The Story of Frank Murphy’s Impossible Railroad

railroad crossing

Excerpt from Arizoniana by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. At the peak of its prosperity, the fabled Bradshaw Moun­tains of central Arizona produced a king's ransom in gold and silver. Towns and mines with picturesquely whimsical names like Bueno, Turkey Creek, Tiger, Tip Top, Oro Belle and Big Bug were peopled with boisterous devil-may-care miners aptly … [Read more...]

Rhino Beetles Found Only in Arizona

Dynastes Granti, Rhino Beetle

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 July 28, 2002.) Q: I have lived here all of my 32 years, and ever since I can remember, every summer at night, I see the biggest, ugliest and fiercest-looking brown beetle. The other night I saw one … [Read more...]

Who is Ol’ Bill Williams… as in Williams, AZ?

Bill_Williams

Excerpt from “Arizoniana” by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. The picturesque town of Williams takes its name from Bill Williams Mountain that towers above and provides as beau­tiful high country setting for a community as can be found in America. It's a fitting place-name for ol' Bill Williams, the "greatest fur trapper of 'em all." Ol' Bill was as … [Read more...]

Are There Opossums in Arizona?

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 April  5, 2002.) Q: My wife swears she saw an opossum the other night while walking the dog in our Mesa neighborhood. I think she was seeing things. Settle our bet. Are there opossums in … [Read more...]

The Story of Carl Hayden: A New Breed of Frontier Lawman

Carl Hayden

Excerpt from “In Old Arizona” by Marshall Trimble, the state’s official historian. The Old West was still pretty new in 1877 when Carl Hayden was born. His birthplace was a mud adobe house on the south bank of the Salt River that is now Monti's La Casa Vieja. The railroad linking Phoenix with the Southern Pacific transcontinen­tal line at Maricopa and the rest of the … [Read more...]