VERDE HERITAGE 1904: Trip to Jerome and Camp Verde, Part 2
"In our journey from Jerome to Camp Verde, we had a variety of scenery --- valleys, plains, and mountains; several very steep with hard grades to climb. We reached Camp Verde at 7:30 in the evening, dusty, tired, and hungry."
"We stopped with George Hance and family, a very pleasant and home-like place. Mrs. Hance, a very affable lady, and her charming daughters made our stay very pleasant. Mr. Hance, a man of remarkable memory, possessing fine conversational powers, gave us a very interesting history of early Arizona."
"A few years ago when Camp Verde belonged to Uncle Sam it was a beautiful fort situated on an elevation overlooking the country for miles around. After the hostilities with the Indians ceased the camp was abandoned. Some of the government buildings were purchased by citizens, others are in a state of decay. Camp Verde is now a wide awake little village, 2 stores, post office, church, school building, 2 saloons, and an eating house. There are many fine ranches around Camp Verde."
"Mr. Head, from New York State, a very genial and entertaining gentleman of the old school, has a charming home, land well irrigated, crops fine. All he lacks to make his home complete is a wife. He entertained us pleasantly by showing us his fine collection of Indian relics, and telling us many interesting events which happened in the early days of Camp Verde." ...
"Mr. and Mrs. Wales Arnold, early settlers, 35 years sojourners, have a charming ranch home. They are well preserved, broad minded, advanced people. Both are very fine conversationalists, and related to us many thrilling Indian events which they had passed through and many narrow escapes."...
"Mr. Price, mail and stage driver, has a fine location and says that if some company will put a road through the valley he would give them all the land they needed for a depot and other buildings."
"We drove out to Montezuma Castle cliff dwellers' ruins three and one half miles from Camp Verde. High above the creek stands the white cliffs, a very imposing and beautiful sight. The castle contains 22 rooms, and is reached by means of 3 ladders, each about 30 feet long. At the top of each ladder is a landing, leading into the dug-outs or rooms. At the top of the third ladder is the castle proper. The front is walled up with cobble stones and mud, the door about four feet high, window and loop holes for peeping out and shooting their enemies. A few years ago a number of mummies were dug out of the walls of this castle. The ladders were placed there by a gentleman who was visiting the castle in the interest of the Smithsonian Institute."
"We left the castle at 4 o'clock in the afternoon for the Montezuma Well, or rather a stopping place just beyond the well, which is 12 miles from Camp Verde. Taking the advice of a visitor at the castle, we took a short cut through the canyon instead of returning to the main road, the way we came. We lost our way, wandered around for some time before we struck the road so our short cut proved to be a long cut, delaying us quite a good deal."
"The road over the mountain was very good and the scenery fine. Two miles from our destination the shades of night fell upon us just as we reached a deep canyon through which we had to pass. The moon, just waking, shining dimly through the trees, was not of much assistance to us. One of the party had to get out and locate the road. After many misgivings we reached the bottom of the canyon, and found ourselves in a rocky creek bed. We saw a light shining from a window of a small house and the inhabitants of the house hearing our 'fog horn' came out and informed us our stopping place was one half mile farther on, and to follow the road which followed the fence." ...
"We could not see the road but could see the fence and kept it in view and soon reached our destination. Soon after supper we went to rest in tents on the bank of a flowing brook. By that time the moon was wide awake casting her silvery light over all nature, and the white tents amid the trees, the water gurgling and dashing over the stones made a charming picture fit for a poet's pen. For an hour I lay in my little bed watching the shadow of the trees on my tent roof and was lulled to sleep by the sighing of the breezes among the trees and the chattering and singing of the little brook as it hurried on its way to brighter fields of usefulness."
"The next morning we visited the soda springs, a short distance from the house. The springs are located in a pretty shady dell. The water is about blood heat and very clear. Owing to the coolness of the morning and the poor accommodations we did not take a bath. Those who have taken them say they are delightful, the loose quick sand and the bubbling spring which keeps one from sinking gives a pleasant sensation."
"About a mile distant on the top of a mountain, we found the Montezuma Well. It cannot be seen until you get close to it --- a wonderful freak of nature --- an immense round hole in the ground about 1,500 feet in circumference, and two or three hundred feet down to the surface of the water. No one has ever been known to find the depth of the well. The water is very placid, never rises or falls, though it has an outlet down in the canyon a mile and a half distant. The well is paved around by immense flag stones, placed there by Mother Nature. Inside of the wall are several Aztec cliff dweller's ruins. We went down to the water's edge by a trail holding onto bushes and rocks to keep our balance. While at the well we met a party of five intelligent young fellows who were taking a trip through the country. They had their team and camping outfit with them."
"We visited other ruins near Camp Verde, and one Indian village; a wig-wam village. We succeeded in getting one very good Kodak view and, in the act of taking another, when the squaw, spying us, grabbed the two children, turned and fled and we got her back instead of her face. The Indians think it's a bad omen to have their pictures taken. Some of them, however, will let you take their pictures in spite of the bad omen, if you give them a dollar."
"Thursday morning, October 27th, we said good bye to our new friends in Camp Verde and started back on our 35 mile rough and dirty ride to Jerome. The driver was late in starting and had to get a hustle on him --- how we did rattle over the stones, one minute thrown forward, then backwards, then would tip one side almost over. It was like getting on and off a camel's back only a little quicker and not quite so easy."
"We reached Jerome tired and dusty and feeling the need of an osteopath to adjust our bones. Finding the Connor Hotel full we went to the Bartlett House, had excellent accommodations, and quite a good night's sleep and rest."
"The next morning we visited the smelter. We were shown around by the pleasant and obliging foreman, Dave Evans. All the works are run by electricity and it was interesting and wonderful to witness the gigantic power of electricity harnessed. The great tongues of fire shooting up, and the red hot copper pouring from the immense iron kettles, was a fearful but beautiful sight. We noticed a large crude stone pillar standing alone near one of the buildings. We asked why it was left standing there, and were told that it was left there as a monument to two employees, assayers, who were killed by the ground under the assay office caving in. We got a fine Kodak view of it. The company employs about 2,000 men."
"Mr. Evans presented us with some fine copper specimens after they had gone through the smelter. We also received some fine specimens from two gentlemen at Connor's Hotel."
"We called at the office of the 'Jerome Weekly Miner' --- had the pleasure of a visit with the bright and congenial editor, Mr. Adams. He has a clean, newsy, up to date, well edited paper."
"We left Jerome at 4 o'clock that afternoon. The train is scheduled to leave at 3:30 o'clock but waited one half hour on a Democratic candidate who was there whooping up the lost cause and who was to speak that evening at a Democratic rally at Jerome Junction. We spent 4 hours at the Junction; the train to Prescott was several hours late. In addition to the rally there was a big dance at the hotel and the people came from far and near to take in the big events --- people of all classes and sizes from the old gray haired man and woman to babies in long dresses."
"We reached Prescott about 11 o'clock, feeling rather worse for wear and tear but well satisfied with our 8 days of sight seeing in the Great Verde Valley."
"By J. Waterloo Dinsdale, M.D."
(Weekly Arizona Journal-Miner; Prescott; November 16, 1904; page 5.)