Intrepid Indians and Exciting Eventsby John Scott on Mar. 14, 2013, under Uncategorized
You might remember me writing this time last year about the mining town of Superior and its annual Apache Leap Mining Festival. This year my group of gunslinging rapscallions was invited back to provide some street entertainment. I also remembered to bring a camera, to capture some of the architecture of the Old West era. I haven’t received the results of the famed Chihuahua races this year, but they are forthcoming.
Last weekend was busy in Tucson, too. The Wild Wild WestCon II at Old Tucson Studios, and the International Festival of Books at U of A. Tons to do. New folks to meet. At Old Tucson, I marveled at the sub-culture that is known as Steampunk. Mixing the romance of the Victorian era with steam-powered gadgetry made for some nifty costumes and amusing entertainment. While there, I met an older gentleman who was a train conductor in the final years of steam-powered locomotives. Much to my dismay, he was never robbed by masked men on horseback (yeah, I asked).
The book festival supports new authors and publishers from all over. I was fortunate to receive a new book titled, The True, Untold Story of Commodore Perry Owens. The author, David Grassé is a on old friend of my wife’s, and is rapidly becoming one of mine. Having touched on Owens’ gunfight in Holbrook a few months ago, it is exciting to read a published account from one who has done so much painstaking research.
As I was reading David’s book last night (he lets me call him David), it was evident that the area I’ve been mentioning in previous entries was rife with more violence than I realized. Not only were homesteaders protecting themselves from rampaging outlaw gangs and errant bullets from the Graham-Tewksbury hostilities, but also the Navajo indians. In the late 1890’s, Chief B’ugoettin of the Navajo Nation was fighting his own little war with cattleman to get control of more land (named the Leupp Extension). A posse was sent out to serve a warrant and a bloody shootout occurred. Apparently, the posse intruded upon one of the Chief’s hunting camps, and the braves responded with gunfire. One posse member was killed, and a couple more wounded. The indians suffered heavier casualties. In the aftermath, the fear of retaliation was so great that Flagstaff was fortified. Thankfully, it all ended peacefully with the Navajo hunters convincing a judge that they were the victims in the incident. Not long after, they were granted the Leupp Extension and the hostilities ceased. I will mention that the Navajos traveled to Washington D.C. to fight for this land.
So, there’s the tidbit of history. This entry is bordering on blathering, which bothers me. One last thing, and I’ll let you go. This coming Saturday Old Tucson will host 50 years of Gunfighters, where stuntmen over the last five decades will punch, kick, and shoot it out on the film set’s streets once more. The following weekend is the Wild West Days festival with “special guests demonstrating the skills the cowboys needed to survive and the contributions to the western way of life made by the cultures that left their marks on the American West.” There ya go! A couple of outdoor events to stir up your interest before the weather gets too hot.