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(ATA-217: dp. 1,275; 1. 194'6"; b. 34'7"; dr. 14'1";
s. 12.1 k.; cpl. 57; a. 2 40mm.; cl. Palo Blanoo)
ATA-217 was laid down as the net tender Tesota (YN-95) on 11 December 1943 at Slidell, La., by the Canulette Shipbuilding Co.; was reclassified a net laying ship and redesignated AN-71 on 20 January 1944, and was launched on 29 July 1944. However the name Tesota was canceled on 10 August 1944, and the ship was reclassified an auxiliary ocean tug and redesignated ATA-217 on the same day. She was commissioned on 16 January 1945, Lt. H. A. V. Post, USNR, in command.
Following a short shakedown cruise early in February 1945, the tug departed Norfolk for Hawaii and arrived at her home port, Pearl Harbor, on 1 March. After serving there for more than a year, the ship proceeded to the>Ó
The Outrageous History of Arizona From the Beginning of Time to Statehood.
This place has always been majestic, awe-inspiring and dangerous.
The people who came here, and continue to arrive, are strivers, connivers and survivors. What follows are some of the outrageous characters who made Arizona what it is today.
What If They’d Had a John Deere?
The Hohokam lived in the Salt River Valley from about 300 BC to AD 1450. They had a sophisticated 1,000-mile system of canals emanating from the Salt River. All this, without the aid of metal or even a wheel. In spite of these handicaps, their crops flourished and they had time for art, jewelry and sports (huge ball courts). Some 50,000 Hohokams called this area home for twice as long as the modern-day farmer has been here. In fact, it took Phoenix well into the 20th century to get back to 50,000 population.
The First White Man in Arizona Was a Black Man
An African slave, Esteban de Dorantes, or Estevanico, helped spread the idea of Seven Cities of Gold in Spain. Consequently, he was sent on an expedition, in 1539, into northern Mexico, headed by Marcos de Niza who took Esteban as a guide. Niza sent Estevanico to scout ahead and the slave was well received, especially by the women who admired his physique and charm (Esteban learned languages, quickly endearing him to those he met). Unfortunately, his sex appeal went to his head and he was killed by Zunis.
Not Bad for a Chronic Yawner
In the Apache custom, his parents named him Goyathlay for a particular trait: “he who yawns.” Born circa 1829 near the headwaters of the Gila River, he grew up to be a warrior and struck fear into his Spanish-speaking adversaries, who noted he fought like San Jerónimo. The nickname stuck, and he became known as Geronimo.
In 1846, when the Mormon Battalion crossed Arizona during the Mexican-American War, Lt. George Stoneman decided to test the navigability of the Gila. His men built a raft and loaded it with supplies. The young lieutenant cast off into the Gila and floated a short distance before the naval craft sank. Like any good skipper, Stoneman went down with his ship…then walked ashore.
Hadji Ali reportedly hailed from Syria and arrived in Texas in 1856 to escort a shipment of camels for use by the U.S. Army. In 1857, leaving from Texas’s Camp Verde, he crossed the desert with Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale and his camel experiment to open a wagon road across Arizona from Fort Defiance to the Colorado River at Fort Mohave to Fort Tejon in California. He became known far and wide as Hi Jolly, a corruption of Hadji Ali. Hi Jolly then prospected and became a part-time scout for the army. Returning to Arizona, he was naturalized as Philip Tedro in 1880 in Tucson, where he married and had two daughters. In 1889 he resumed prospecting near Quartzsite. He died there, in 1902, and a monument to his irrepressible soul was erected there in 1935.
The future “Father of Arizona,” Charles Poston, arrived in the little adobe pueblo of Tubac in 1856 where he became the magistrate, alcalde or just “El Cadi” to the citizens. Tubac, in those days, had no Catholic Church, so he performed marriages, baptized babies and even granted divorces. When the bishop in Santa Fe discovered what was happening, he dispatched a priest to Tubac to declare all marriages null and void. The resulting civil unrest among the citizens was quickly resolved when Poston and the priest reached an agreement. The “El Cadi” would make a donation to the church and in return the priest would bless the marriages and make all the little Carlos and Carlottas legitimate again.
Allen Street, in Tombstone, is not named for a famous gunfighter, but for a man who got his start selling pies. John Pie Allen began baking and selling pies in Arizona in 1857 and earned the nickname “Pie Allen.” He eventually opened a bakery in Tombstone in 1879 on the southwest corner of Fourth and Allen Streets.
The Beer Border
Lots of early Arizona land surveying involved wingdinging. A wingding is when you stand at a geographical point, slam your palms together and wherever your joined palms point to, that’s the route to take. See that wingdinged, catty-wampus angle at the bottom of Arizona? According to legend, after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, a group of surveyors was supposed to map out a new boundary by heading west from New Mexico to the Gulf of California, thus ensuring Arizona would have a bona fide seaport. Unfortunately, when the surveyors got to Nogales, they heard there was a whole bunch of beer in Yuma (and besides it was kind of cold out). So, they made an executive decision, executed a wingding, turned their transit and pulled their chains toward Yuma. Remember, when it comes to Arizona landmarks, you always follow the beer.
His Vision? Not So Grand
Lieutenant Joseph Ives explored Arizona’s waterways in 1858. Trekking to a remote canyon, with native guides, he made a bold prediction: “Ours has been the first, and will doubtless be the last, party of whites to visit this profitless locality.” The area was later named Grand Canyon National Park.
Colonel Jake Snively’s 1858 gold strike on the Gila River a few miles east of Yuma eventually drew Jack Swilling to the new boomtown of Gila City. Constant raids by Tonto Apache on the prospectors led to the forming of a militia called the Gila Rangers. The men elected Swilling leader. On January 7, 1860, while leading a punitive expedition against the Apache, Swilling and his Rangers came upon the Hassayampa River, previously unknown to white men. The area was too remote and dangerous to explore for gold, but Jack would return at a later date.
On July 8, 1859, in Tubac, silver capitalist Sylvester Mowry and newspaper editor Edward Cross squared off with Burnside rifles at 40 paces. Cross took umbrage with Mowry amping up the population of the territory to encourage immigration. Yet on that windy day, both shooters missed. Witnesses reported: “No blood flowed.”
Arizona has had three different Arizona Ranger law enforcement groups. The first Ranger group was created in 1860, the second in 1882 and the third in 1901. All three did their best to combat lawlessness, but they were all defeated by the Arizona Legislature, which wouldn’t pay them (1882) and finally voted them out of existence (1909), proving that it’s hard to beat crime when you “fight city hall.”
In July of 1862, a U.S. Army advance detachment entered Apache Pass where they were attacked by some 500 Apaches led by Mangas Coloradas and Cochise. Deploying several 12-pounder mountain howitzers, the artillery unit opened fire in earnest. The Apaches, who had never encountered artillery before, held their positions until nightfall, then retreated. Later, one of the Apaches reportedly remarked of the battle, “We did okay, until you started firing wagons at us.”
The first time Arizona was kicked in the teeth was when it tried to become its own territory separate from New Mexico, before the Civil War. Five times, Arizonans petitioned Washington for their own territory, and five times they were ignored. So they went over to the other side and twice voted to align themselves with the South, which finally took them in. Confederate President Jefferson Davis created the Confederate Territory of Arizona in early 1862. It was the first time the name “Arizona” appeared on any map. That finally got Washington’s attention, and President Abraham Lincoln swooped in on February 24, 1863, to create an Arizona Territory that was part of the Union.
During the Civil War, Gen. Irvin McDowell lost the First Battle of Bull Run and then, defying all odds, lost the second Bull Run (although he was exonerated of full blame for the second). In spite of this he rose through the ranks, and his prominence as commander of the Department of the Pacific (1864-65) led to recognition of the general in central Arizona. The McDowell Mountains, Fort McDowell and McDowell Road were all named for this loser.
Divorce, Arizona Style
Divorces were hard to get in Arizona Territory—unless you knew a legislator! As weird as it sounds today, the legislature itself granted divorces to its pals. The First Territorial Legislature got things started in 1864 when House Member John G. Capron was granted an annulment and Fort Whipple’s post surgeon Elliot Coues, a divorce. The legislature finally got out of the divorce business in 1880.
The Incredible Journey
Captured by Sonoran mercenaries near Esqueda, Sonora, Mexico (south of present-day Douglas), in the mid-1860s, Dilcthe was sold into slavery and shipped to the Baja Peninsula, where she ended up as an indentured servant at a hacienda. She and several others escaped, outrunning and outsmarting the mounted search parties sent to track them down. Crossing the Colorado River near Yuma (she couldn’t swim), Dilcthe evaded ambush by Yuma raiders and made it to her Warm Springs Apache family. She had walked more than 1,000 miles. Through it all, she carried no map, no weapons and almost no provisions. What iron will she possessed!
The Biggest Leg in Mexico
At six feet two and 200 pounds, red-headed camp follower Sarah Bowman was nicknamed the “Great Western,” after the largest steamship afloat in the 1830s. During the Mexican War, when told U.S. Army regulations required that a woman couldn’t travel with the troops unless she was married to one, she rode a donkey down the line shouting, “Who wants a wife with $15,000 and the biggest leg in Mexico?” Four husbands later, she died in Yuma of a spider bite in 1866 in 1890, her very large bones were removed to the Presidio of San Francisco in California.
Before 1860 no white person dared to travel north of the Gila River in Arizona. It was the home of the Yavapai and the Tonto Apaches, and they brooked no trespassers. Jack Swilling arrived in the Salt River Valley in 1867. Two other famous early pioneer white Arizonans in that region were Darrell Duppa and Charles Poston. (Duppa, born in France to English parents, had been educated in Europe before coming to the states. He is credited with coming up with the names of Phoenix and Tempe, both allusions to ancient history.) All three survived numerous fights with Indians, and all carried wounds from those encounters. All died poor, proving the old adage: Pioneers get the arrows, settlers get the land.
The Lost German?
Jacob Waltz, the legendary miner who came to Arizona in the 1860s and allegedly discovered a mine in the Superstition Mountains that has never been found, is known far and wide as the Lost Dutchman. Waltz was actually German.
Against All Odds
Cochise was perhaps the greatest chief of the Chiricahua Apaches. He fought his way through southeastern Arizona and into Mexico in the 1870s, killing, as he put it, “10 white men for every Indian I have lost.” Tired of fighting, Cochise negotiated for peace in 1872 and never fought again. He supposedly died of cancer on June 8, 1874, and his body is buried in a secret crevice in his Dragoon Stronghold within Arizona’s Coronado National Forest. In spite of his controversial reputation, the people of Arizona named a county after him a mere seven years after his death.
Pole Dancer: “Can You Hang Me Now?”
In 1884, John Heath was taken from the Tombstone jail by a Bisbee mob and hanged from a telegraph pole. Dr. George Goodfellow reported to the coroner’s jury that Heath: “. . . came to his death from emphysema of the lungs, which might have been, and probably was, caused by strangulation, self-inflicted or otherwise, as in accordance with the medical evidence.” The jury accepted his findings.
Climate Change Railroaded
With the proliferation of railroad building in the early 1870s, federal reports (funded by the railroads themselves) contended that even the building of railroads increased rainfall. These same reports predicted that with the planting of more trees transported to desert areas like Arizona by train, “We are of the opinion that inside of five years owing to these changes the thermometer will never have occasion to go above the 95 degree mark.”
Hanging Around the Playground
On May 2, 1873, Arizona’s first legal hanging took place in Yuma, across the street from a schoolhouse. The teacher dismissed classes for the day.
Show Low vs. a Straight Flush
I n 1875, two ranchers, Corydon Cooley and Marion Clark, decided the valley they lived in wasn’t big enough for the both of them. To see who would stay and who would leave, they played Seven Up, a popular game with the cowboys in which the lowest card won. After the last hand was dealt, Clark said, “If you can show low, you win.” Cooley turned over the deuce of clubs and replied, “Show low it is.” Most residents of Show Low are glad he didn’t call for a straight flush.
Legendary Dish Washer
In the spring of 1876, Henry Antrim worked as a busboy at the Hotel de Luna at the edge of Camp Grant, Arizona Territory. He also moonlighted as a horse thief. In 1877, when a town bully called Henry a “pimp” and a “son of a bitch,” the kid shot his first man. He later changed his name to Billy Bonney and became known as Billy the Kid.
Not Everyone Loved Arizona
John C. Fremont, appointed as Arizona’s territorial governor in 1878, spent most of his career exploring California. When he was informed he had to reside in Arizona, or resign. He resigned.
Steaming into the Future
Few innovations changed the face of Arizona more than the arrival of the first steam engine in Tucson in March of 1880. Travel time for passengers going to Los Angeles, California, was reduced from five days to less than one, with the cost dropping by two thirds. Freight shipments that previously took three months now arrived in four days, and freight charges dropped to one tenth of what steamer or wagon freighters charged. Better quality lumber arrived along with special imports like El Paso pressed brick. More important, the railroad brought people from all over the world to live and to visit, spelling the end of the frontier in Arizona. Unfortunately, some of Tucson’s biggest businesses were doomed by the arrival of trains, including the freighting company Tully, Ochoa & Co. Their stage drivers were quick to say to anyone who would listen, “Many of my passengers don’t like the train. It scares them.”
But It’s a Dry Hell
Arizona has been compared to hell for a long time. In the 1870s when the “Father of Arizona” Charles Poston tried to discuss territorial status for Arizona with a congressman, the senator said, “Oh, yes, I have heard of that country—it is just like hell—all it lacks is water and good society.” When Gen. William Sherman was told in the 1880s that all Arizona needed was more water and less heat, he answered, “that’s all Hell needs.” By the way, Sherman also said, in response to cries for a war with Mexico over border depredations, that the only war he was going to fight with Mexico was one that forced them to take back Arizona and New Mexico. To hell, you say?
Drunken Loser Gets the Seal of Approval
Like most Arizona prospectors in the 1870s, George Warren wanted to get rich quick. He had some luck (the Warren Mining District and town of Warren is named for him). But he suffered from bad judgment (on July 4, 1880, he bet a friend he could outrun a horse and ended up losing his stake in Bisbee’s Copper Queen Mine). And he had a drinking problem. Oh, and late in life, he was judged insane. So it’s perhaps fitting that his likeness is on the seal of the great state of Arizona.
Legendary outlaw Curly Bill Brocius had a perverse sense of humor. Around 1880, he broke into a dance on the San Pedro and at gunpoint forced everyone to strip naked and dance for his amusement. In Galeyville, he once went into a restaurant, ordered a meal, then placed a six-shooter on each side of his plate and ordered everyone to wait until he was through before they could leave. When he finished, Brocius laid his head down upon his arms and fell asleep. Everyone was afraid to move. Some time later, Bill awoke, paid for everyone’s meal and left.
Touched by an Angel
When Nellie Cashman arrived in Tombstone in 1880, her principal business was running a boarding house. But in a town without a hospital, she extended her self-sacrificing generosity to injured miners, many times hosting plays to raise funds for their care. Newspaper editor John Clum recalled one such prospector who “had been sinking a shaft single handed and had fallen into the shaft and broken both legs…. Nellie rushed to his aid and within a day or two secured nearly $500 for his care and comfort.” She also put herself in danger, like the time strikers had planned to kidnap and hang E.B. Gage, the superintendent of the Grand Central Mining Company. Nellie fearlessly ferried Gage in a buggy to the railway station in Benson, so he could escape on a train to Tucson. On top of all that, after the death of her sister, she was raising Fanny’s five children in the wilds of Tombstone. It’s easy to see why Clum called Nellie a “thoroughbred pioneer and seasoned ‘sourdough’” who “had no rival among her own sex, and there were few, if any, among the male adventurers who could qualify in her class.”
Wyatt Screams for Ice Cream
Wyatt Earp enjoyed eating ice cream in Tombstone. For the Lotta Crabtree estate case, Wyatt testified in 1926, “I met her [Jack Crabtree’s wife]…at an ice cream parlor…on Fourth Street between Allen and Fremont….I used to go there pretty often. I liked ice cream….” The ice cream parlor Wyatt is referring to ran an ad in the Tombstone Daily Nugget in 1881. The idea of Wyatt and Doc Holliday ordering ice cream in the wildest camp in the West (“I’ll try the Huckleberry!”) is a sight to imagine. Wyatt, his brothers and Doc walked by this very “saloon” on their way to the gunfight.
In the fall of 1880, Doc Holliday shared a room in Prescott with John J. Gosper, the soon-to-be acting governor of Arizona. Historians want to know how Holliday, the deadly dentist and gambler, could have sunk so low as to room with a politician.
Town Too Tony to Die
According to George Parsons’ journal the first circus (Ryland’s) landed in Tombstone on September 22, 1880. Parsons also reports going to see Prof. Taylor’s magic show on May 5, 1881. In addition to circuses and theatre troupes, horse racing and baseball games, a municipal swimming pool opened in 1883, making the mining town a very cosmopolitan place.
In Vino Veritas
We have this image of Old West saloons serving rotgut, but in wild Tombstone, Kelly’s Wine House served 26 wines imported from Europe and had its own microbrewery. Ike Clanton spent two hours in this fancy joint on the evening of October 25, 1881, tuning up no doubt for the O.K. Corral gunfight the next day. Makes you wonder if he had ever even heard of rotgut.
Chip On His Shoulder . . .and His Back . . .and His Elbow
San Simon cowboy Dick Lloyd was well known in southern Arizona for his “tall bucking” (cowboy slang for riding a bronc in high style). Unfortunately, he got drunk in Maxey (near Safford) in March 1881 and rode his horse into O’Neil and Franklin’s Saloon, where Curly Bill Brocius, John Ringo and other cowboys were playing cards. Perturbed, they unlimbered their six-shooters and plugged Lloyd, dropping him to the floor of the saloon. According to legend, the cowboys continued their card game, tossing winnings onto the body to help defray his funeral expenses.
Farewell to Arm
On the night of December 28, 1881, City Marshal Virgil Earp was ambushed and hit with buckshot while he was crossing the intersection of Fifth and Allen Streets in Tombstone. His left arm was shattered. Doctors had to saw off his elbow, so his arm now hung limp without a bone connection. The tough old lawman got around fine. In fact, in 1887, Virgil joined a Tombstone posse looking for train robbers. He freaked out a Mexican tracker when an early morning gallop showcased Virgil’s lack of an elbow joint, his arm flailing in all directions. Everyone had a good laugh about that one.
Spitballs at the O.K. Corral
Thanks to Rev. Endicott Peabody, mere months after the so-called Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in October 1881, Tombstone formed a baseball team and began playing other mining camps in the area. The game caught on, and many baseball rivalries were born, some of them existing to this very day. In 1929, the Detroit Tigers were the first major league team to come to Arizona for spring training.
