The Legend of Apache Cave

Skeleton Cave in the Salt River Valley. Courtesy of the US Forest Service.

On Dec. 27, 1872, Army troops trapped a group of Yavapai Apaches who had taken refuge in a cave carved into a hillside located in the Salt River Canyon. The soldiers began firing from below. Upset by the wails of women and children wounded as the bullets ricocheted off the cave’s roof, Maj. William Brown ordered a cease fire so the Indians could surrender. But instead, they began a death chant…

Tug-of-War Settles Oraibi Dispute

Oraibi Pueblo, circa 1899, is listed on the National Registrar of Historic Places.

ORAIBI — This small community on the Hopi Reservation vies with Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico and St. Augustine in Florida for the honor of being the oldest continuously inhabited town in the United States. Unearthed artifacts indicate there have been people living here since about 1150 A.D.

The Bear Facts About Christopher Creek


CHRISTOPHER CREEK — In the early 1880s, Isadore Christopher located his ranch near a small creek in Gila County. One day in July 1882, he killed a bear, skinned it and hung the carcass in one of the two cabins he had erected. The next day, he left his ranch (and the bear) and went back into the surrounding forest.

How Nutrioso Got Its Name


NUTRIOSO — This Apache County community, located at the south end of Dry Valley, got its name because the Spanish settlers who first arrived in the area disposed of some native wildlife. One was a beaver (“nutria” in Spanish); the other was a bear (“oso” in Spanish).

The Blunder at Slinkard Springs in Pinal County

Wild West Gun Revolver

Somewhere back in the hills of Pinal County, where mining once flourished and claim jumpers and robbers made a decent living, there’s a place called Slinkard Springs. The exact location has been pretty much obscured by time and development, but the story behind its name remains intact.