Diamond Fields in Arizona?


Q: I have an 1891 map that shows an area in northeastern Arizona as “Diamond Fields.” Have diamonds been found in this area, and if so, are diamonds mined there now?

A: This turned out to be pretty interesting. There is indeed a wide spot on the road near the junction of U.S. 160 and Arizona 118 called Diamond Fields.

For help on this matter I called the Old Scout himself, state historian Marshall Trimble, and asked him if he had ever heard of Diamond Fields. That was dumb. Of course he’d heard of Diamond Fields. That’s why he’s the state historian, and you and I aren’t.

In 1872, a pair of prospectors named Philip Arnold and John Slack walked into a bank in San Francisco with a bag full of diamonds and rubies and other gems they had found at a site that they refused to divulge.

Early Political Shenanigans: How Phoenix Became the Capital of Arizona


Territorial citizens took great delight applying social acupuncture to local politicos. It’s been said with dubious pride that Arizona had some of the finest legislators money could buy. Old timers around Jerome used to say that every time the subject of a bullion tax would come up before the legislature Henry Allen, superintendent of the United Verde Mine, would go over to the local bank, make a sizable withdrawal and announce to everyone within earshot that he was “off to Phoenix to buy some mules and jackasses.” A few days later, he would return, without livestock but by some coincidence the bill for the bullion tax would die quietly in some committee soon after.

Greenway Road Named After Hero with Remarkable Wife

Isabella S. Greenway

Q: Is Greenway Road named for someone or is the name meant to be descriptive? Most of it doesn’t seem very green, although it does have some nice parts.

A: Well, even the dullest and drabbest of us do have some nice parts, don’t you think? Greenway Road is named for Gen. John C. Greenway, a World War I hero and mining magnate. There is a statue of him in the old
Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. He was, as noted, a war hero and big shot, but the street could have just as easily have been named for his wife, Isabella S. Greenway, one of the most remarkable women in Arizona history.

The “Blow Hole” of Wupatki National Monument

36 wptki

WUPTAKI NATIONAL MONUMENT — Absorbed as they are by the magnificence of the scenery surrounding them, most people who visit these ancient ruins walk right past “the blow hole” because it looks more like a square sandstone bench than part of an archeological dig. Located near the ceremonial ball court east of the major ruins, the blow hole is a crevice in the earth’s crust that creates the impression that it’s capable of breathing. It connects to an earth crack, an underground passage formed by earthquake activity in the Kaibab limestone bedrock.

The Escape of Desperado Augustine Chacon

Augustine Chacon

Augustine Chacon was one of the last of the hard-ridding desperados who rode the owl-hoot trail in Arizona around the turn of the century. Chacon was a resident of Sonora but did most of his mischief in Arizona, leading his gang on far flung forays of pillage and plunder. One time Chacon and his pistoleros robbed a stagecoach outside Phoenix. On another occasion they held up a casino in Jerome and killed four people.