Fynn Flam Man
Deputy Jim Flynn ran unsuccessfully for city marshal of Tombstone on January 3, 1882. Two weeks later, working as a policeman, he disarmed and arrested three of the deadliest gunmen on the frontier: John Ringo, Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, who were faced off on Allen Street and egging each other on for an O.K. Corral rematch. Except as a footnote, Jim Flynn is totally forgotten.
On August 30, 1882, two masked men held up the Black Canyon stagecoach traveling from Phoenix to Prescott. While the robbery was in progress, another stage arrived, going in the opposite direction it too was robbed. It was two-for-one for the robbers who escaped.
Reavis & Butthead
In 1880, James Addison Reavis claimed to be the heir to an old Spanish land grant that made him the rightful owner of a huge tract of land that included the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix) and the rich mining districts of Globe, Clifton-Morenci and Silver City, New Mexico. He showed up in Arizona with his wife, who he claimed was the sole surviving member of the once-powerful Peralta family. Reavis claimed that the ruins at Casa Grande were once their hacienda. He also demanded payment from businesses, railroads and mining companies. While he was making his case in federal claims court in Santa Fe, his claim sounded legitimate, and it appeared he would soon be the wealthiest man in America. At the last minute, government investigators discovered that some of the documents used modern inks that were not available centuries before. The Peralta woman was just some poor woman he found in California and talked her into marrying him. The land grant was rejected, and Reavis was sent to prison for perjury. But he inspired an entire class of Arizona swindlers known as land developers who would change the face of the state.
The Nutty Professor
An 1885 duel on Prescott’s Whiskey Row began when a former frontier scout, now legislator, Clay Beauford changed his name to Welford C. Bridwell, which incurred the wrath of a local Frenchman known as the “Professor.” The Frenchman confronted Bridwell on Whiskey Row one day and chastised him for denying his French heritage. The old scout, a man of few words, poked him in the nose. French pride momentarily clouded the professor’s rationality, and he challenged the legislator to a duel. Bridwell called out six-shooters for the weapons. Realizing his predicament the Frenchman insisted they use French sabers instead. He knew there were none within at least a thousand miles. Fortunately, both contestants and bystanders saw the humor in the event, and all retired to the Palace Saloon for some liquid refreshment.
No other governor has ever entered office under more peculiar circumstances than Conrad Zulick did in 1885. At the time of his selection, Mexican laborers were holding Zulick under house arrest at one of his mines in Nacozari. U.S. Marshal W.K. Meade dispatched a former Army scout, Doc Donovan, who was familiar with northern Mexico from his days chasing Geronimo, to slip across the border in the middle of the night and fetch the governor. Donovan crept past the sleeping guard, snatched the surprised Zulick and they rode for the border. When they arrived in Tombstone a large crowd of well-wishers gathered to welcome the new governor.
Beach! Beach! Beach!
A desert state with a seaport? Yes, starting in 1885, the territory began asking Congress to buy more of Mexico to give Arizona an ocean view. Arizona didn’t give up until 1936. Some bad ideas just die hard.
After his final surrender in 1886, the Apache leader Geronimo became quite in demand at expositions, parades and fairs. He quickly caught on to the marketing potential and was soon charging for autographs, signed photos, even selling his head gear and the buttons off his clothing as souvenirs. The budding capitalist was so successful, by the time he died, in 1909, he had amassed $10,000 in his bank account. Imagine what Geronimo could have done on Wall Street today.
She’s been called “America’s greatest guerrilla fighter” and the “Apache Joan of Arc,” but few have heard of Arizona-born Lozen, a skilled warrior, prophet, healer and midwife who was the “right hand” of her brother, Chief Victorio, and in the end was exiled with Geronimo. She, too, became a prisoner of war, dying of tuberculosis sometime after 1887.
Around the Block in 80 Days
In the 1880s, legislators could get reimbursed 15¢ a mile, so Yavapai County delegate Dr. Frank Ainsworth claimed $225 for travel (1,500 miles), although he lived only a few blocks from the Capitol. He put in from the farthest point in huge Yavapai County.
The first train robbery in Arizona history occurred on April 27, 1887, at Pantano, about 20 miles east of Tucson. After getting their loot, the robbers disconnected the engine from the rest of the train, climbed aboard the locomotive and were last seen heading toward Tucson. When Doc Smart, the leader of the gang, was later caught for another robbery, he admitted how they had escaped the posse: the outlaws rode the locomotive to the outskirts of Tucson, put the engine in reverse, then jumped off and walked into town. The engine headed down the tracks until it ran out of steam. While the posse was scouring the desert looking for tracks, the outlaws were living it up in Tucson.
In 1888, New York illustrator extraordinaire Frederic Remington accompanied the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers in Arizona while on assignment for The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. For two weeks, he traveled from Fort Grant to San Carlos, drawing soldiers and the Apaches. Of the ruling class in the territory he posited: “Young men full of enthusiasm, old men full of whiskey.”
There are two theories on how black troops stationed in 19th-century Arizona (first posted here in 1888) became known as “Buffalo Soldiers.” American Indians called the black troops “Buffalo Soldiers” because of their dark curly hair, which resembled a buffalo’s coat. The other theory is that the Plains Indians spread the word of a new type of soldier, “who fought like a cornered buffalo.” Either way, the Buffalo Soldiers were instrumental in helping to make Arizona a state.
The Ayes Have it
There’s an enduring legend surrounding Maricopa County getting the capital in 1889 that concerns a Yavapai County legislator with a glass eye and a good time gal named Kissing Jenny. It seems this legislator had a habit of heading over to Whiskey Row each day after the group convened. After a few drinks, he would walk to the “District” on Walnut Creek, where he spent the evening with Kissing Jenny. After he blew out the candle, he always placed his glass eye in a glass of water beside the bed. Knowing their colleague from Yavapai County was extremely vain and would never be seen in public without the glass eye, some Maricopa County legislators lured Jenny into a scheme of theirs. They convinced Jenny to take a drink that night, quaffing down both water and glass eye. The next morning, a vote was going to be taken regarding the location of the capital. The Yavapai County delegates, desperately needing every vote, went in search of their missing peer. Finding him at Jenny’s, they could neither convince the lady to “pass” the eye to them (no pun intended) nor persuade the legislator to accompany them. And that is how Phoenix became the capital of Arizona.
The Winged Dragon of Cochise County
The Tombstone Epitaph ran an article on April 26, 1890, about two cowboys out in the desert between the Huachuca and Whetstone Mountains who came upon a “winged monster resembling a huge alligator with an extremely elongated tail and an immense pair of wings.” The creature could only fly short distances, so the cowboys chased it for several miles before finally getting close enough to shoot it. The wounded dragon then turned on them, but it was too exhausted to make a fight. The cowboys finished it off with their Winchesters. The creature’s snake-like body was four feet wide and 92 feet long with a wingspan of 160 feet. Its eight-foot-long head resembled an alligator’s. The eyes were large as dinner plates. The beak was about eight feet long and had sharp teeth, while the feet had huge claws. To prove it had not all been a spoof, the cowboys cut off a wing tip. The newspaper reported the creature’s corpse was to be sent to a museum. But nobody followed up on this bizarre story, nor did anyone produce a photograph of the creature.
In 1890, Walt Rigney ran a saloon on the Mogollon Rim. His hair stuck out like a pine bough, so the soldiers who frequented the saloon called him Ol’ Pinetop. When the Apache Wars came to a close, people began building cabins around Ol’ Pinetop’s saloon and eventually a town was born. The citizens named the town Pinetop, not because it was located amidst the largest stand of Ponderosa Pine in the world, but for a tall, bushy-headed bartender.
In 1898, Arizona became the first in the nation to sign up for a “cowboy cavalry” for the Spanish-American War. Prescott, which had about 2,000 residents then, saw 1,000 willing volunteers—the same kind of response came from the booming mining towns of Jerome and Bisbee. These men became the “1st United States Volunteer Cavalry,” led by Lt. Col. Theodore Roosevelt, who renamed them his “Rough Riders.”
The Hairy One Hangs
Sonoran bandito, Augustine Chacon, alias Peludo (“The Hairy One”), robbed and killed in Arizona, and then hid out in the Sierra Madres until his capture in 1896. Scheduled to hang for the murder of a deputy, Pablo Salcido of Morenci, Chacon was found guilty by a jury at Solomonville and sentenced to hang. Thanks to a hacksaw smuggled into the jail inside a bible and a “lady friend” who lured the night guard away, he escaped. In 1902, the Arizona Rangers slipped into Mexico and captured him. This time, he was successfully hanged, on November 21, 1902, at Solomonville.
A Bullet for Buckey
After a stint at The Tombstone Epitaph in 1880, Buckey O’Neill moved to Prescott in 1882 where he served as a court reporter and founded his own newspaper, Hoof and Horn, a paper for the livestock industry. He served as a judge and was elected sheriff in 1888, rounding up four train robbers. One of his best friends was Tom Horn. In 1897, O’Neill was elected mayor of Prescott. With the fever of the Spanish-American War spreading across the country, O’Neill and 999 other Prescott volunteers joined Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders. On July 1, 1898, O’Neill was talking to his troops at the foot of Kettle Hill when one of his troopers advised him to duck down. His last words were, “The Spanish bullet is not made that will kill me.”
