In 1863, during the height of the Civil War, several parties of intrepid prospectors discovered gold in the flanks of what became known as the Bradshaw Mountains. While the Walker party was most notable, the range was named for one of others, William Bradshaw, who died under mysterious circumstances in La Paz, on the Colorado River, in December of 1864.
We’ll explore the southern part of the range, prominent in the view from Sunset Point on I-17, visiting quirky desert communities like Cleator (home of the Cleator Bar and Yacht Club) and Bumblebee (what’s in a name?), ghost mining and railroad locales, and the little mountain town of Crown King. We will be traveling in significant part via the route of Frank Murphy’s “Impossible Railroad”, built from Mayer to Crown King in the first years of the 20th Century despite many naysayers who claimed it couldn’t be done.
Along the way, we will talk about the original Yavapai Indian inhabitants, the challenges of passage via rail, and some of the history of mining in the rugged and forbidding landscape of the Southern Bradshaws. The video link will be emailed upon registration.