Did You Know? Quirky Arizona Facts from Marshall Trimble
How much do you really know about Arizona? Leave it to Marshall Trimble – Arizona’s history guru – to compile these quirky facts about funky place names…
- Gouge-em, Hog-em and Stink-em were suburbs of Tombstone in the late 1870s.
- Lousy Gulch, a suburb of Payson, got its name after all three residents – Ben, Elmer and Link Cole – got lice
- The town of Total Wreck got its name because of an outcropping of silver ore looked like a total wreck.
- Mistake Peak viewed from the Tonto Basin looks to be part of a main range but when viewed from the opposite side it looks like a separate peak.
- No Name Mesa on the AZ-Utah border actually has a name….No Name.
- Kim, Arizona is named for Epes Randolph, the president of Southern Pacific Railroad’s Chinese cook. Kim had never visited his “town” along the SP line in Yuma County so Randolph arranged to drop him off for a visit. Kim got off the train to take a look around the bleak surroundings. His arrival increased the population to one. Randolph signaled the train to leave him behind. Another train was arranged for the next train to pick him up. When they met at the next stop Randolph asked him what he thought of his town and Kim replied, “Fine! Fine! It still has lots of room to grow.”
- Arizona’s first mobile home was housed by William Hardy whom Hardyville on the Colorado was named for. He drug a steamboat’s cabin ashore and took up residence in it.
- Tombstone, “The Town Too Tough To Die,” used to have a beauty shop called “The Curl Up and Die.”
- The largest family living in Strawberry, Arizona was named Peach. Tuffy Peach was the last pony express rider. He carried the mail from Camp Verde to Strawberry, Pine and Payson from 1910 until 1914.
- For many years the town of Nothing, population four, had a saloon called the “Ain’t Much.” It burned in 1988 and for a while there was nothing in Nothing.
- Liberty, Arizona was originally called Toothaker Place, not because of bad water but for the Toothaker family who farmed there. It was changed to Liberty during the patriotic fever of World War I.
- Out in the bleak desert of western Arizona is a town called Hope. Living there doesn’t dampen the spirit of its residents. They erected a sign on the way out of town that says, “If you can read this, you’re beyond Hope.”
- South of Prescott is a small community named Nowhere. The biggest problem facing the resident’s is do they spell it No Where or Nowhere.
- When the notorious Yuma Territorial Prison closed in 1909 it was empty until a year later when the Yuma High School burned down. For the next several years the inmate, er, students attended classes in the old prison. Yuma High’s students renamed their mascot the Horned Frogs, changing it to “Criminals.”
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“Tuffy Peach was the last pony express rider. He carried the mail from Camp Verde to Strawberry, Pine and Payson from 1910 until 1914.”
That is a very cool piece of information. Perhaps it ought to be noted, though, that, while Tuffy’s deliveries may have been made via pony, and he may have done it in jig time, the real (original) Pony Express route did not run through Arizona and the service was gone by the end of 1861.
TUFFY PEACH WAS MY GREAT GRANDFATHER AND MAYBE YOU SHOULD DO SOME MORE RESEARCH ON WHAT YOUR COMMENTING ABOUT BEFORE YOU MAKE A REPLY. HE WAS IN FACT NOTED THE LAST MAIL CARRIER ON HORSE BACK TO RIDE AND CARRY THE ”US MAIL” FROM CAMP VERDE TO PAYSON AND ALTHOUGH HE MAY HAVE OR NOT HAVE BEEN ON AN DESIGNATED PONY EXPRESS ROUTE HE DID INDEED CARRIER THE MAIL FROM CAMP VERDE TO PAYSON IN 1910 TO 1914 IN CANVAS BAGS POST MARKED” US MAIL” . THE GOVERNMENT DISCONTINUED THIS SERVICE IN 1914, SEE BACK IN THAT TIME THE POST RIDERS DIDNT WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT THE GOVERNMENT GAVE OUT THE MAIL CONTRACT THE CONTRACTORS HIRED THE RIDERS AND TUFFY PEACH HAD TO BE SWORN IN BY AN OFFICIAL POST MASTER IN CAMP VERDE AZ BEFORE HE COULD CARRY THE MAIL .( OR AT LEAST THAT S HOW IT WAS IN THAT PART OF AZ)………… I CAN SEND YOU AN WHOLE BOOK WROTE ABOUT HIM AND HIS INTERVIEW FROM THE VERDE VALLEY HORSEMENS COUNCIL THIS BOOK WAS FOR SALE IN PINE /STRAWBERRY MUSEUM IN STRAWBERRY . THIS IS FACTS NOT FICTION AND HE LIVED IT !!! SO GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT NEXT TIME YOU FEEL THE NEED TO MAKE A COMMENT, SPECIALLY ON A PIECE OF HISTORY
Jody, I have absolutely no quarrel with whatever your great-grandfather may have done and I meant no disrespect to his memory, but I stand by the information I gave in my earlier reply. Mail certainly was carried on horseback in Arizona later than the 1860s, but that was not The Pony Express, and that was the only point I intended to make. The route followed by the service that everyone generally thinks of, and refers to, as “The Pony Express” started just this side of St. Joseph, MO, and basically followed the Oregon Trail west, terminating in Sacramento, CA. The trip of a little under 2,000 miles was made in about 10 days. The service stopped in October, 1861, because of the completion of coast-to-coast telegraph lines made it unnecessary.
Many parts of rural America had horse or mule mail delivery service until well into the 20th century. In fact, as little as a half dozen years ago (I don’t know if this is still the case), mail was still delivered by horse or mule to the Havasupai who live at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
Was the name of the Tombstone beauty shop actually spelled “Curl up and dye”?
Also, for many years, the “You’re beyond Hope” sign was spelled “Your beyond Hope”. As I was going 70 miles an hour through there every time I went by, I never did stop to tell anyone. Someone did, however, as a few years ago the spelling was corrected.
Thank you both for reading! I touched base with Marshall regarding your comments and wanted to provide some additional details…
Sara – Marshall says he met Tuffy Peach in the 1960s and he told him he delivered the mail from Camp Verde to Strawberry, Pine and Payson right up into the 1950s. Tuffy was the last of about ten children born to the Peach family in Strawberry around 1900. He thinks his mother wrote a poem that went something like this: “We figured ten was ‘nuff; so we named the last one “Tuff.” While the Pony Express went out of business in 1861, there were lots of pony express riders all over the West carrying mail on horseback. In mountainous places like Arizona it was still done well into the 20th century.
Glenn – Marshall says he’s been told by local folks the salon name is “Curl Up and Dye” but we don’t have any documentation to verify. Also an interesting tidbit about Hope. He says he’s not surprised!
Thanks for those details, Andrea.
There is also the annual Hashknife Pony Express run from Holbrook to Scottsdale. That has been done for nearly 55 years.
The Pony Express has always been fascinating, but, like a great deal of Old West history, it has been so fictionalized and romanticized, over the last 150 years, that it’s sometimes hard to tell what is true and what is otherwise. At times, the “otherwise” is more interesting, but I always like to know the truth, even if it’s not what I choose to fantasize about. 😉