Playing Both Sides Against the Middle
Burt Alvord, constable at Willcox, decided to increase his wealth by robbing a train. Since he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer, he figured nobody would think he was smart enough to rob a train. He recruited three friends, Billy Stiles, Bill Downing and Matt Burts. They all met in the back room at Schweitzer’s Saloon in Willcox on September 9, 1899, to play poker. The boys then climbed out a window, mounted their horses and rode for Cochise Station a few miles west of town. Back at the saloon a porter had been bribed to bring drinks from time to time and comment casually how much whiskey the boys were consuming. This would establish an alibi in case Wells Fargo detectives started asking questions. The robbery went off as planned. Legend has it they got away with $30,000, but the actual amount was closer to $3,000. The train backed down to Willcox to sound the alarm. “Where’s the marshal?” the engineer wanted to know. “He’s over at the saloon playing poker,” he was told. When told there had been a train robbery, Burt shouted, “We’ve got to raise a posse and go after them.” Pointing at Downing, Stiles and Burts, he said, “I deputize you, you and you.” The four men rode out of town at a gallop in search of the train robbers. It marked the first time, maybe the only time, in history that the posse pursuing the train robbers were the train robbers.
He showed up in Tombstone in the summer of 1891, without a gun, without a name and without clothes. The bronzed visitor insisted on being called “O Homo.” Traveling through the country stark naked, he had already been arrested some 40 times prior, but no one had thrown him in jail like they had in Tombstone. While O Homo served his 30-day sentence, women wrote from as far away as California, offering to marry him. Camillus S. Fly paid him $5 for a sitting at his Fremont Street gallery he took three photos and sold them for $1 a piece. O Homo vanished after his release. Or, did he? By October, Tombstone papers were reporting O Homo had committed suicide in Los Angeles.
The last stagecoach heist in America was pulled off by Arizona Territory’s “bad girl,” Pearl Hart, in 1899. Hart masqueraded as a man when she and her boyfriend, Joe Boot, laid in wait near Globe on May 29 and robbed stage driver Henry Bacon and his three passengers. She took their cash–$431.20–a gold watch and their guns, but left each with $1 to buy supper. After her arrest, she poked fun at how easy it was to rob armed men. She made national headlines and became a cause célébre, objecting to a trial under laws that women had no hand in writing. Although she’d confessed to the heist, her trial jury acquitted her! The judge was so furious, he quickly retried her for stealing one of the pistols. She went to Yuma Territorial Prison—the only female inmate—but then was mysteriously paroled by Territorial Gov. A.O. Brodie on December 15, 1902, and given a train ticket out of town. She either left the state for good or lived around Globe until 1955, depending on whom you believe.
During the early 1900s, Rufus Nephew, a.k.a. Climax Jim, was one of the most notorious horse thieves in Arizona. Lawmen caught him one day and hauled him into the Springerville jail. Realizing Rufus needed a bath, they gave him soap and a brush, and pointed him to a horse trough to bathe. Just as he was getting into the water, Rufus saw a fine looking horse tied to a hitching post. Without taking time to get dressed, he ran to the horse, jumped on and rode it down Springerville’s main street toward the mountains south of town. The town of Eagar lies between Springerville and the mountains, so he had no choice but to ride bare naked down their main street too. Everyone knows the story of Lady Godiva riding a horse in the nude down the street in Coventry, but Arizona can top that one. Rufus Nephew rode naked down the main streets of two towns.
A “Faultless” Figure
Arizona authorities reported 22 train robberies in the territory in 1902. Lawmen, including the Arizona Rangers, rounded up and shot down more than a few, including one bad man named Tom King who had been killed in a holdup on the border south of Tombstone. When it came time for burial, Mr. King turned out to be a woman, identified as Flora Quick, alias Flora Mundis, Chinese Dot. She had evidently started her own gang around Clifton. There were clues to her sex on Tom King’s reward circular: figure is “faultless.” No doubt.
Shoot ‘em, Groom ‘em, Entomb ‘em
George Ruffner arrived in Prescott in 1882 and in the years that followed was a cowboy, freighter, rancher and, in 1894, sheriff of Yavapai County. He went on to serve five non-contiguous terms as sheriff until he died in office in 1933. He also helped organize the world famous Prescott rodeo in 1888. In 1903 he won a funeral home in a faro game at the Palace Saloon. From that day hence Sheriff Ruffner could offer taxpayers a package deal: he could shoot the bad guy, embalm him and bury him.
Capitol on Wheels: Strange Bedfellows
The first U.S. capital of Arizona was housed at Fort Whipple in 1863, but it was temporary while the permanent capital at nearby Prescott could get up to speed. Tucson, which had sided with the South in the recent Civil War, was livid that an upstart Yankee town had stolen its rightful place in the sun, and finally, after a payoff, the capital was moved to the Old Pueblo in 1867. Prescott editor, John Marion, a staunch Democrat, was so incensed at Republicans engineering the move to Tucson in 1867, that he supported the Democratic candidate for county attorney despite the fact the rascal had run off with his wife. Through shenanigans of its own, Prescott got the capital back in 1877, but in the 1880s Phoenix overtook both previous capitals in population and prestige (Phoenix had been hosting the Territorial Fair since 1884), and the “Capitol on Wheels” moved to the Valley of the Sun in 1889.
The Thieving Thirteenth Sets the Bar
On the table at the 13th Territorial Legislature (1885) were two plums: an insane asylum and a university. The delegates from south of the flooding Salt River had to take the train to LA then back across on the Santa Fe and down to Prescott, the state capital. By the time they arrived, all the good pork was taken and Tucson got the paltry university (“Who ever heard of a professor buying a drink?” went the local logic), while Phoenix got the coveted insane asylum. Fistfights and padded expense accounts ensued, proving that Arizona has long been a cantankerous place.
A Smashing Adventure
In 1874, newlywed Martha Summerhayes accompanied her soldier husband on a grueling three-month journey from Fort Russell, Wyoming, to Arizona, where he had been transferred. The couple’s plan was to travel by train to San Francisco, California by packet to Cabo San Lucas & Guaymas by steamer to Yuma, Arizona, and Fort Mohave and finally by wagon (he walked) to Fort Apache. While at the mouth of the Colorado River, where they were all waiting for the wind to die down so that they could board the steamboat, three soldiers died from the heat (they were wearing wool uniforms in 122-degree heat!) After finally making the transition, they met the soldiers and wives coming out of Arizona. Martha remarked: “The women’s clothes looked ridiculously old-fashioned, and I wondered if I should look that way when my time came to leave Arizona.” (She would.) They traveled past Forts Whipple and Verde, up the Mogollon Rim and on to the lonely outpost called Fort Apache. Pregnant with her first child, Martha unpacked, then ventured out to see what the other wives were doing. To her surprise, she found a young lieutenant’s wife playing tennis. Yes, tennis in the wilds of Arizona in 1874. Smashing!
Around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 8, 1905, two cowboys, John Shaw and Bill Smythe, walked into the Wigwam Saloon in Winslow, bellied up to the bar and ordered a couple of drinks. They noticed a dice game going on and a few hundred dollars on the table. They pulled their guns, took the money and ran toward the train yards, leaving a trail of silver dollars. A posse caught up with them at Canyon Diablo. Smythe was captured, but Shaw was killed and buried on the spot. The following evening the Hashknife cowboys at the Wigwam were discussing the fact that Shaw should have had a chance to finish his drink. About 15 of them headed for Canyon Diablo—accompanied by a bottle of whiskey and a Kodak box camera—where they dug up Shaw. He was actually wearing a mischievous smile when they propped him up, gave him a drink and took his photo.
In 1909, Sharlot Hall was so popular that people wanted to name her state historian. The legislature tried to bar any women from holding office. The law was actually not repealed until 1988 even so, Arizona has been the only state that elected women to five of its top offices.
They provided cheap labor, and they were blamed for white unemployment. Rampant racial sentiment in the U.S. would result in an 1882 exclusion act, which gave rise to the first great wave of commercial human smuggling along the Arizona-Mexico border. Who were these laborers? The Chinese. Arizona border guards, like Jeff Milton, did their best to keep the “coolies” out.
The Five Cs
Since 1910, Arizona has been the copper capital of America. In the early days of Arizona, boosters came up with the five Cs to describe the state’s economic strengths: Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Cattle and Climate. Given our outrageous history, that last one should be changed to Crazy.
After the dedication of the Roosevelt Dam in 1911, Teddy Roosevelt gave a speech at Old Main college campus at Tempe, in which he predicted the population of the Valley might reach 100,000 someday. Today it’s at 4.2 million and counting.
“Do not include recall in your constitution,” President William Howard Taft warned Arizona Territory ignored him. He vetoed the constitution and wouldn’t let Arizona become a state, so the folks back home took the recall out. Yay, Statehood! First election after statehood, they reinstated recall.
Whether they were wrangling ornery kids, or dispatching hogs, chickens, scorpions and rattlesnakes, the women who lived in Arizona Territory had to be tough. Sarah Butler York, who had traveled with her daughters to meet her husband in Gila Valley in 1877, welcomed the challenge, saying: “A rattlesnake is a more honest enemy, because he, at least, warns one before striking.”
Legend of Red Ghost
In 1893, a ranchwoman left her cabin near Eagle Creek in southeastern Arizona to fetch water while doing so, she was ferociously attacked by a strange creature and killed. Eyewitnesses claimed they saw a huge, reddish beast with a skeleton on its back. Other folks soon reported attacks by this beast. Finally, Salt River rancher Cyrus Hamblin got close enough to identify Red Ghost as a camel with a human skeleton strapped on its back. The legend grew, until a rancher awoke one morning and found Red Ghost grazing in his garden he shot it dead. On its back, the camel had deep scars made by rawhide strips used to tie human cargo. How the human body came to be attached to its back remains a mystery.
