View Full Version : Helvetia, AZ ghosts

09-09-2006, 06:43 PM
I took a trip out to Helvetia today to see how its doing, and was sadly disapointed. After recent rains, the remaining adobe walls are slowly crumbling to the ground. After an hour or two of driving and hiking, I couldn't find much to prove human existence at all, save for a few holes in the ground.

Fortunately, like most sites, the graveyard is well preserved. A sturdy barbed-wire fence surrounds it, and access is via locked gate.

However, after a hike around the perimeter, I found a small section of barbed wire stretched up and tied at a low spot in the dirt. Just enough room for a fat old man to crawl under.

I took lots of pictures inside. I always get a "creepy" feeling in graveyards, even more so than turnbull canyon road...

I always hope to see something "interesting" when I view the pictures later at home. For the record, I consider myself an open-minded sceptic on the subject of the paranormal.

The first pic I'm posting shows two round things I cannot remember seeing in person and cannot identify. They don't look at all "otherworldly" but no matter how much I zoom and enhance the photo, I can't figure out what they are.

The second is a grave marker in Spanish. Can anyone here help translate?

The third is more than likely just a trick of the light. Look at the light anomaly on the cross. A true believer would say its proof of a spirit. I think its just sun bouncing off the lens. Interesting either way.

09-09-2006, 07:58 PM
For a wonderful first hand account of Helvetia in "the day" check out "Ranch Schoolteacher" by Eulalia Bourne. She lived there & various locations in SE AZ in the 19teens. Good pictures too.

Did you see the old wrecked 6 door limo' & the slag heap?

It seems like the sport of choice to refer to me as "brian". I regret ever mentioning his name now, and will not make the same mistake again. I know its amusing to make fun of old men with bad memories, it happens all the time.

I consider the matter closed.

On the subject of the limo, I had never seen it on any of my trips, nor the slag heap. Perhaps If I zigged instead of zagged? Please give me details so I can make another attempt.

Brent Stovall

09-10-2006, 05:34 AM
Brent, The Spanish is misspelled so it's not easy to translate, roughly it reads," Here is Thomas G Sanchez Born 1882 Died 1909
and his brother Hermano Victor Died July 29, 1976"
I tried a couple of online translators but got nowhere so my hubby who speaks some (poquito)Spanish gave it a shot.

09-10-2006, 05:49 AM
TW........Explorers can still visit Eulalia Bourne's ranch site in Copper Canyon area today, as it is a nice drive and short hike to the area. She was also known as the "Lady in Levis", if I remember correctly. She lived a pretty solitary life for a while, and had a real disdain for rodeos. Anyway, it's another interesting spot in beautiful SE Arizona. :D

09-18-2006, 05:09 AM
I can imagine how little is left of the one ruin at Helveitia. I first saw it in 1978 and when I visited again in 1992 only about half of it remained.

According to a great aunt of mine who passed away 11 years ago that was the hotel.


12-25-2010, 07:42 PM
Hi! We're discussing a visit to Helvetia, so I'm looking here for info. Saw the photos from the graveyard, and I'd like to offer another gringo's translation: "Here rest the remains of Tomas G. Sanchez, who was born in 1882 and died in 1909, [and] is remembered by his brother Victor. This [sign] was placed on the 29th of July, 1970 [or is it 1976?]." Thanks for the photos and the other info.

01-01-2011, 06:54 PM
Like Laura said, the sign is poorly written in Spanish, so sounds like it was written by someone who didn't know how to write properly, it says "Here rest the remains of Tomas G Sanchez, who was born [in] the 1882 and died [in] the 1906. Is a memory (or something he vaguely remembers, something like that) of his brother Victor. This was placed in the 1976 in the 29th of July".

I can't figure out of it really means if Tomas is a memory of his brother Victor, or if the sign was left by Victor in Tomas' memory (some sort of a memento, can't really find the English word for that). The years don't make a lot of sense, unless his brother Victor was really young when he died (say 4-5, which would make sens with "is a memory") and was placed later in his life, if that was the case, he would have been ~70 when the sign was posted. Like I said before, the sign has typos and is not gramatically correct, so this guy was very likely not well educated working class. It could also be 1910, 1920, 1916 or 1926 and not 1976/1970.

In the first picture you can see flowers on top of the pole, I wonder if whoever is buried there still has relatives living nearby who go there every once in a while to leave flowers.

01-02-2011, 12:42 PM
1882 to 1909 would make Senior Tomas 27 years old (give ot take a year). I'm thinking it's 1970 as the third number (7) is quite different from the first number (1) in looks. As far as the last number, I would have to say it's a six (compaired to the zero in "1909") making it 1976. Great post and pics none the less.

01-02-2011, 01:36 PM
And 2 of the (9) are different too, and so are the (2). But 1970/76 sound about right. Something that we will probably never find out.

05-10-2011, 11:03 AM
I visited Helvecia today. I had not been there for 8 or 9 years. I was surprised that so much of the old hotel ruins had apparently withered away in that time, as there are considerably less now than there were then. The road to the site is badly deteriorated, and I think an ATV would be the only vehicle that could access it successfully.
One high point is that there is now a chain link fence around what is left of the old hotel. There is no sign on it, or other indication of who put the fence up, but it is good to know that what small amount of Helvecia is left has been protected.