To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

 Friends of Cave Creek Canyon is pleased to present                               Heritage Days 2016
   Sept. 9 - 11
at Geronimo Event Center
[Part of the Chiricahua Desert Museum]
This VERY POPULAR EVENT is also sponsored by:
Cave Creek Ranch
Naturalist Journeys
Chiricahua Regional Council
Wynne Brown, LLC                     Wildlands Network

A special thanks goes to Bob and Sheri Ashley and the Geronimo Event Center/Chiricahua Museum for their significant support for this event and many other FOCCC activities.


Unique Images of Cave Creek Canyon
by John Johnson
[Visitor Information Center Host]

A Visit to Willow Tank
by Bettina Arrigoni

I stopped by this morning and was blown away. It looks amazing &
 was busy with birds and frogs and rabbits etc.


At willow tk - BA Lazuli Bunting
at Willow Tank


New Solar Panels [Thanks to First Solar] 

Additional Water on sides of Willow Tank

Grants were received from First Solar, The Toledo Foundation and the Leuthold Foundation that have been instrumental in the rejuvenation of Willow Tank.  Their support is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to Larry Rivers and family for their long term support 
of Willow Tank Refuge.  
Without their support this never would have been possible.

Stories of the Past
 Portal History

The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel

Several different things contributed to the short lived prosperity of the original town [Portal]. The Savage Mine in Round Valley of which Jim Reay was superintendent was employing several miners and some of the men in building a small smelter, which by the way never did go into operation as it was built before the mine was developed, or should we way over developed? Anyway when all was said and done there was no ore to smelt so the whole works was shut down, the machinery sold and moved away. Jim Reay moved onto his homestead down at the mouth of Cave Creek and started farming and raising cattle and horses. 

The Virtue Mining Company with Ed Epley as superintendent was employing several miners driving the long tunnel into the limestone mountain Northwest of town. That work was all done without benefit of machinery. They used single and double jacks (four and eight lb. hammers) with hand turned steel drills. This operation lasted longer than the Savage did but the results were the same. No Ore. 

Filing Homestead claims on Government land was just getting underway in this part of the country at that time. Fred Finnicum homesteaded the place which now belongs to the Toles sisters; Hugh Rowe's claim was on the north side of the lane just to the west of town; Powers and McCord filed claims on most of the land lying between the Ranger Station and the Post Office, and a widow whose name is not remembered homesteaded the land covering the little seep spring on the mountain side about two miles directly west of town. She married old Walt Finnicum while holding down her claim but they didn't stay hitched very long. The main part of the AVA Ranch [Now owned by Ted Troller] was homesteaded several years later by an ex Forest Ranger by the name of Billy Stewart. There were a good many other homesteaders or Nesters as they were commonly called located further down in the valley who did most of their trading in Portal. Considerable trade came from people traveling between Paradise and Rodeo up to the time when Paradise went on the rocks for the same reason the two aforementioned mines did. No pay dirt. 

A lot of wood was being cut and shipped to Douglas, Bisbee and Tucson, Frank Kelsey had a big bunch of Mexican wood cutters camped about where the John Hands dam is now. Powers and McCord and some others were also in the business, the wood was hauled to Rodeo with wagons and shipped from there on the Railroad. 

Portal never did die completely, as the old town died out a few buildings were built on the new site and now as we have told you before the same thing is happening again. The only new construction that has been done for the past several years has been further up the creek. Wonder if it will take the name with it this time? If not we suggest that the new town be called Jack Maloney, Arizona. 




Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632


Visit Our Website 

Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Bud and Kate Fackelman, Mary George, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Richard and Patricia Parran, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Mike and Cecil Williams and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.

Please support our Business Members  who  have given generously to Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon.  Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on their names to check out their websites.    
                     Birders B & B
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                      Wynne Brown LLC
                  Chiricahua Gallery               Everett Jones Realestate (Helen Snyder)
            Pi Irwin & Zsombor Zoltan                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                      Mercury Websites
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     The George Walker House                      Painted Pony Resort
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!