09 Nov 13
Meet and greet at 10:00 AM, depart at 10:30 AM
The east side of I-17 Exit 278 (the junction of I-17 and Hwy 169). We'll be Jeepin', so look for the Orange Crush JKUR, should be easy to spot!
2M - 146.46 FWD2 - No CB for me! I do have two HT's that can be borrowed.
After a short scenic drive on dirt roads, we will hike approx 0.6 of a mile on the old wagon road into the Arnold Cabin. The trail drops approx 250' of elevation into the creek. Time permitting after the hike, we'll go up to the top of Squaw Peak to enjoy the views.
History: http://www.pggp.com/well_document/A%20H ... 20Well.pdf
In 1875 a Lieutenant Carter, stationed at Fort Verde, took
pictures (now in the Federal Archives) of several people picnicking at
Montezuma Well. Corporal Wales Arnold and his wife Sarah were
among them. Corporal Arnold was a Volunteer, born in Braintree,
Norfolk County, Massachusetts, in April of 1837, the son of George
Washington and Sarah Ann (Wales) Arnold. He married Jennie Sarah
Wells, a cook on the Bowers's Aqua Fria Ranch, on October 24,
In 1870 Wales Arnold filed for water rights on Beaver Creek,
and, putting in a mile of ditch, farmed 20 acres on what was later
called the West Montezuma Well ranch. An 1878 HANDBOOK TO
ARIZONA by H. Hinton, locates Montezuma Well some two miles
east of Mr. Arnold's farm (hereafter referred to as East Montezuma
Well Ranch). Wales also built an adobe house with gun portholes and
an inside well, which was located in the pasture area of the presentday
Hobby Horse Ranch. A partner, Joseph Burroughs, who helped
Wales build the house, was killed by Indians on the bluff south of the
present Montezuma Well picnic grounds.
In 1875 wagon trains stopped at the Well ranch; and, at one
time during a so-called "Indian uprising", the nearby settlers sought
refuge there for two weeks.
Sometime later, a Lieutenant Somerby of the 8th U.S. Cavalry
found a little Indian girl, about three years of age, in a cave after an
Indian fight. Wales and Sarah, who were childless, took her in. At first
they had to keep her in a crate because she was wild, given to biting
and spitting, which has been likened to keeping a "pet coon in a box".
Wales and Sarah raised the child as their own, naming her
Lulu, or, according to some sources, Lula. When grown, Lulu married
Abraham Lincoln McKesson. ("A.L. McKesson" is chiseled above the
black rock down by the Well Outlet on Beaver Creek.) Lulu bore six
children. One of them, Isabelle, a resident of San Jacinto, California
for 58 years, spoke of her mother as a full-blooded Apache Indian
named Lula Verde. Lulu died of consumption in Kingman, Arizona, in
In 1880, shortly after acquiring Lulu, Wales and Sarah moved
from the Well area to Arnold Canyon near Squaw Peak, where they
built a rock house with rifle portholes and an outside well. This house
still stands, and was observed by the writer and a Park Ranger in
June of 1989. The width of the walls measured the entire length of a
man's arm, and were built square and true. Two fruit trees, a plum
and a pear, are still thriving, and were loaded with green fruit.
According to Bob Bates, who lives in Cornville, the long claw
marks that riddle the trunk of the pear tree were made by bears
seeking fruit. Bob didn't mention bears eating the plums, but it is said
that they are so sour they would make a pig squeal.
The adobe house that Wales and his partner built earlier is no
longer in existence.
In 1890, the Arnolds' moved once again, this time back to the
Verde Valley where Mrs. Arnold rented and operated W.S. "Boss"
Head's boarding house, serving as its cook, while Wales hauled
water by wagon and team.
The Arnolds' are buried at Clear Creek Cemetery near Camp
Verde. Wales's gravestone reads:
CORPL. WALES ARNOLD
1 CAL. INF.
Sarah's stone, much larger and the tallest in the cemetery, reads:
SARAH J. ARNOLD
WIFE OF WALES ARNOLD
OLDEST WOMAN SETTLER IN VERDE VALLEY
and, in much larger letters, because everyone in the Valley
called her "Auntie", a block reading: