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Thread: Thanx for your forum

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006

    Default Thanx for your forum

    I “discovered” this forum while researching data on the internet for a novel I’m writing that’s set in Gleeson, AZ. I didn’t realize any one was out there is still exploring those old towns and sites. I thought that most of ‘em have been stripped, paved over and/or converted to housing tracts by now.

    I was an Archeology student at the Univ of AZ in 1962/3 & 4 and spent lots of time in the Dragoon Mts/Cochise’s Stronghold area doing archeological surveying and indexing sites for future excavation. We also explored the town of Gleeson and many of the surrounding mines. (We found the Tiffany turquoise mine.)

    We spent Xmas break and most holidays/long weekends throughout the year camped out in the area. Our favorite winter camp was the Gleeson jail and we camped down in some of the mine tunnels sometimes during the hot summer months (Hey – we were 19 – 20 year olds. We didn’t know any better.)

    I found a picture of a little abandoned wood house on a Gleeson web site. I wonder if the photographer knows that was Yee Wee’s house. I met him there in ’64 (he passed away in early ’68). He told me that he was born in Canton during the 1880’s and brought to this country to work on the RR. He was a sprightly little 80+ year old when I met him and told marvelous tales of life in Gleeson during the Depression and his early life working on the RR. I introduced him to one of my friends in the Anthropology Department and she spent several weekends interviewing him and making audio tape recordings of his stories. He used to say “I see you tomorrow”. He was right too; I’m including him in my novel.

    There was a retired old “desert rat” by the name of Mayfair (I think) that lived in Gleeson with his wife in a trailer house when we were exploring in the ‘60’s. I wonder what ever became of him. (He was trying to build the Gleeson museum – a bunch of old wood shelves covered with chicken wire.)

    I have lots of stories about Gleeson, the Middlemarch(?) Stage stop, Johnny Ringo, Cochise, a large Pima village, on & on. . . I moved on to NV where I explored Belmont & nearby towns and then to CO where I explored the towns and camps in Boulder County.

    Sorry to ramble on so, but I’m really glad to have found your site.

    Oregon Doug

  2. #2
    GaryB's Avatar
    GaryB is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Caliente, NV


    You can ramble about GT's all day long as long as you ain't trying to sell us phones or spooky teenie bopper sites

    And welcome to the board
    "I have a .44 and a shovel, I'm sure no one's gonna miss you" - Virginia City, NV

  3. #3
    old judge's Avatar
    old judge is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Oklahoma (Home of the Sooners)


    TW: Iron Poor? Irooon Pooor? Thanks a lot. By the way, is your nose twitchin'???? Mine is..But I'm just old and useless...OJ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    TW, - Gleeson was a convenient “landmark” during our excavations of nearby Indian encampments and settlements throughout the southern Dragoon Mountains. We spent many cozy winter nights in the jail building along with scorpions and black widows. I found the town interesting for no particular reason but became very fond of Yee Wee (he was a “ward of the state” by then) during my visits – he was a treasure trove of local history.

    I’ve just completed the first draft of “A Stolen Kingdom” – a novel about the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy – that I’m not very fond of it as it reads more like a documentary. I set it aside and thought I’d start a new project until I get back to re-writing & editing it. Several old photographs I took in Gleeson & the surrounding areas emerged that just evoked some fond memories as I tidied up my office for the next project. I was trying to think of a location for a novel set between WWI and WWII. Gleeson just seems like a good setting for the story I have in mind and provides a good opportunity to bring Yee Wee back.

    I vaguely recall the arch you speak of, but as young college kids studying archeology in the area – we really didn’t pay much attention to the town. (I still have a hand full of Mexican coins that I unearthed around the exterior of the saloon/store building.

    The turquoise diggings were initially worked by native inhabitants (Pima, I believe) and latter by Apache. I recall that it was an “open pit” mine/digging a couple of miles NE of Gleeson along a low ridge. We verified it by comparing turquoise samples from the pit with those found in nearby encampments and jewelry samples known to have been produced by Tiffany in 1900.

    I have no knowledge of the “Ruby to Paradise” film that you speak of, but I would certainly like to see it. Did you know that Yee Wee had a wife that passed away sometime during the ‘50’s? He buried her himself – I have a photo of her grave. I’ll work the tale into my novel.

    Oregon Doug

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