To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

We Welcome March with Spring in the Air

  [Steve Wolfe]        
            Violet-crowned Hummingbird                      

APRIL 22, 2017  9 AM

Grants, donations and The Larry Rivers family have provided us the support to revive this vital water source for birds and other wildlife.  Over 200 species of birds have been seen here.

                        Come see this great community asset.

There will be refreshments 
and short tours of the facility
More details will follow.   

In March, 2016 we received a $15,000 grant from First Solar   to  reju venate Willow Tank, to return it back into the great birding place of the past.  First Solar also donated AND delivered all the solar panels.  These panels are the new cutting edge technology panels that are more efficient than standard panels.  Thank you, First Solar for your generosity and support.
Reed Peters, President of Friends of Cave Creek Canyon: " This generous donation from First Solar will help ensure that the water levels in Willow Tank can support the 200 species of birds that stop here during migration.   We are pleased that Willow Tank will remain one of the premier bird-watching destinations in North America, and look forward to the continued education and research opportunities it provides."

Recently Seen at Willow Tank by Steve Wolfe
                              Lesser Scalp                                              Cinnamon Teal

Northern Harrier

Visitor Information Center Project

The back wall of the VIC had substantial dry rot damage, termite holes, squirrel nests, mice/rat nests, and other such treasures.

Our knowledgeable host John Johnson led a worthy crew of Rolf Koford and Tony Donaldson in tearing off all the old siding and other bad parts, and replaced the plywood and trim.  Tony did work a lot, even if not in the pictures - he was the photographer!  Insecticide was also applied.   They've done a great job so far, but there is still more to go!

As many of you know, FOCCC is managing the VIC under the guidance of the Forest Service.  We have made many changes inside and out.  Plans are for further improvements to make the facility and grounds more educational and fun.  The VIC is used by many people both local and visitors.  For example:

Feb. 2017 Visitors 707  up 80% from 392 in Jan. 2017.     
March visitors through 3/29 = 1100
Feb., 2017                                                                              [circa 1940]             

Thanks to John Johnson, Rolf Koford, Greg Wayman and Tony Donaldson
 for all their hard work on the VIC
Anyone interested in helping with trail work, gardening leading bird or nature walks contact Mike Williams at  mike@foccc.org
Whoooooo's Looking AT Me!!
The Great Horned Owls have taken up residence in a very large tree between the clinic and Portal Peak Store.  This is the same pair of GHOs that tried to nest last year just past the library.  The wind knocked down the dead tree and the eggs were destroyed.  According to Debb and Bud Johnson, these are the same pair as last year because of certain markings.  Welcome back! 
                                                       Thanks for the pictures, Debb                                                                                

Western Screech Owl
Taken by Debb

This may be the same bird that roosted above the post office all winter, keeping an eye on Joan.

It is now nesting according to Debb.

Image taken by Astronomer Rick Beno of Portal's Sky Village

NGC 2264 - Christmas Tree Cluster
Open Cluster with Nebula in Monoceros
Also called the Cone Nebula


Stories of the Past
 The Start of the Arizona Rangers

The Chiricahua Bullsheet, an entertaining and highly opinionated newsletter and journal of local history written by Carson Morrow
Courtesy of Dick Zweifel
Since the old burg [Paradise] started on the down hill slide there have been a good number of other people come and go, some of which we have no knowledge. So for this first series we will only deal with the original inhabitants covering the period 1903 to about 1910. As is not unusual for us, we are getting the horse ahead of the cart by telling you of the life and demise before we say anything about the birth so we will here regress a little. There had been mining and prospecting activities in that area farther back than anyone knows. There is some indications that the Conquistadores at least looked it over an probably did some prospecting. Parts of one of their saddles and an old flint lock pistol bearing the stamp.of the Spanish Crown and the date 1513, have been found in fairly recent years over in Wood Canyon and the Millstones of Arrastas (crude Spanish of Mexican gold mills) have been found in both White Tail and Wood Canyons. 
From that time down through the years many old rainbow chasers such as George Dunn for whom Dunn Spring and Dunn Mt. are named, John H. Galey of Galeyville fame and old man John Sullivan of White Tail Canyon kept up the burro hunting and prospect hold digging until old Cap Burns sold his diggings, located in the heads of Jhus and Chiricahua Canyons to the Chiricahua development Company in the latter part of 1902 or early 1903. Soon after that group of Eastern Capatalists made the purchase they began developing the property...... 
There was no suitable site for a town at the embryo mine and a sizeable adjacent town was in the cards. So Paradise was conceived by two men by the names of George A. Walker and George Myers. Now don't get any funny notions, they only the idea. They laid out the townsite and sold lots to a lot of other people who helped them to cause the new and once thriving town to be born. 

As the two Georges were the instigators and also the first ones to open up business establishments in Paradise, we will tell you what little we know about them first. Walker had the first grocery store and Myers the first saloon. They both started business in a tent and later built and moved into buildings constructed of lumber sawed by Boyer and Sanders in Barfoot Park and hauled to Paradise by wagon and team over the old sawmill road, parts of which can still be seen from the present road. Practically every building in town was built of Chiricahua lumber and as there was no planing mill, the city presented a pretty rough exterior which of course was somewhat in keeping with the interior, fixtures, furnishings, and inhabitants alike. 

George A. Walker originated in Missouri, made the gold rush to the Klondike, wandered around over a good part of the north American Continent, and finally finished his career in Paradise and is buried in the Paradise Cemetery. When he first came to this part of the country he married Lulu Reed, eldest daughter of Stephen B. Reed. They had three children. A daughter Georgia who married Barney Lee and they live in Tucson. Reed and Elmore the two sons. Reed presently lives at Douglas and Elmore at Canyon City Col. Mrs. Walker resides at Douglas. At one time George's brother Jay Walker and the father Grandpa Walker lived at Paradise. They have been long dead and it is thought that one or both might be buried in the Paradise Cemetery. We will appreciate it very much if one of the family will write us a more complete story of George for publication in a later issue. 
Nothing is known of the origin or life of George Myers before he came to the Chiricahuas except that he was also a Klondiker. He was a runty little guy and his wife Marie was a strapping big six footer. 

They had two children. A daughter names Jessie and younger son, George Jr. They left Paradise soon after the boom and settled somewhere up around Ray Arizona. There George ran amok over a love affair, real or imagined, between Marie and a fellow by the name of Earl Riggs and shot and killed her then committed suicide. No one seems to know what became of the children. 

FOCCC 2017 Officers and Board

Reed Peters              President
    Sheri Ashley        Vice President  
Mike Williams            Vice President    
Rick Beno            Treasurer
Stevie Wayman        Secretary
     Other Board Members     
Bob Ashley        Wynne Brown  
  Alan Craig          Rene Donaldson
Rolf Koford            Kim Vacariu       
  Cecil Williams             




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, Renata Golden, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, CeCe Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire 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 
                  Chiricahua Gallery               Everett Jones Realestate (Helen Snyder)
            Pi Irwin & Zsombor Zoltan                            Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
                   Rodeo Tavern                                     The George Walker House                                 Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!