Vaqueros and Sourdoughs


Monday, 30 January 2012

  • The Desert Caballeros Western Museum, on the back side of downtown Wickenburg, commemorates cowhands and miners alike.  Gold and copper got this town started, just around the time Arizona was getting its land legs as a territory.  Historical memorabilia of the Hassayampa Valley, combined with the fine Western art of Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Olaf Wieghorst, George Phippen, George Catlin, Kenneth Freeman, and a dozen other painters and sculptors, make for a fascinating afternoon in this medium-sized town at the northwestern edge of the metro Phoenix area.

    Here are some scenes of the main museum. First, let’s see how the early ranch families lived.




    Yep, Mom and apple pie were big then, too.


    The bunkhouse seems to have had a nice view.  Hope no Gila monsters had a habit of being peepin’ Toms!

    Anyone recognize these brands?

    Now, let’s go visit the General Store.


    The Wally Worlds of their time kept everything under lock and key.

    Mrs. Elizabeth Hudson Smith was one of several African-Americans who came to the new Arizona Territory.  She prospered nicely as proprietress of the Hotel Vernetta, until statehood, in 1912, brought lots of Easterners, and Jim Crow.


    The hotel bar thrived, with the cowpokes and miners not caring whether a person was white, black or green.

    Wickenburg has several bronze sculptures around its downtown.

    It also has several homey restaurants.

    I will head down here again next month, to have a look at Wickenburg’s third anchor:  Vulture Peak and its gold mine.