We offer a wide range of stories on Arizona Oddities catering to an eclectic group of fans from around the state. From history and recreation to artistic endeavors and those weird things you see along the highway, we’ve got it covered.
Here, we’re showcasing our favorite 13 posts from 2013 (in no particular order). We also want to hear what you found most memorable. Please leave us a comment with your favorites.
Buildings at Phoenix High School are Out of This World – The Robert L. Duffy High School takes academic architecture all the way to the outer limits of the universe. The small campus in downtown Phoenix (2550 E. Jefferson) is eye-catching because all four buildings are large monolithic structures with domes painted to look like the planets of Earth, Neptune, Saturn and Jupiter.
- Abraham Lincoln’s Bodyguard and Other Civil War Soldiers Buried in Southern Arizona – While far removed from the thick of the Civil War, some fighting and territorial conquests extended here to present-day Arizona, including the war’s westernmost battle. Sierra Vista-based Paranormal Intuitive Investigations recently stumbled across an interesting relic from this time during an historical investigation at the Pearce Cemetery – a sign and gravestones commemorating both Union and Confederate soldiers, including George H. Platt, member of the Union Light Guard of Ohio and bodyguard of President Abraham Lincoln.
- Sculpture Garden at Yavapai College Features a Fancy, 5-Foot Frog – The garden offers a good representation of what artists can do with welded aluminum and stainless steel. It’s been on the campus since the early 1990s, and covers about four acres. but it contains only about a dozen sculptures because the selection committee only chooses one work per year.
- Step Back in Time at Tuzigoot National Monument – Around 1,000 AD many of these stones were first put into place by the Sinagua, an ancient Native American tribe of agriculturists that once frequented today’s Verde Valley. Now called Tuzigoot (Too-zee-goot), this remarkable 110-room village is nearly intact. While much has been reconstructed to enhance the authentic experience, about 60 percent remains in original form.
- Living in the Round House in Mayer – When Bill and Debbie Burkett moved to Mayer several years ago, they wanted to build a different type of house, something that resembled a geodesic dome but not quite. So they opted for a home that looks like a triple-dip ice cream cone. Technically, it’s three monolithic domes.
- The Story of Tom Horn: Old West Legends Die Hard – It was a brisk, dreary November morning in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in the year 1903. A few people were stirring about, dogs were barking here and there, but otherwise there was a quietness in the air, casting an ominous pall over the town. Off in the distance was heard the shrill, lonesome whistle of a freight train locomotive as it gathered steam to make its run up Sherman Hill. A chilly wind was blowing the grey smoke from the city out into the plains.
- Peach-Faced Love Birds Live in the Valley? – On the off chance you actually saw these creatures, I called my old buddy, Dr. Robert Witzeman, long a stalwart of the Maricopa Audubon Society, and, by golly, it turns out you saw what you saw.
- Naco’s Turquoise Valley Golf Course Has Gone to the Snakes? – The Turquoise Valley Golf Course is one of those places that makes you wonder if golfers ever tell the truth, either on or off the course. Maybe it’s because the fifteenth hole is “the Rattler,” a 746-yard par 6, which makes it the longest golf hole in the West and fifth-longest in the United States. That might give credibility to some of the tall stories emerging from the course.
- Did Camels Ever Roam Wild in Arizona? – At one time, many years ago, there were indeed camels roaming the deserts of Arizona.Before the railroads came to the state, Jefferson Davis, then the Secretary of War, took it in his head that the answer to transportation problems in the region was camels.
- Time Stands Still in Supai – This small village may be one of the few places left on Earth where time actually has stood still. It is the home of the Havasupai Tribe and it looks much the same today as it probably did more than 700 years ago. Located in a side canyon off the Grand Canyon, the streets are nothing but dirt, and it’s hard to reach because several years ago, tribal elders voted against allowing road construction in their portion of the great gorge.
Know the Origin of the Frog Boulder near Cherry? – The latest landmark on our radar is this frog rock located near the ghost town of Cherry. Arizona Oddities reader Mary-Ann Johnson brought this artistic endeavor to our attention. It’s located near mile post 8 (in or around Cherry) heading toward Dewey-Humboldt on Hwy 169 from the I-17.
- Wallace and Ladmo, Gone but Not Forgotten – Any Valley child of that era could today walk into a room full of strangers anywhere in the world and say, “Ho, ho, ha, ha, hee, hee, ho, ho,” and if there is another Valley expatriate present, he will have found a friend in a faraway place.
- Carefree Sundial is Among the World’s Largest – One of the world’s largest sundials anchors a colorful and eclectic desert garden in Carefree. This time-telling sculpture measures 90 feet in diameter and points to the North Star. The metal gnomon (which casts the shadow on the sundial) stands 35 feet and stretches 62 feet.