Arizona Rides Tall in the Saddle
The first film made in Arizona was a Western called The Sleeper, in 1912. There would be many more to follow.
Lots of wonderful things happened on Statehood Day, February 14, 1912. There were parades and fireworks and cannons blaring, and in Phoenix, there was a sweet wedding of one of the city’s most popular couples, Miss Hazel Goldberg and Joseph Melczer. As the society columnist for the Arizona Republican noted: “Master Cupid was indeed present and gallantly guided the bridal party toward the alter.” He was a three-year-old boy wearing all white and carrying a bow and quiver of arrows. His name was Master Barry Goldwater, and this was his first public appearance.
Sam Lowe’s Jerks in Arizona History is even stranger than its title. This book consists&hellip
Tesota ATA-217 - History
This page features the Online Library's 'What's New?' entries for January and February 2006.
|If you want higher resolution reproductions than the Online Library's digital images, see: How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions.|
Among the Online Library's February postings are two 19th Century Admirals who have had, between them, six ships named in their honor, and one of the most productive of World War II's submarine commanders. The former pair are Vice Admiral Stephen C. Rowan (1808-1890) and Rear Admiral Francis A. Roe (1823-1901), both of whose careers included notable achievements during the Civil War. The submariner is Rear Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey, who was awarded the Medal of Honor and three Navy Crosses for his wartime exploits and, two decades later, commanded the Pacific Fleet's Submarine Force.
Eleven destroyers and torpedo boats were added this month, including five of the six ships mentioned above. They are (in chronological order): Rowan (Torpedo Boat # 8), Whipple (Destroyer # 15), Roe (Destroyer # 24), Cummings (Destroyer # 44), Allen (Destroyer # 66), Luce (Destroyer # 99), Cummings (DD-365), Rowan (DD-405), Roe (DD-418), Luce (DD-522) and Rowan (DD-782). Filling out the Navy's list of a half-dozen Rowan s and Roe s is USS Rowan (Destroyer # 64), which came on board in January.
Of course, we didn't neglect submarines, with six more representing February's contribution to the Online Library's steady growth in this area. These are: L-8 (Submarine # 48), O-8 (Submarine # 69), R-5 (Submarine # 82), S-9 (Submarine # 114), Saury (SS-189) and Barb (SS-220). L-8 ended her days as a target, the victim of the only destructive test of the magnetic influence exploder that, during World War II, proved to be a massive disappointment, and which is still an important cautionary tale about the risks of not thoroughly testing seemingly transformational technologies. Barb , commanded by Eugene Fluckey in 1944-1945, amassed one of that conflict's most remarkable records for ship sinkings. Members of her crew also carried out a daring "commando" raid against a Japanese railway during the Pacific War's final month.
Leading the list of the month's other U.S. Navy ships is USS Leonidas , which had a variety of assignments during her career: initially a collier, she became a surveying ship during the 1910s, was a submarine chaser tender during World War I and a destroyer tender afterwards. "New" World War I era cargo ships include Eastern Chief (ID # 3390), Eastern Queen (ID # 3406), Easterner (ID # 3331), West Lashaway (ID # 3700), West Loquasuck (ID # 3638), West Madaket (ID # 3636) and West Mahomet (ID # 3681). The "Great War" emergency building program assigned "East" names to ships built in Japan and "West" names to many of those built on the U.S. Pacific Coast.
Accompanying those freighters are several contemporary patrol vessels. Three of a larger type were former fishermen: E. Benson Dennis (SP-791), East Hampton (SP-573) -- built in Maine, not Japan--, and San Juan (ID-1352). Ex-pleasure craft include motor boats Eagle (SP-145) -- later renamed SP-145 and Eaglet (SP-909), and the schooner Eclipse (SP-417).
The "other" category concludes with two ill-fated amphibious ships which were lost together, and share a pair of photos: LST-228 and LCT(6)-582 the district craft YF-53 and YOG-56 and the World War I era harbor vessels E.T. Williams and Economy . The last-cited two were ordered into World War I Naval service, but apparently were not taken over.
Following a long break in preparing pages on such things, we offer some foreign warships, among them the World War II Japanese destroyer Yukikaze , one of the very small number of that nation's modern "first class" destroyers to survive the Second World War.
The others are presented as a puzzle for the pleasure of the Online Library's patrons, and come with a little story:
While examining one of our more obscure collections, your scribe chanced upon a nicely artful reproduction of a unique World War I era battleship. (Just how "artful" would be discovered soon enough, while trying to identify the nearby airplane). A junior colleague was duly accosted and challenged to identify the ship, which challenge was passed with flying colors. Basking in the glory thus earned, said junior colleague laid hold of one even more junior and reissued the challenge, along with the substantial hint that the ship in question was well known to all who had enjoyed a close association with Oscar Parkes' weighty battleship book. When the victim of all this pleaded that he had enjoyed a close association with Norman Friedman's battleship book, and wasn't that sufficient, we assured him that Dr. Friedman, himself, had most assuredly spent plenty of time in the company of Parkes' tome, and that all right-thinking people should hasten to do the same. Parkes, by the way, served in the ship in question. So, dear patrons, we offer you an opportunity to gaze on the small image at right and (purely for your own satisfaction, please -- no calls, no letters, no emails, no communications of any sort!), contemplate all those center-line gun turrets and, having identified the ship, go to the appropriate Online Library category and enjoy the brand spanking new presentation we offer on it. By the way, you will also find a second freshly-prepared page on this ship's immediate predecessor of the same name, whose number of masts was also pretty distinctive, if not precisely unique. For those not wishing to subject themselves this little test, or who have also been deficient in their attention to the works of Oscar Parkes, all will be revealed in April's "What's New".
28 February 2006
2006's first big offering concerns Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, who served an unsurpassed six years as Chief of Naval Operations (1955-1961) and, in retirement, was a universally respected figure who was, in essence, the Navy's "Grand Old Man". Our presentation on Admiral Burke provides more than a hundred images, selected from his vast collection and other sources.
Beyond that we offer the usual increment of "new" old ships: destroyers, submarines, transports and a bunch of others. Leading off with "tin cans", the list includes Worden (Destroyer # 16), Sterett (Destroyer # 27), Aylwin (Destroyer # 47), Rowan (Destroyer # 64) and Harding (Destroyer # 91). This group spans the first two decades of U.S. Navy destroyer development, ranging from the Turn of the Century's overgrown torpedo boats to the "flush-deck and four pipe" ships spawned by the First World War.
Newly-added submarines cover a second two-decade period, ranging from just prior to World War I to shortly before the outbreak of the second global conflict. Included are the Simon Lake designed L-6 (Submarine # 45) and L-7 (Submarine # 46), O-7 (Submarine # 68) -- with many photographs of her 1918-era crew members, R-4 (Submarine # 81), S-7 (Submarine # 112), S-8 (Submarine # 113) and Seal (SS-183).
Moving on to transports, there are passenger-carrying ships of both World Wars, the inter-war decades and the Cold War era. First off is S.S. Antilles of 1907, a civilian-operated ship that was torpedoed and sunk while operating under U.S. Army charter in 1917. Her more fortunate contemporary, and sister of the ill-fated USS President Lincoln (introduced in late 2005 "What's New" presentations), is USS President Grant (ID # 3014). That ship not only survived World War I, but, with a notably changed appearance, was the Army and Navy transport (and, briefly, hospital ship) Republic during the 1930s and 1940s. Other WW I era transports added in January include USS Great Northern (ID # 4569), which was briefly the pioneering fleet flagship Columbia (AG-9) in 1921-1922 and also twice served as an Army transport USS Paysandu (ID # 3880) USS Plattsburg (ID # 1645), which was previously the long-serving commercial passenger liner New York and the Spanish-American War U.S. Navy cruiser Harvard USS Wilhelmina (ID # 2168) USS Zeelandia (ID # 2507) and the coastal transport Yale (ID # 1672). We conclude this extensive list of transports with one, completed at the end World War II, which served actively until the late 1960s and was not scrapped until the late 1990s, USS Admiral Hugh Rodman (AP-126). She spent most of her long career as the USAT General Maurice Rose and USNS General Maurice Rose (T-AP-126).
There are seven new freighters and cargo ships, all of World War I vintage, four of which served in the U.S. Navy. The latter include two ex-Dutch freighers, Drechterland (ID # 2793) and Dubhe (ID # 2562), the last named only having a few days of commissioned service a former German steamship, Wabash (ID # 1824) and the Sherman (ID # 3345), which was named Durham for most of her time in the Navy. Freighters which had no U.S. navy service were S.S. Montanan , torpedoed and sunk in August 1918 S.S. Deerfield and S.S. Aberdeen , one of the many wooden-hulled ships produced in response to the First World War's shipping emergency. We added five more tugs, among them Genesee (SP-1116, later AT-55), which was scuttled to prevent capture by the Japanese in May 1942 Dorothy Cullen (ID # 2183) Dreadnaught (ID # 1951, later YT-34 and YNG-21) Pentucket (YT-8) and the World War II-built ATA-217 , which began construction as the net tender Tesota (YN-95, later AN-71). Existing coverage of the harbor tug Penacook (YT-6) gained a significant number of new photos and an expansion of her history beyond the rather incomplete version previously available.
