Navajo Legend of Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Excerpt from Arizoniana by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. Geologists like to say this vast land of dramatic salmon hued sandstone spires was once buried 3,000 feet beneath ancient seas. Over the next several million years, layer after layer of sediments were deposited, then hardened, followed by an uplifting of the land. It's difficult to imagine, but the … [Read more...]

A Tribute to a Reluctant Hero in Sacaton

Ira Hayes Tribute

In a small park in Sacaton on the Gila River Indian Reservation, a bronze statue of a young man wearing a military uniform stands next to a bas-relief plaque affixed to a tiled wall. It is a replication of Ira Hayes. He was a U.S. Marine. And a reluctant hero. The plaque depicts six men raising a U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima, a small island in the South Pacific, … [Read more...]

What’s With All the Backyard Concrete-Block Fences in the Valley?

Concrete Block Fence

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 November 2, 1999.) Q: What is it with the “wall phenomenon” around here? Who invented the idea of backyard concrete-block fences and why? A: Funny you should ask. We are just back from a trip to the ancestral … [Read more...]

Does Tumacacori Hold Buried Treasure?

47 tumacacori (2)

According to those who search for buried treasure in Arizona, there's a fortune hidden beneath the floors of Tumacacori, the old mission near Tubac. The legends say that the church was once not only a place of worship, but also a mill and smelter for a gold and silver mining operation run by Jesuit missionaries in the first half of the nineteenth century. The prospectors' … [Read more...]