the history of the region.

Kim in the General Store Replica Room

The Saloon Period Room

Gun and Rifle Collection from the Desert Caballeros Western Museum

Living Room/Parlor circa 1905

Early 1900s version of a Johnny Jump Up (bouncy chair for babies)

Stagecoach Replica

We took Highway 60 back to Phoenix, and picked up Highway 303 which took us to Happy Valley Road and I-17, just about 5 miles south of our 'home' at Pioneer Park.

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