Our effort to provide coverage on World War I era converted yacht patrol vessels is nearing an conclusion, with pages added on Vedette (SP-163) Venetia (SP-431) Winchester (SP-156), a fast yacht that resembled a torpedo boat and the unfortunate Wakiva (SP-160), sunk in collision with the already-mentioned USS Wabash .
As is often the case, there are scads of First World War motor boats and other smaller types, the product of an alphabetically-driven project to eventually post the available photography on all of them (about which patience is recommended -- It's a looooong way from "D" to "Z"!). This month's brood includes: Dispatch (SP-973), which had no Navy service Doloma (SP-1062) Dolphin (SP-874), which was originally named Ora Belle Dolphin (SP-318), a "Menhadden Fisherman" type originally named Virginia that the Navy appears not to have taken over Dorchester (ID # 1509), a Chesapeake Bay type sailing schooner Doris (ID # 1646), briefly chartered but probably not placed in service Dorothea II (SP-912) Dorothy (SP-1289) Dreadnought (SP-584), a fast open craft of the "runabout" type and Drusilla (SP-372).
Finally, there are two barges, Dolphin (ID # 1314), which was the Navy's Coal Barge # 518 and Duggan (ID # 3286), employed by the Navy as Car Float # 10 .
In the midst of all these presentations created during January, fresh images were added to several existing ones. The new pictures on the WWI transport Powhatan (ID # 3013) represents the largest single batch, but notable individual items also joined the pages on the transports Buford (ID # 3818), Harrisburg (ID # 1663), Louisville (ID # 1644) and Sierra (ID # 1634) as well as those on the cargo ships Canibas (ID # 3401) and Mexican (ID # 1655).
31 January 2006
This page features the Online Library's 'What's New?' entries for January and February 2006.
ATA-214 class tug
The ATA-214 class was a group of five auxiliary tugs built for the United States Navy in World War II and decommissioned shortly thereafter. They were laid down initially as Ailanthus-class net laying ships, but on 10 July 1944 the last ten ships of the latter class were cancelled. Ώ] On 5 August 1944 the cancellation was rescinded for those on which construction had commenced (these five), and they were directed to be completed as tugs. Ώ] The originally assigned names were dropped, and they were identified only by hull numbers ATA-214 through 218. Ώ]
Some changes were made as construction progressed. After the first two were completed (ATA-214 and ATA-216) the mainmast was moved forward to rest directly behind the funnel, and the boom on this mast was eliminated as unnecessary. ΐ] Armament varied as well, based upon experiences with the Ailanthus class vessels already built. The first two completed had a single 3" gun mounted on a platform ahead of the bridge, and three 20mm antiaircraft guns mounted in two tiers in front of the funnel. Α] It was found that the upper of these three was too close to the funnel, and for the next two (ATA-215 and ATA-217) this mount was relocated immediately behind the mainmast. ΐ] Β] For the last ship (ATA-218) the 3" gun was eliminated (though its platform remained) and two 40mm AA guns were mounted on the forecastle. Γ]
All five served in the Pacific theater, and ATA-215, ATA-216, and ATA-218 also participated in the occupation of Japan in various periods from September to November 1945. ATA-215 was loaned to the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition and sold upon its return ΐ] the others were sold through the Maritime Commission. Ώ]
Guardian of the Desert
What thorny, long lived, slow-growing giant can nurture a wide range of plants, provide roosts for birds, and produce protein-rich seeds for animals? The Desert ironwood (Olneya tesota) can do all the above and more!
A member of the Leguminosae family, Desert ironwood’s natural boundaries correspond closely with those of the Sonoran Desert. Additional names for this endemic tree within the U.S./Mexico borderlands include Ironwood, Palo Fierro, and Palo de Hierro, and Tèsota.
Commonly found in washes and hillside drainages, Ironwoods thrive in warm areas below 3,000 feet. The Ironwood Forest National Monument, located 25 miles northwest of Tucson, was established in June 2000 and provides protection for one of the richest areas of Ironwood trees.
Ironwood trees strongly influence the distribution and quantity of hundreds of wildlife species by functioning as a “nurse plant” and a “keystone species.” Canopies of mature trees provide microenvironments advantageous to understory plants, with winter temperatures several degrees warmer than open areas. In addition to protecting seeds and seedlings from extreme cold, Ironwoods also provide safety from radiation and predation.
The perennial Ironwood can remain as a many stemmed, 6-feet high spiny shrub, or erect and spreading with a low canopy with a thick trunk reaching 30 feet or more. This semi-deciduous native tree is covered with grayish-green leaves that endlessly drop and regrow throughout the year. At the base of each leaf are excruciatingly sharp, slightly curved paired spines. The piercing thorns and low canopy protect small reptiles and desert mammals from larger prey and provide forage, cover, and nesting sites.
As one of the tallest trees in the desert scrub, with a potential life span of 800 years, its canopy is used by nearly 150 bird species. Local and migrating birds, such as endangered cactus ferruginous pygmy-owls, build nests in Ironwoods. Hawks and owls often use bare branches as perches and roosts.
In April and May, small pale lavender or purple flowers blanket the tree, but only for about two weeks. Ironwood flowers and fruit may occur in most years, but are abundant only four years per decade. Native bees are commonly attracted to the flowers. After pollination, ironwoods produce slightly curved, knobby pods containing up to eight shiny dark brown hard-shelled seeds. These are an important food source for native fauna in early summer.
The Ironwood is also beneficial to humans and was widely used as food by the Cahuilla, Mohave, Papago, Pima, and Seri indigenous people. The peanut or soy flavored seeds were eaten either raw, dry roasted, or ground for flour. Roasted seeds have been used as a substitute for coffee beans.
The tree’s wood has social and economic impact as well. The name “Ironwood” refers to the hard, heavy heartwood so dense it cannot float. The trunk is highly resistant to rotting, and may remain intact up to 1600 years. Wood was used for fuel, as well as for making various kinds of tools and implements like digging sticks and shovels. Ironwood also added to the aesthetic of daily life by providing wood for weaving frames, musical instruments, and the beautiful carvings of the Seri.
Biological Survey of Ironwood Forest National Monument
The tree known in the U.S./Mexico borderlands as desert ironwood or palo fierro (Olneya tesota) is one of many woody legumes found in washes and hillside drainages in the Sonoran Desert. It ranks among the most ecologically and economically important plant species in the region. Ironwood functions as a &ldquonurse plant&rdquo and a &ldquohabitat-modifying keystone species&rdquo of benefit to many other species of flora and fauna. While Ironwood is not endangered or threatened, its populations dwindle annually over tens of thousands of square kilometers.
Ironwood is nearly endemic to the Sonoran Desert (Turner et al. 1995). The species was first described in 1854 as the sole species of the genus Olneya by botanist Asa Gray and is still recognized as a monotypic genus (Lavin 1988). Ironwood is similar in morphology to only two other legume genera, peteria (Peteria sp.) and brushpea (Genistidium sp.). While all three genera have narrowly elliptical leaves and less than 12 ovules per pod, Olneya is distinguished by its paired leaves, flower clusters on short shoots that extend from the middle of the stem (instead of the end of a branch), and pods more rounded than the pods of peteria and brushpea.
Ironwood as a species may have evolved as the Sonoran Desert flora formed in the middle Miocene (ca. 15 to 8 million years ago) (Van Devender 2000), but most paleogeological records of Ironwood date from the mid- to late Holocene. Dating of ironwood trees is difficult through standard tree-ring dating, but annual trunk diameter growth rates (Turner 1963 Suzán 1994) and unpublished radiocarbon dating estimates (Suzán 1994) suggest that some trees have persisted for more than 800 years. The wood of the Ironwood is one of the hardest and heaviest woods in the world (Búrquez 1999). It is remarkably resistant to rotting, perhaps because its heartwood is rich in toxic chemicals that make it essentially non-biodegradable (Dimmitt 2000a). Ironwood trunks can persist for up to 1600 years (Dimmitt 2000a). (See further discussion of ironwood longevity below.)
Map courtesy Bill Singleton, Pima County (AZ) Administrative Office
The geographic limits of ironwood distribution are closely matched with the boundaries of the Sonoran Desert. Ironwood barely reaches into adjacent Mohave desertscrub, coastal thornscrub south of Guaymas, Sonora, and foothills thornscrub east of Hermosillo, Sonora. It occurs in five states and territories within the Sonoran Desert region: southwestern Arizona, southeastern California, eastern Baja California, Baja California Sur, and Sonora, Mexico. Populations occur from sea level to 1100 m (3280 ft) in elevation, where low winter temperatures and catastrophic freezes limit its distribution. Near its northern limit ironwood grows best on rocky benches and slopes, above the valley bottoms that characteristically have cold air pockets at night that would damage leaves and young branches (Turner et al. 1995). While ironwood occurs in all six subdivisions of the Sonoran Desert, it varies greatly in its density and relative dominance among these regions. In the U.S., the highest ironwood densities recorded per hectare are in Arizona Upland sites in Pima County (Ragged Top, 35 trees/ha = 14.2/acre Cocoraque Butte [Roskruge Mountains] and Saguaro National Park West, 22 trees/ha = 8.9/acre) (ASDM 2000). In the IFNM survey some of our 0.4-hectare census plots had much higher densities that would extrapolate to more than 300 ironwoods per hectare. Ironwood densities are much lower in Mexico (mean density of 6.6 trees/ha = 2.4/acre across many plots in coastal and central Sonora). Elevational range is also greater in the species&rsquo northernmost limits in the Arizona Uplands and Lower Colorado River Valley.
