Yuma’s Water Tank Art

"The Project Rio" murals in Yuma. Photo credit: Sam Lowe

YUMA - Most communities adorn their water towers and tanks with either the town's name or first initial, but in Yuma they opted for something more artistic -- a giant triptych that spreads across the city's three huge water tanks. The city council received gallons of flak when it approved the $50,000 project in 1999, but the criticism died down a year later when the work … [Read more...]

Legend City: A Failure in Its Own Era

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Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published October 2, 2000.) Q: What is Legend City? A: Gee whiz, Legend City. We had forgotten all about Legend City. For better or for worse, it is not “What is Legend City?” but “What was Legend City?” That 58-acre … [Read more...]

The Cowboy Mystique (Pt. 3): A Cowboy Isn’t a Cowboy Without His Horse

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Excerpt from In Old Arizona by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. In The Cowboy Mystique Pt. 1, Marshall explores the perceptions and realities of the “cowboy.” In Pt. 2, he described the story behind the unmistakable garb. In this post, he discusses a cowboy's best friend -- his horse. It was not the cow that made the cowboy; it was the horse. In the early … [Read more...]

Quartzsite’s Legend of A Camel Driver

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QUARTZSITE  - The thing most people notice right away when they enter the Quartzsite Cemetery is a stone pyramid topped by a copper camel, and there's quite a story behind its presence. The cairn marks the grave site of a man they called Hi Jolly, who came to this country in the 1860s to act as a camel driver for the U.S. Army during an ill-fated attempt to use the animals as … [Read more...]

Saguaros Refuse To Tell Their Ages

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Excerpt from Valley 101: A Slightly Skewed Guide to Living in Arizona, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published September 15, 2002.) Today’s question is about the saguaro, so those of who you have lived in Arizona for more than a few years are free to talk quietly among yourselves or put your heads down on your desks and rest a … [Read more...]