PDA

View Full Version : Arizona - Iron / Mescal Springs



davef
03-28-2007, 08:36 AM
Hi:

This is not really a ghost town question but I am running out of people to ask.

Wyatt Earp was supposed to have had a gun fight at Iron/Mescal Springs in southern Arizona. Does anyone have driving directions ?
Thanks for the indulgance!

D

Johnnie
03-28-2007, 09:26 AM
Hi:

This is not really a ghost town question but I am running out of people to ask.

Wyatt Earp was supposed to have had a gun fight at Iron/Mescal Springs in southern Arizona. Does anyone have driving directions ?
Thanks for the indulgance!

D

We will ask our friend Lee Silva, who just wrote a 900 page book on Wyatt Earp, and i'am sure Lee, can answer your question.

Will post soon what we find out. But there is so many fellow ghosttowners that may come up with the answer before we have the time to post our findings.

Flatiron, Laura, and O J . Do you guys have any information available to help our fellow ghosttowner ?

Good luck
Johnnie & Sheila

old judge
03-28-2007, 01:39 PM
Dave: With Johnnie's encouragement, here's my thought. Assuming we're talkin' about the same Mescal Spring, in Cochise County, it appears on the 1895 U. S. Atlas on the then main road though the area. I would have expected Hwy. 82 to have followed that trail. But the Spring appears to be about three miles North of 82, 1-1.5 miles east of the western Cochise County line. Put another way, the Spring is about 1.6 miles NE of the NE corner of Santa Cruz County on a bearing of about 060 degrees True aka 31-44-40N, 110-25-40W. I'm guessing that's the correct Mescal Spring because of its proximity to Tombstone. I see you asked for driving directions. I'd guess Hwy 82 West from Tombstone about 23 or 24 miles 'til you cross Hwy. 90. Proceed about 1 - 1.2 miles past 90 to the Sands Ranch Road, whence you turn North. It's three or four miles 'til you reach Mescal Creek. About now I'd stop and ask directions at the Ranch. Thence it's on up the creek to the Spring. Good luck. Let us know what you find. You might want to look for Curly's grave while you're in the area. Should be about 12 - 15 miles SE of the Spring on the Babocomari River, 5 or so miles SW of Fairbank. 'Course, that's assumin' Wyatt really kilt 'im. OJ

Johnnie
03-28-2007, 02:36 PM
Dave: With Johnnie's encouragement, here's my thought. Assuming we're talkin' about the same Mescal Spring, in Cochise County, it appears on the 1895 U. S. Atlas on the then main road though the area. I would have expected Hwy. 82 to have followed that trail. But the Spring appears to be about three miles North of 82, 1-1.5 miles east of the western Cochise County line. Put another way, the Spring is about 1.6 miles NE of the NE corner of Santa Cruz County on a bearing of about 060 degrees True aka 31-44-40N, 110-25-40W. I'm guessing that's the correct Mescal Spring because of its proximity to Tombstone. I see you asked for driving directions. I'd guess Hwy 82 West from Tombstone about 23 or 24 miles 'til you cross Hwy. 90. Proceed about 1 - 1.2 miles past 90 to the Sands Ranch Road, whence you turn North. It's three or four miles 'til you reach Mescal Creek. About now I'd stop and ask directions at the Ranch. Thence it's on up the creek to the Spring. Good luck. Let us know what you find. You might want to look for Curly's grave while you're in the area. Should be about 12 - 15 miles SE of the Spring on the Babocomari River, 5 or so miles SW of Fairbank. 'Course, that's assumin' Wyatt really kilt 'im. OJ

WOW! O J Thanks from all of us for the great write up. Very informative.

haven't heard from you for awhile we all thought you might be busy doing what you do best in the mid-west.;)

Thanks again O J for taking the time to share that old west knowledge.

Johnnie & Sheila

old judge
03-28-2007, 03:20 PM
Johnnie: On closer examination, I find the old 1895 town of Mescal was on the long abandoned railroad about 6 miles West of Benson, maybe 17 or 18 miles north of the Spring. The site is about one mile East of the County line. I don't believe this to be the shoot out site. It ain't the spring. OJ

Johnnie
03-29-2007, 05:32 AM
Johnnie: On closer examination, I find the old 1895 town of Mescal was on the long abandoned railroad about 6 miles West of Benson, maybe 17 or 18 miles north of the Spring. The site is about one mile East of the County line. I don't believe this to be the shoot out site. It ain't the spring. OJ

When we did a closer look at our old maps we have to agree O J your research seems to be right on the mark

I haven't. talk with Lee, as yet to get his opinion, but I am sure everyone will agree with your research.

Hey! what happen to our fellow ghosttoner who pose the question ???

Johnnie & Sheila

davef
03-29-2007, 09:16 AM
Thank you ALL for your research and time to help me find this site. I do have gps so the lat/long is good to have.
Again, Jonnie(sp), Old Judge - "teusentak!"[ 1,000 thanks! ]

DesertSneaker
03-13-2009, 01:32 PM
I'm brand new to this site. I was just wondering if anyone has determined an exact location fo the site for the shootout.

Thanks

Joel
03-13-2009, 07:15 PM
Not that I have heard of, but Mescal Road is an exit these days on I-10. Might be an adventure awaiting. The old railroad ran fairly close to I-10. A little research from the AHS (Arizona Historical Society) and you might just have it.

Froggy
03-15-2009, 11:30 AM
NEAR: N 31 44.654' W 110 25.688'
March 24, 1882, Wyatt Earp kills "Curly Bill" Brocius in Mescal Springs, in the Whetstone Mountains, also known as Iron Springs, Arizona.

