Monday, April 3, 2017

Did You Know.....Part 1 of Weird Facts in Arizona History

There are so many weird stories that happened in “the old west”.  Here are a few that happened in The Arizona Territory!

Did you know……

His Vision? Not So Grand
Lieutenant Joseph Ives explored Arizona’s waterways in 1858. Trekking to a remote canyon, with native guides, he made a bold prediction: “Ours has been the first, and will doubtless be the last, party of whites to visit this profitless locality.” The area was later named Grand Canyon National Park.

Not Bad for a Chronic Yawner
In the Apache custom, his parents named him Goyathlay for a particular trait: “he who yawns.” Born circa 1829 near the headwaters of the Gila River, he grew up to be a warrior and struck fear into his Spanish-speaking adversaries, who noted he fought like San Jerónimo. The nickname stuck, and he became known as Geronimo.

Damned Babies
The future “Father of Arizona,” Charles Poston, arrived in the little adobe pueblo of Tubac in 1856 where he became the magistrate, alcalde or just “El Cadi” to the citizens. Tubac, in those days, had no Catholic Church, so he performed marriages, baptized babies and even granted divorces. When the bishop in Santa Fe discovered what was happening, he dispatched a priest to Tubac to declare all marriages null and void. The resulting civil unrest among the citizens was quickly resolved when Poston and the priest reached an agreement. The “El Cadi” would make a donation to the church and in return the priest would bless the marriages and make all the little Carlos and Carlottas legitimate again.

The Beer Border
Lots of early Arizona land surveying involved wingdinging. A wingding is when you stand at a geographical point, slam your palms together and wherever your joined palms point to, that’s the route to take. See that wingdinged, catty-wampus angle at the bottom of Arizona? According to legend, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, a group of surveyors was supposed to map out a new boundary by heading west from New Mexico to the Gulf of California, thus ensuring Arizona would have a bona fide seaport. Unfortunately, when the surveyors got to Nogales, they heard there was a whole bunch of beer in Yuma (and besides it was kind of cold out). So, they made an executive decision, executed a wingding, turned their transit and pulled their chains toward Yuma. Remember, when it comes to Arizona landmarks, you always follow the beer

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of Weird Things in The Arizona Territory.  My book, Chase's Story, Book 10 of Grandma's Wedding Quilts, takes place in The Arizona Territory.

There are twelve books in the Grandma's Wedding Quilts series.  Right now we are in the middle of a Book Blitz, Loving The Book!  Check it out and get in on the drawing for a $50 Amazon Card. Join us at


  1. Love these weird facts! Thanks for the post!

  2. Too fun. Thank you for sharing the smiles this Monday in April. Doris