Dense Arizona Upland forest on granite near Ragged Top, Ironwood Forest National Monument
The densest stands of ironwoods and palo verdes occur where the soil is derived from Precambrian Oracle granite. This granite is characterized by large crystal size and it weathers into a coarse, very porous soil that allows deep infiltration of water and air. This porous, well-aerated soil permits tree roots to penetrate deeply to reach the deep moisture. Soil explains much of the lushness of the tree growth in the Silver Bell region. The reason for the greater diversity of plants associated with ironwood trees here compared with other regions of the Sonoran Desert is not known.
Characteristics, Phenology, and Physiology
Ironwood may take the shape of either a multi-trunked shrub no more than two meters in height, or a canopy-forming tree with one thick trunk achieving heights up to 15 meters (49 ft Shreve and Wiggins 1964, Solís-Garza 1993, Arizona Register of Big Trees 2000). The largest known ironwood, located close to Gila Bend, measures 4.32 meters (14.2 ft) around its trunk, with a canopy height of 15 meters 49 ft), and a crown spread of 14 meters (46 ft Arizona Register of Big Trees 2000). The ironwood &ldquoleaf&rdquo is doubly divided into 4 to 12 pairs of narrowly elliptic leaflets called pinnae. Each leaf consists of two to four &ldquofingers&rdquo with paired leaflets down the sides of each. This compound leaf has a pair of small curved spines at its attachment to the branch (Dimmitt 2000a). These leaflets have a bluish-green cast to them, producing a mottled canopy quite unlike the yellow-green of mesquites (Prosopis spp.) and palo verdes (Parkinsonia spp.) growing in the same region. Ironwood&rsquos clusters of flowers bloom on the end of short shoots along the branches (Lavin 1988).
Ironwood trees flowering at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Tucson Mountains)
In Tucson, ironwood flowers and fruit occur in most years, but are abundant only four years per decade (Dimmitt 2000a). This variable level of flowering and fruiting, along with differences in rainfall each year, may cause a pattern of mass seed production and seedling germination that occurs as occasional bursts. Suzán (1994) observed this unpredictable pattern of germination, known as &ldquodiscrete episodic recruitment.&rdquo Flowering and fruiting require considerable diversion of nutrients and energy from other parts of the plant. Branches that produce flowers often drop their leaves during bud formation, and re-leaf when summer rains begin. In some years flowering does not occur at all (Dimmitt (2000b). Patterns of flowering and fruiting generally occur in a south to north wave. Flowers and fruit occur as early as March in the southern states of Sonora and Baja California, Mexico, than in Arizona and California to the north.
Ironwood leaves usually turn yellow and are shed in April before the trees flower.
The flowering period in each locality lasts only 10-18 days. These flowers attract one generalist bee and two solitary specialist bees. After pollination occurs, ironwoods produce slightly curved, knobby pods that reach lengths of 3-6 cm (1.2-2.4 inches) and widths of 8-9 mm (ca. 0.4 inch). These pods contain one to eight ovoid, shiny, coffee-colored, and extremely hard-shelled (at maturity) seeds (Solís-Garza and Espericueta 1997). Seed maturation coincides with the summer rains, increasing the probability of immediate germination (Shreve and Wiggins 1964). Maturation occurs within four to eight weeks of pollination (late June through August) (Turner et al. 1995). The seeds are small and light compared to those of blue palo verde or the indehiscent pods of mesquite (4,440-4,480 seeds per kg. Dry weight) (Kraugman 1948). They are high in protein and soluble fiber, but they also contain bitter chemicals that serve as deterrents to herbivores, reducing palatability and digestibility.
Ironwood seeds mature at a time when little else is producing fruit in the Arizona Upland region (Dimmitt 2000b), leading to a high dependence of wildlife on the seeds. Many animals gather and store ironwood seeds in caches to be eaten later. Roughly half of all new germinated seedlings found for plants such as jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis) and palo verde occur in tight clusters near rodent burrows (McAuliffe 1990). While studies have not been conducted for ironwood, it is likely that ironwood seedlings germinate from rodent caches.
Ironwood grows extremely slowly, perhaps due to its low rates of photosynthesis that keep it from wasting soil moisture. These slow rates of biomass accumulation contribute to the remarkable density of its heartwood. Like other desert legume trees, ironwood trees conserve water during the high daytime temperatures and during dry seasons. Ironwoods lose less water through their leaves than other woody perennial plants. During long droughts, the trees slough off leaves, limbs and rootlets to reduce their water needs. The water use efficiency of ironwood ranks with some of the most drought tolerant Sonoran Desert plants, such as creosotebush (Larrea), bursage (Ambrosia), and wolfberry (Lycium spp.) (Szarek 1979). Considering ironwood&rsquos conservative growth rate, small leaves, diffuse canopies, and preference for arid and hyper-arid xeroriparian soils, it is not surprising that they exhibit relatively low levels of annual net primary productivity (55 g. dry weight/m2/yr. = 15.6 oz/yd2/yr) as well as low gross productivity (7.42 kg = 16.3 lb. Dry weight/tree/yr) (Szarek 1979).
This ironwood tree founded a minicommunity. The young palo verde in the foreground and the large saguaro (as well as smaller plants not visible) established beneath its canopy. Now several small saguaros and shrubs are growing in the shelter of the palo verde. The adjacent ground is comparatively open. Tucson Mountains, AZ.
The ecological importance of the ironwood tree comes largely through the roles it plays for over 500 other species in the Sonoran Desert (Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum 2000). Ironwood trees function as a habitat-modifying keystone species, that is, a species that exhibits strong influences on the distribution and abundance of associated species (Mills et al. 1993). A chain of influences generated by ironwoods on associated understory plants affects their dispersal, germination, establishment, and rates of growth as well as reproduction. These ecological dynamics are termed &ldquonurse plant ecology.&rdquo Other large trees co-occur with ironwoods along washes, but ironwoods may be the only tall branching woody plants on the valley floors or bajada slopes (Vander Wall 1980). Their relative influence on plant and wildlife diversity is proportionally greater in plains and rocky slope habitats above ephemeral and intermittent watercourses. Along watercourses, ironwood is but one of many nurse plants available. In addition, the size and foliar density of an ironwood are strong factors influencing their relative value as nurses. Medium-sized mature ironwoods harbor a greater diversity of understory plants than either ironwood saplings or the largest, ancient shade-forming ironwoods (Tewksbury and Petrovich 1994, Suzán et al. 1996). Some mid-sized trees, however, do not necessarily serve as nurses for many plants, especially if grazing is heavy.
Saguaro seedling beneath a palo verde tree.
Mesquite and palo verde also serve as nurse plants, however, each tree caters to slightly different sets of plants in its &ldquonursery.&rdquo Ironwood is the dominant nurse plant in some subregions of the Sonoran Desert. As nurse plants, ironwoods provide safe sites for seed dispersal, protect seedlings from extreme cold and freezes, protect saplings from extreme heat and damaging radiation, and function as prey refugia. Also, like other legumes, they alter the soil composition beneath their canopies, enriching the soil with nutrients such as nitrogen.
The ironwood (right-center) is several times older than the same-size foothill palo verde to the left. The ironwood also has a denser canopy (next paragraph).
An ironwood canopy typically has been functioning as a safe site for seed dispersal for three to four times longer than mesquite or palo verde canopies of the same volume. The long life span of ironwood trees and the stability of the microenvironments they create increase the probability that seeds might be dispersed to these &ldquosafe sites&rdquo for germination and establishment (Tewksbury and Petrovich 1984). Due to the fact that ironwoods tend to be the tallest trees in desertscrub and xeroriparian vegetation (Vander Wall 1980), they function as the primary roosts in their landscape for both local breeding and migrating birds. Ironwoods and their nurseries make the structure of vegetation much more diverse providing birds with more nesting opportunities. Birds in turn generate a literal &ldquorain&rdquo of seeds and whole fruit. Partially digested fruit from this &ldquorain,&rdquo or from defecation of other animals, are torn apart by animals seeking to gain sustenance while selecting out toxic or distasteful portions of the fruit. Seeds also flow into the areas underneath ironwoods during storms and floods where they are trapped by exposed tree roots, or by the stems, roosts, and litter of understory herbs, vines and shrubs.
Ironwood canopies provide microenvironments buffered from freezes for understory plants. Suzán (1994) determined the winter microenvironments under mature ironwood trees may be 4 C (6.6° F) warmer than adjacent open environments and 1 C (2.8° F) warmer than under other vegetation. Studies of cactus seedling vulnerability demonstrate that without the protective cover of desert legumes, the distributional ranges of saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea), organ pipe (Stenocereus thurberi) and senita (Lophocereus schottii) would retreat many kilometers to more southerly, frost-free areas (Nobel 1980). In addition to frost protection, nurse plant canopies provide relief from heat and radiation stress. They reduce the exposure that leads to tissue damage and destruction of understory seedlings and saplings (Suzán 1994, Tewksbury et al. 1998). When stripped of ironwood&rsquos protective cover above them, some cacti actually suffer sunburn and die (Nabhan and Suzán 1994). Where open soil temperatures can reach 65 C (148° F), the 15 Centigrade degrees (27 Fahrenheit degrees) cooler temperatures under ironwood canopies increase seedling survival rates and decrease water stress in mature plants (Suzán 1994).
This exposed juvenile saguaro has been eaten by a jackrabbit (see scat pellets around base). If it were growing under a larger nurse plant than this shrub, it would probably have escaped predation.
