Place Names Along I-17: Origins of Crown King, Bumble Bee and Bloody Basin
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 August 16, 2002.)
Q: My husband and I travel often between Prescott Valley and Phoenix, and I am wondering about the origin of the names of Crown King, Bumble Bee and Bloody Basin.
A: …Bloody Basin is such a great Arizona name, don’t you think? Bloody Basin is in the far southeast corner of Yavapai County. According to Barnes, it was named for the many bloody battles with Indians that took place in the area.
Bumble Bee was a stagecoach stop sometimes known as Snider’s Station for the man who first operated it. By 1880 it was known as Bumble Bee, named for Bumble Bee Creek, which in turn was named by some prospectors who in 1863 discovered a large bee’s nest nearby and got stung while trying to raid it for honey.
Last but not least, Crown King, which was at the end of a branch rail line about 55 miles from Prescott. It was named for the Crown King Mine, which was a big deal there for a while between the late 1880s and early 1900s. It’s a nice place to go for a day trip out of the Valley, but be careful because the roads into it tend to be kind of rough.