About thirty-five miles west of Tombstone is locate the fabled Iron Springs. The story goes that in 1882, during his Vendetta Ride, Wyatt Earp and his posse were ambushed by Curly Bill Brocious and other Cow Boys. During the gunfight Wyatt claimed to have shotgun-blasted Curly Bill near in two before making his escape. Despite his claims, Curly Bill sightings cropped up for some time. This hike was hilly and rugged. The trail lends up between tall hills amid mesquite and sage. 120 years ago, the ground cover would have been more grasses.

"Iron Springs - on later maps the designation is Mescal Springs - was a fine water hole in the Whetstone Mountains about thirty-five miles west of Tombstone across the san Pedro Valley," ... "The fork to Iron Springs climbed a narrow, rocky canyon into the Whetstones, a veritable inferno beneath the desert sun," ... "About one hundred yards from the water hole, the trail rounded a rocky shoulder and cut across a half shelf of deep sand. Ahead Iron Springs was hidden by an eroded bank, possibly fifteen feet high. Beyond the hollow, where the mountain slope resumed, was a grove of cottonwoods." From: “Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall,” by Stuart Lake.

Ghostdancer
03-16-2009, 05:06 AM
The USGC topo Mustang Mountain covers this area.

Joel
04-09-2009, 07:37 PM
I have a buddy that has done some hardcore hiking in the Whetstones. Let me ask him if there's anything left worth ghosttowning out there. I'd love to do a French Joe Camp if I could find any history to the area.

DesertSneaker
04-17-2009, 11:09 PM
That would be cool.

40FORDJIM
04-18-2009, 09:45 AM
I'm brand new to this site. I was just wondering if anyone has determined an exact location fo the site for the shootout.

Thanks

Welcome to the site fellow Silver Citian ! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Vulture
04-29-2009, 02:13 PM
I have a buddy that has done some hardcore hiking in the Whetstones. Let me ask him if there's anything left worth ghosttowning out there. I'd love to do a French Joe Camp if I could find any history to the area.

Not much seems to be known about "French Joe". He is mentioned in the George W Parsons journals a couple of times as "French" Joe Reynard. George wrote a letter for him, (so maybe he was illiterate or not fluent in english) & he joined a possie in Tombstone to chase Apaches. It is mentioned that he had a lumber camp in the canyon that bears his name. I've been there a few times & not seen any ruins, there is an old concrete cattle tank at the spring. It is a pretty place.

Your humble correspondent in FJ Cyn, 03'.

Joel
04-29-2009, 05:05 PM
That's what I found out. No ruins that are worth the trek out there. That's the problem with camps, too much canvas and lumber to have survived into our age.


A few old mines in the area and the Bathtub Springs where someone did take a tub to. You're correct as to the scenery too!

ramman
09-12-2009, 08:40 PM
The directions given on the burial site of Curly are almost exact to where a grave was found about a month ago on the Babacomari river. My friend was fishing back by President Reagans retreat, when he was walking out down the old railroad tracks he spotted a skeleton. He called the Sheriff dept and they called out somekind of archelogolical retrieval team for the skeleton. Original thoughts were that it was an indian site, but there were doubts about it, the one thing they were pretty sure of, at first site they did not think it was an illegal.

Ghostdancer
09-14-2009, 07:34 PM
So goes two accounts that I read in two books on lost treasures. According to these stories Curly Bill was in a saloon in Silver City, NM when he shot and killed a barmaid. This he did in a rage when he got word that his cohorts in the Skeleton Canyon Massacre didn't believe he should have his share of the loot since he did not participate and planned on telling him that the Mexican smugglers got away.

A posse later caught up with them in Shakespeare and hung him and another and I think a third was killed in a shootout with this posse.

So we have Curly bill being killed by Wyatt Earp at Mescal Springs, hung by a posse in Shakespeare, killed in 1902 in a gunfight in Wyoming. :confused:


Tom

Rheiga
09-22-2009, 05:53 AM
So we have Curly bill being killed by Wyatt Earp at Mescal Springs, hung by a posse in Shakespeare, killed in 1902 in a gunfight in Wyoming. :confused:


Tom


I have a perfectly logical explination for this..... there were 3 of him :P

dwinslow
09-22-2009, 11:20 AM
Your humble correspondent in FJ Cyn, 03'.

Now Vulture, please tell me this ain't you !!!!!!

Vulture
09-23-2009, 05:44 PM
Now Vulture, please tell me this ain't you !!!!!!

Don, You just wish you was so beautiful.

(?)

(!)

Vernon Cross
04-10-2013, 11:43 PM
I have a buddy that has done some hardcore hiking in the Whetstones. Let me ask him if there's anything left worth ghosttowning out there. I'd love to do a French Joe Camp if I could find any history to the area.

I saw an old map showing the Mescal River flowing out the Whetstone Mountains from Mescal Spring. It would have crossed Hwy 90 at about the Border Patrol checkpoint fanning out in a wide alluvial spread headed towards the San Pedro River. Now this inspired me to locate Mescal Springs to see if this once bountiful freshet had any sign of seepage left to it. I don't believe I have nailed it down yet, though it's made for some interesting hikes. The map I just saw on this website is the most definitive yet, and I will try again to get to the famous spring. Don't know about Wyatt Earp's shoot-out happening just there, but there is good documentation in The Conquest of Apacheria that the lieutenant who was supposed to take out Cochise (before Ft. Huachuca was built and before the treaty with General Howard was finalized) got killed not long in country when he foolishly charged hostiles tracked to that very spring. He has an arterial on the fort named after him today, Cushing St. Cochise has the county named after him. . .ironic.

mswarbrick
03-25-2015, 10:24 AM
Last comment on this thread is a couple years old, so was just wondering, has anyone made it out to the spring and determined it is actually one Earp spoke of? Any body have GPS coordinates? Is it on public land?