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.
The Bloody Basin Area was also a favorite area used by a number of outlaws as a place to hide out until the heat was off their crimes. The rough area allows one to easily hid and make tracking difficult.
Horse Thief Basin was an area where outlaws holed-up until the heat was off.
The old Bumble Bee school house was rebuilt into a home by my Dad Jerry Fulton RIP. It is next door to the Bumble Bee Ranch. Unfortunately, my stepmother did not honor my Dad’s death wishes in 1998 & buried my Dad’s ashes along side of the dog in the back yard. My Dad’s wishes were to have his ashes thrown off Sunset Point or buried in the Veterans Cementary & my stepmother was to chose from those 2 choices. Upon my Dad’s death my stepmother burned Dad’s clothes in a bondfire out back, unjustly disregarded myself & my Dad’s other children & grandchildren, and buried his ashes in the yard without a proper burial. Not long afterwards a stage coach driver from Mesa comes to the Bumble Bee property & never leaves although he was a married man with a wife in Mesa. Indications are that my stepmother is satanic & plays the mentally ill woman. She fooled my Dad, they had no children, she treated his children good & then stabbed us in the back with no closure. Now this new man sleeps in my Dad’s bed with her while my Dad is buried in the backyard & his loved one’s cannot even visit his gravesite. My Dad was such a good man loved ppl & helped many. He said numerous times during their marriage he wanted a divorce & was never a faithful husband even having affairs with numbers of women including my Mom his highschool sweetheart. My stepmother was so dependant & would make my Dad feel obligated to take care of her, she did not drive, never worked except in a bar up north before moving to Arizona, she clung to him so “helpless” that he felt pity & would stay. She was also unfaithful with arranged 3 somes of which I know included a Yavapai Co Sheriff & his wife. The marriage was a failure & my Dad died at home in Bumble Bee. She was not by his side. She came into the marriage with nothing & my Dad worked as a crane operator & built Bumble Bee into a little cafe curior shop. He did all the work. My stepmother ended up with everything my Dad ever worked for & loved in Bumble Bee. He verbally told several of a few small items like a sentemental pool stick & welding tools he wanted my brother to have. Nothing in a will as he trusted she would follow his wishes & her greed caused her to sell the welding tools (I met the man that bought them in BCC!) & then call my brother & tell him someone stole them. None of my Dad’s children deserved her evil treatment & she just loved us to death before he died. My Dad was a fool to stay with her when he was not happy & now because he trusted her we are not able to visit his grave without asking her & doing so with her & her new man right with us. We feel that my Dad’s soul lives in the yard with no proper burial & one day we will be able to move his remains to the VA cemetary with proper burial & loved ones can visit. The new man does not work & is living off of my Dad’s hard earned money, he divorced his wife of many yrs & how he sleeps in my Dad’s bed with my Dad in the yard is amazing! He has bragged around BCC that Bumble Bee is his & one day he wants to sell it & get himself a Harley. My stepmother is not a very attractive woman & looks much older than her age. So pathetic that she has used Bumble Bee to get a man that obviously wants her for Bumble Bee & what he can get. Waiting to get my Dad’s remains is difficult. Fear is that they will move one day & not tell the new owners. How can someone be so evil? No sign of God with my stepmother & she interferred with a priest coming for my Dad on his deathbed, he said YES & SHE SAID NO! Now who would do that but a satanic worshiper? Many other signs of this about her. Now we live with no closure & Bumble Bee is where my Dad lays against his death wishes.
Lame rant Vicki, and good job at hijacking the thread with your meaningless contribution to the conversation.
I have hiked and recreated in the crown king bloody basin areas for many years. The ground is littered with artifacts from the early 1900s. These places are rich with history. Thanks for the replyClay!
Chad are you the one shagging the old stepmother??
My husband & I used to hike & visit the old ghost towns in the Bradshaws in the 70’s. We loved it. We moved to Texas in 1992 and while working at the local school, I had the priviledge to meet & get to know one of the older teachers. She was actually born in the original town of Bumble Bee. I’m sure there aren’t too many people around now who can say that. I enjoyed talking with her about the area.
…and the punchline is?