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View Full Version : Have a real ghost town experience in Cochise, Arizona



JuneNY
12-11-2005, 07:01 AM
my sister and I had the pleasure of a real ghost town experience in Cochise, Arizona. We stayed overnight in the Cochise Hotel. The hotel has original furnishings, it is full of antiques. You can call 520-384-3156 to make reservations. We were able to go inside the old store which is just across the street from the hotel, and see the original shelves, etc. from the old store. For an experience of a lifetime, go to Cochise and stay in the hotel. If you need supper the night before, all you have to do is make a reservation. The proprietress of the hotel fixed us a great breakfast in the morning. A two room suite including breakfast was only $69.00, and we had use of the parlor and dining room while we were there.

Cochise is north of the ghost town trail, which takes you to the ghost towns of Pearce, Courtland and Gleeson and then on to Tombstone. Its a perfect location to start a tour of the ghost towns of Cochise County, Arizona.

Watt Noise
01-20-2006, 09:43 PM
Was out yesterday reviewing some job sites with my partner in SE Arizona... We got done early and decided to cruise the Ghost Town Trail...

Pic #1: Pearce isn't really ghost anymore - lots of people moving into the area from Sunsites (where the Pearce Post Office is now located) all the way to Sunizona and backed up to the Cochise Mountains... Lots of good photo ops though - at least for now... These places are probably going to disappear due to development rather than further deterioration...

Pic #2: Another Pearce photo... This one is on the national register so should continue standing for awhile - Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church, 1893...

Pic #3: From the Cochise Stronghold in the mountains to the west of Pearce... There are a few old ranch houses now owned by the Forest Service in the area... If you go to the Ghost Town Trail - don't miss going to Cochise's Stronghold... Great historic trails... Amazing, unique mountain scenery...

We spent most of our time over near the Chiricahua Mountains looking for the original Camp Rucker... Got it narrowed down but it got dark and cold!... We talked to a local that said it was 10 degrees when he woke up the day before... Nice mid-60's during the day, but the desert goes to flash freeze when the sun goes down... Anyways - Camp Rucker - not the forest service campground camp - but the original camp in the valley is what we were looking for... If anyone has coordinates or other info, I'd appreciate it...

Watt Noise?
Kevin

Watt Noise
01-21-2006, 09:55 AM
Thanks, TW... That's the one I meant as the "campground camp" though... Some accounts of the troop at Camp Rucker have them "camped" originally further down in the valley along the river around mile post 14 or 15... The "campground camp" is at mile post 23... The valley post location makes more sense historically because of the lay of the land... They were charged with border patrol and the MP 15 area would give them easy access to 2 valleys running N and S from Mexico... Both valleys are equidistant from MP 15 to the E and W...

Interesting current events episode with regards to this:

While we were driving out to the area from 191 we passed a Border Patrol car going the opposite direction and then were passed by another BP vehicle going the same direction we were - shift change I guess... Anyways right at the eastern edge of the area we were looking was the BP car that had passed us... Well we stopped to see if they knew of the "original Camp Rucker" which I feel is right where they were parked!... The officer gave me directions to the campgrounds fort - oh well... We drove on - not wanting to interfere with their patrol or look suspicious... Strikes me as history repeating itself - where better to guard the border than this one spot...

Kevin

Ghostdancer
01-25-2006, 05:08 PM
I would like to stay at the Cochise Hotel myself sometime or at some of the other BB's in Tombstone or Bisbee though they can be a bit pricey. Big Nose Kate Fisher who was the mistress of Doc Holliday is suppose to have worked at the Cochise Hotel.

Cochise County is perhaps the best area in the state for ghost towns and historic sites and I believe the most historic area in Arizona. Been there many times and have always enjoyed it.


Tom

Whitey
08-14-2008, 01:22 PM
Did you ever find the Camp Rucker? I am from Douglas & am very familiar with the area. I am currently doing historical military research in that specific area. Let me know if you still are interested. Whitey

Joel
08-14-2008, 04:40 PM
Vulture went there in May. He's a fantastic researcher!

http://forums.ghosttowns.com/showthread.php?t=16136&highlight=rucker

Whitey
08-14-2008, 05:10 PM
The photos Vulture posted are of the second camp. It is up the in the canyon, just past the turnoff to the public campgrounds. There was the earlier army camp out of the mouth of the canyon, maybe two miles from the shown in the photos. I have not seen any remains of it nor heard of any in 70 years. Part of my research has to do with the functioning and communication with Camp Rucker and Camp Bowie, to the north.

