After Arizona became a U.S. territory in 1863, four counties were created—Mojave, Pima, Yuma and Yavapai. A fifth county, Pah-Ute, was claimed — and taxed — by both Arizona and Nevada, with Nevada emerging as the winner. Maricopa County was created in 1871, and others came along over time when need arose.
It took Robert John Miley more than a decade to turn guns into art. The result is a sculpture that rises above a small park at the corner of Roosevelt Street and Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. Miley spent 11 years acquiring the land, material and manpower needed to create the work. The statue, which resembles a man lifting his arms skyward, is made of steel and weighs 17,000 pounds. Four tons of the material came from guns that were once used in the commission of violent acts.
Early day settlers Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark had been neighbors for a short time, living among the lush, green ponderosa forestland along Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. The two became concerned about one encroaching on the other’s privacy. Perhaps on a clear day one could see a wisp of smoke rising from other’s country. Whatever the reason Cooley and Clark agreed it was getting too crowded and one of the two parties had to move.
Up around Chloride, the painted rocks are known simply as “the Mural.” Roy Purcell, the artist, called the work “The Journey” and says it was the result of a deep personal introspection. Either way, the decorated boulders have withstood the elements, bureaucracy and the multitude of tourists who travel a crooked mile to view them, photograph them, comment on them and attempt to decipher their hidden meaning.
Rocks on the roof? Who to call but the estimable Max Underwood, professor of architecture at Arizona State University, a specialist in Valley architecture, and hail-fellow-well-met.
Underwood says your native friend is correct. Rocks on the roof can be traced to the Native Americans who lived here long before anyone dreamed of professional hockey and were adopted by homesteaders.