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We are proud of our 1870s historic town and there are multiple reasons for our pride. Here are a few interesting examples.

  • The first Cave Creek school was the iconic one-room building encompassing first through eighth grade, taught by one teacher. The first school was built in 1886 (closed in 1913 for 17 years) near the Cave Creek stream on a property called Cave Creek Station which was the first Anglo settlement in the area (established 1877). In 1899, Alfred C. Lockwood was the twenty-four-year-old teacher at the Cave Creek school, but he was a student as well. This was a time when law schools were not the gateway to a law profession. Alfred was studying law, as an apprentice, while teaching at the school, this process was called “reading law.” Mr. Lockwood was admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1902. His stellar career included esteemed positions as the eighth, eleventh, and fourteen Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court in 1929, 1935, and 1941 respectively.

  • The Cave Creek mining district, one hundred and forty-four square miles (four townships), was known for gold, silver, and later “red gold” we know as copper. Additionally, early miners noticed ledges of beautiful jasper and onyx (forms of quartz) jutting from areas near the creek, about twenty miles northeast of the town of Cave Creek.

  • Early eastern investors purchased deposits of jasper and onyx and hauled the slabs to Phoenix in horse-drawn wagons, from there, the gemstone slabs were sent to Los Angles by railroad for cutting and polishing. Cave Creek onyx was used to decorate buildings found at the Chicago World’s Fair (also known as the Columbian Exposition) in 1893.

  • The White House received a gift from the Cave Creek mining district via the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce during the Calvin Coolidge administration (1923-1929). It was a beautiful vase made from Cave Creek onyx. The late Cave Creek historian Frances C. Carlson believes it’s still at the White House in storage.

  • The late Beverly Metcalf Brooks, and former Museum historian, arrived in Cave Creek in the early 1960s. As a young lady, she spoke to many “old-timers” around Cave Creek who shared valuable history with her. One old-timer, Les Smith, long deceased, shared many stories including childhood experiences in the one-room Cave Creek schoolhouse.

  • Les Smith discussed his friendship with classmates and twins, Martin and Mamie Robinson. They were born in Glendale but moved to an area near the National Memorial Cemetery located on Cave Creek Road. There were ten children in the Robinson family. They had a tough life, their father was an alcoholic and left the family when Martin and Mamie were twelve. However; things changed for the better, Martin David Robinson was a pretty good singer, songwriter, and performer. He eventually won two Grammy Awards and was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame with seventeen number-one singles. He changed his name to Marty Robbins.
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