Watt Noise
08-15-2008, 04:12 PM
The original one is the one I was trying to locate as well - not the campground area camp up the mountain... Have not had the chance to do anything more with it myself... Any info you have for future reference would be appreciated though...

Thanks, Kevin

Joel
08-15-2008, 04:23 PM
Hmmm...and just which canyon is this suppose to be in?

Vulture
08-15-2008, 05:36 PM
I am interested in this as well. What is your source for locating Rucker 2 miles from the known ruins?. I can not find any other location in any map or book. I would like to become better informed.

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Watt Noise
09-11-2008, 10:02 PM
I am interested in this as well. What is your source for locating Rucker 2 miles from the known ruins?. I can not find any other location in any map or book. I would like to become better informed.

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I will try to look up the source for you - it's in a book in the museum... Off the top of my head, the original encampment was very temporary - couple of months only... This is when they were first ordered to establish an encampment in the area and was probably just the first good location they found... The area that I think it was in has water and grazing land - prime reasons to establish a base camp there... Many times, the military used private lands/housing for temporary accomodations as well... The area I think it was in had an established ranch nearby... It'll be next week at the earliest before I'm back at the museum to look for that reference book - so hang in there...

Watt Noise
Kevin Vanderslice, Curator
Museum of the Horse Soldier

Watt Noise
09-15-2008, 08:46 PM
This is the book I have that refers to the 1st camp location of Camp Rucker…

From: Brandes, Ray. Frontier Military Posts of Arizona, Dale Stuart King Publishing, 1960, Globe, Arizona, pg. 63.
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Camp John A. Rucker (1878-1880)

This post was established on April 29, 1878 as Camp Supply, and shortly afterward the name was changed to Camp Powers. It was [] first located off a stream near the White River in Cochise County.
[]
When it was moved to a site at the upper end of the White River on January 1, 1879, the post was renamed for Lt. John A. (Tony) Rucker of the 12th Infantry.
[]
Camp Rucker was abandoned by the Army in 1880. [Actually, it became a picket post, and then later housing for the heliograph station personnel.]

Camp Rucker bibliography :

(Phoenix) [I]Salt River Herald, Jan. 1, 1879.
Photographs of Camp Rucker, File 66-B, Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society, Tucson.
Rak, Mary K. "Hermit of the Chiricahuas", Arizona Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 4, pp. 38-42.
"Old Fort Rucker Burned to the Ground", (Tombstone) Prospector, Sept. 14, 1921.
Hampe, Mathilde. "From Artist to Cowboy", an unpublished mimeographed manuscript kept at the Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society, Tucson. An excellent manuscript which contains paintings of Camp Rucker, and photographs and sketches of the post, military life, Apache scouts, etc.
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The photo is of a map in our museum of Cochise County (Rand McNally, 1886)… The red block on the right is the location of the "camp ground" Camp Rucker that everyone knows about… The red block on the left is the Powers Ranch - reference the original name of Camp Rucker: Camp Powers…

That's all I got right now…

Hope it helps y'all…
Kevin

http://shutter04.pictures.aol.com/data/pictures/21/008/79/B1/A0/E1/ksFJxG78F5Bhgv0GrImvujt2x7zONJlx0280.jpg

Vulture
09-16-2008, 01:31 PM
That is very interesting. I had never heard about this. Thanks for the research & posting the map. I'll have to nose around next time I'm out that way.

Plus I have another book to track down, almost as challenging as the locaations themselves sometimes.

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Joel
09-16-2008, 04:17 PM
The Swisshelms? That's a short ways from the Chiricahuas. Great map there. Quite a bit for food for thought concerning that.

lacal
09-23-2008, 03:13 PM
I don't know if this will help, but this is a link to an 1881 map of Arizona showing Camp Rucker.

http://azmemory.lib.az.us/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/shmmaps&CISOPTR=126&DMSCALE=100&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMX=3097&DMY=4092&DMMODE=viewer&DMTEXT=&REC=8&DMTHUMB=1&DMROTATE=0

Vulture
09-25-2008, 11:35 AM
I don't know if this will help, but this is a link to an 1881 map of Arizona showing Camp Rucker.

http://azmemory.lib.az.us/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/shmmaps&CISOPTR=126&DMSCALE=100&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMX=3097&DMY=4092&DMMODE=viewer&DMTEXT=&REC=8&DMTHUMB=1&DMROTATE=0

Thanks for posting that. Can never have too many old maps.

So where you going to be living in AZ?

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