Chloride, AZ ,Old Rte. 66 and Ancient Indian Sites
By Mal and Jean Roode
Leaders: Mary and Charles Hughes, Joni and Jerry Harada
On our way out to Chloride, we stopped in Amboy and saw a Nissan that looked just like Allan Wicker's. Lo and behold it WAS Allan Wicker! We joined up with Allan and drove the rest of the way to Chloride, chattin' away on channel 13. Base camp was at the home of the Harada's. Mrs. Harada, Jerry¹s mom, welcomed us and invited us into her home for a delicious bowl of hot soup and crackers. Carlos, Debbie and Steve were already there when we arrived. After our arrival, came Emmett and Ruth Harder, Sunny and Jean Hansen and Charles Hughes. Mary Hughes was delayed and arrived just before our departure that next morning. Jerry and Joni were also delayed and arrived sometime that evening.
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The evening temperature in Chloride throughout the 3 days was in the high 30's and low 40's. During the day, the highs were in the 60's.
Trip Participants: Carlos Gallinger, Sunny and Jean Hansen, Emmett and Ruth Harder, Steve and Debbie Marschke, Mal and Jean Roode and Allan Wicker.
DAY 1: Joni didn't join us since she was feeling under the weather. We left promptly at 8 a.m. Our destination was an ancient Indian pictograph site off of the Oatman Highway. Our "short hike up and over some boulders but, overall, easy" turned into a 2 mile hike with a 200 foot rise in elevation. Jerry carried a stepladder and a length of rope to get us over a tough spot on the climb. When we got on the other side rewards were great.
We saw two ancient Indian shelters, and one fantastic ancient Indian pictograph site. We heard some people saying they could feel a presence. We were just awestruck. Amazed. Carlos' knowledge of the ancient Indian civilizations was amazing, too. He was able to provide so much history and identify many pieces of pottery fragments and rocks that had been used by ancient Indians.
Next stop was the stone and concrete floor of an old 1917 tavern on the
1857 Beale Wagon Road. Then a hike to see perfect rock inscriptions done by L. A. Spitzer, and P. Gilmer Breckenridge on an 1859 Sitgreaves Pass Road building project. These were big bold carvings in the rocks. Here Sunny scaled a 150 ft. rocky ridge for a closer look at some petroglyphs (How does he get up there?). From there we traveled to a circa 1930's dairy farm that was a major supplier of products to the Gold Road Mine in Oatman for many years. Carlos spotted some bighorn mountain sheep with his state-of-the-art binoculars and tripod. We all took turns viewing them and there were lots of ooh's and aah's. Fairly close to the dairy were some petroglyphs. Those who didn't want to hike drove their vehicles as far as they could, but everyone had to hike a short distance to see them. To finish day one, we had happy hour and our famous potluck back at the Harada's in Chloride and a campfire.
DAY 2 had even more great things to explore than the first day! Joni was feeling better so she joined us. At 8 a.m. Jerry started out leading us to the Northern Avenue petroglyphs in Kingman, and then to a big boulder pile that we surmised was an Indian ambush point. There was a huge pile of boulders with holes in it where a person could hide. It overlooked a shallow canyon draw where we think the potential victims would traverse.
Mary and Charles took the lead again, and we stopped at several sites in Old Hackberry. The 1917 Spanish-style schoolhouse, 1878 post office, graveyard, and the Henry Bacon home were among them. Emmett revealed that his grandmother was the town's doctor, mortician and ran a boarding house in those days.
At the Little Red School House, east of Valentine, we stopped to eat lunch. The schoolhouse was established in the 1930's to provide schooling for the families of the ranchers in the area. There was a well, two outhouses, and rooms under the school house that we think the teacher lived in.
Our next stop was Crozier Canyon Ranch. Mary had secured permission from the owner, Linda Overson, for us to tour the ranch. It was a good thing because two cowboys stopped the sweep vehicle (Jerry Harada) in our convoy at the gate. Jerry radioed Mary, and she gave Linda's name and stated we had permission. As a matter of fact, Linda was at the ranch that day so we were able to meet her and get some interesting historical facts from her. Linda pointed out three totally different Route 66 roads that were visible from her ranch. Each road was a little higher up the hill than the previous road.
The Crozier Ranch was my favorite. There were 6 big historic buildings, a huge swimming pool including a separate pool for children, and numerous artifacts all over the place. Back in the days travelers could stop and swim in the pool for $1. We spent a good two hours there just taking it all in.
Thanks very much to Mary for facilitating this wonderful stop, and to the Oversons for graciously allowing us in to their ranch to absorb all the rich history up close and personal.
Then we stopped at the Valentine Indian School. There were 5 buildings, just as they were way back when it was an Indian school 1901-1937.
The last stop was Hackberry General Store. This place is more a museum than a store with hundreds of Old Route 66 memorabilia that the owner has on display. Then we finished the day with happy hour, another famous potluck, campfire, and the Mary and Jerry sideshow, we mean slideshow, about the old Chloride depot and railroad. Mary and Jerry, you need to take your show on the road!
On the last day, Jean and Sunny Hansen and Allen Wicker left to visit Amboy to make arrangements for the Rendezvous. The rest of us departed for the Chloride Depot, where there are both narrow and standard gauge tracks to this day. Since there is very little information available about this depot, we spent a long time speculating how the narrow gauge train transferred ore to the standard gauge train to go down into Kingman. From there we went to the Cerbat Mine and the ghost town of Cerbat. Lots of rock foundations are still there, and big machinery is still at the mine site to look at. It was a great end to a wonderful trip.
We would like to acknowledge our most gracious hosts Jerry, Joni and Mrs. Harada. Every night we had a large table, a big kitchen and dining room for our potluck, and every morning Jerry made LOTS of scrumptious potatoes, eggs and coffee.
A big thanks to our trip leaders, Mary and Charles. Mary did a lot of research and used her extensive notes to give us the history on all the sites she planned. The Haradas and the Hughes really made this a remarkable trip and a huge success. This will be one trip that will be hard to top.
THANK YOU all very much.