In addition to serving as a buffer from abiotic stresses, ironwood buffers nursery plants from some, but not all, biotic stresses impacting their survival and reproduction. McAuliffe (1984a) demonstrated spiny, or thorny nurse plants can dramatically reduce predation on cactus seedlings by large and small herbivores, such as ungulates, rabbits, and rodents. The spiny, low-sweeping branches of the ironwood provide an effective prey refugium for vulnerable seedlings intertwined within its foliage. However, seedlings not fully sheltered by down-sweeping branches can suffer higher levels of predation due to the resting, nesting, or burrowing of desert tortoises, rabbits, jackrabbits, and packrats under ironwoods (McAuliffe 1984a).
Legumes such as ironwood and mesquite influence the soil composition beneath their canopies in several ways (Garcia-Moya and McKell 1970). Ironwoods &ldquofix&rdquo nitrogen through symbiotic relationships with Rhizobia bacteria (Felker and Clark 1981). They also &ldquopump&rdquo nitrogen and other nutrients up from their deepest root zones. Ironwoods incorporate these nutrients into their foliage, over time enriching topsoil composition as their fallen leaves gradually accumulate and decomposes beneath their canopies. Ironwoods and mesquites also act as traps for the nutrient-rich organic debris carried by flash floods (Nabhan 1993). The &ldquoresource islands&rdquo around ironwood and mesquite trunks support high densities of symbiotic bacteria and fungi that aid in the establishment of understory plants, providing them with moisture and nutrients not available in barren interspaces. The differences in the mycorrhizal fungi and soil composition under ironwoods and mesquites allow them to favor different sets of understory plants creating heterogeneity through &ldquopatch dynamics.&rdquo Ironwoods tend to slightly increase alkalinity and moisture availability, hardly effect soil texture, but significantly increase root, bacteria, and fungi densities where mesquites decrease soil alkalinity and increase clay content and moisture availability.
Ironwood Forest National Monument viewed from Saguaro National Park to the west. Agriculture and urbanization in the intervening Avra Valley could isolate the two, fragmenting the habitat into smaller parcels that will not support some wide-ranging species such as mountain lions. The Waterman Mountains are on the middle horizon, with the Silver Bell Mountains and Ragged Top to the right. The Roskruge Mountains are just visible on the far left horizon, and the taller Santa Rosa Mountains on the Tohono O'odham Nation to their right.
Ironwood habitat faces threats from habitat fragmentation due to urbanization and conversion of natural habitat to agricultural lands. The population explosion in the Sonoran Desert over the past 50 years has also led to increasing recreational impacts in ironwood habitat. There are also preliminary indications that both woodcutting and buffelgrass competition can decrease understory species richness and diversity (Suzán 1994, Búrquez and Quintana 1994). Ironwood cutting can result in greater damage to understory plants (Nabhan and Suzán 1994, Suzán et al. 1999). Nurslings exposed by woodcutting have a greater probability of damage from radiation, breakage from trampling, and death due to browsing (Nabhan and Suzán 1994). Solís-Garza and Espericueta (1997) have confirmed that virtually no ironwood regeneration had occurred to date in areas where commercial woodcutting has been permitted in Sonora. Buffelgrass is highly invasive, decreases plant species richness and diversity in native plant communities, and increases fire frequency. Fires in communities invaded by buffelgrass tend to be hot burning and destroy ironwood and other trees, shrubs, and cacti.
While ironwood is not considered endangered because of its large range, it is easily overexploited because of certain life history traits, primarily its slow growth rates and low levels of seedling establishment (Suzán 1994). Ironwood populations play a vital role in sustaining other species and populations of the Sonoran Desert. If ironwoods were eliminated from Sonoran Desert habitats, there would be a decrease in the density of associated plants and subsequently in associated local faunal communities. Ironwoods must be protected both to maintain the diversity and lushness of the Sonoran Desert communities they inhabit and to maintain the regeneration dynamics of rare plant populations that grow under its canopies. Ironwoods are truly a hallmark of the desert landscape living well beyond other desert plant species. The ironwood is both a constant witness to a changing environment and an active participant in the maintenance of generations of lush Sonoran Desert plant and animal communities.
Ecology of Ironwood Trees in Ironwood Forest National Monument
All of the trees in the background are ironwoods. Most of them are growing in small drainages on the finely-dissected bajada and valley floor. Little Maria Mountains northwest of Blythe, California.
This large wash in the Chuckwalla Valley west of Blythe, California is vegetated with ironwood trees (the darker ones), some blue palo verdes (Parkinsonia florida), and a few desert willows (Chilopsis linearis) and smoke trees (Psorothamnus spinosus). The McCoy Mountains are on the horizon.
In most of the Sonoran Desert ironwood trees grow mainly on valley floors and are restricted to washes in the driest habitats (Turner et al. 1995 images above). Arizona Upland is the highest elevation, wettest, and coldest of the six subdivisions of the Sonoran Desert (Shreve 1964). Ironwoods behave differently in this zone they live on bajadas above the cold valley floors (image below left). On the eastern side of IFNM which is mostly Arizona Upland, ironwoods are abundant on most of the bajadas of the Roskruge, Silver Bell, Waterman, and Ragged Top ranges. Occasionally they are even common on rocky slopes such as on Cocoraque Butte in the Roskruge Mountains. Their eastern range limit is in the Tucson Mountains and the extreme southwestern foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. They extend into Avra Valley in some drainages, but almost not at all into the colder Santa Cruz Valley in the vicinity of Tucson.
Ironwood trees grow on the upper bajadas and lower slopes of the Tucson Mountains (above) and the eastern ranges of Ironwood Forest National Monument. This is atypical habitat for the species.
Ironwoods typically grow on valley floors, as here in the Avra Valley east of the Samaniego Hills in IFNM. There are few ironwood groves in Avra Valley, however, because of its higher elevation and more frequent frosts that kill this tree of tropical origin.
From east to west Ironwood Forest National Monument trends to lower, warmer, more arid terrain. The transition from AZU to LCV is apparent between the Silver Bell and West Silver Bell Mountains (maps below). It is quite obvious by the time one reaches the Sawtooth Mountains in the far northwest part of the National Monument there the slopes are thinly vegetated with trees and saguaros and trees on the valley floors are mostly restricted to washes. Along this transect ironwood trees change their habitat from their anomalous location on upper bajadas in the east and move down into their more characteristic habitat of valley floor washes in the west. However, they are not ubiquitous in washes. Ironwood trees are abundant in some washes, while adjacent ones only half a mile away are dominated by mesquite or blue palo verde and nearly or completely devoid of ironwoods.
Distribution of desert ironwood trees within Ironwood Forest National Monument. The size of the green circles indicates the relative abundance of ironwood trees from rare to common. The red triangles are sites surveyed. In the east ironwood trees are common on lower slopes and bajadas and not on valley floors. In the West Silverbell Mountains they are absent from most slopes but common on the lower bajadas, and the Sawtooth Mountains area is almost devoid of ironwoods in any habitat.
In the eastern part of IFNM ironwood trees occur on bajadas and lower mountain slopes in Arizona Upland and are not restricted to washes (blue lines). They are excluded from most of Avra Valley by winter cold.
Ironwood tree distribution in the northeastern part of IFNM is similar to that in the southern part. There are a few groves of large trees in parts of Avra Valley, especially east of the Samaniego Hills.
In the midwestern part of IFNM ironwood trees more often occur in their typical habitat - large washes on valley floors and lower bajadas. Valley floors are lower elevation and thus warmer. They are nearly absent from the slopes and bajadas of the arid West Silver Bell Mountains. Aridity would be the logical reason, except that less drought-tolerant foothill palo verdes are common on these slopes. There are good groves on some bajadas such as the south side of granitic Solo Peak (the rest of the West Silver Bells are other volcanics).
Large washes on low valley floors are the typical habitat of ironwood trees. Tiro Wash, West Silver Bell Mountains, Ironwood Forest National Mon.
Ironwood tree distribution extends all the way to the western margin of the Sonoran Desert near Palm Springs, California. But we found no ironwood trees in the Sawtooth Mountains and adjacent valley floors within the IFNM boundary. (Two trees grow at the edge of a quarry just outside the boundary.) Apparently the drainages in this region do not collect sufficient runoff to support them.
On most of the rocky bajadas ironwoods are small trees or large shrubs seldom more than four meters (13 ft) tall and much shorter than the saguaros that usually grow with them. A large proportion of the individuals in these habitats have old, dead trunks that have resprouted from the crowns. Some have evidently died to the ground (topkilled) at least twice in the past. So even though most of the trees on these rocky sites are rather short and look like saplings at first sight, many are in fact ancient (see images below).
This ironwood in the Roskruge Mountains (Ironwood Forest National Monument) appears to have died to the ground and crown-sprouted at least twice.
This ironwood tree in the Chuckwalla Valley, California shows evidence of four generations of topkill and resprouting.
Ironwood trees that grow in deep soil in large washes are probably not very old. This one is east of Indio, California.
Comparison of ironwoods with foothill palo verdes in the same location provides further evidence of the longevity of ironwood trees. A significant percentage of foothill palo verdes died during the droughts of the mid 1990s and 2001, while we found almost no ironwood trees that had died or were topkilled recently. The droughts that caused the observed topkill in the ironwoods must have been more severe than what we have recorded during the last century, and the same drought would likely have killed most of the mature foothill palo verdes (Bowers and Turner 2001). Because mature foothill palo verdes in the nearby Tucson Mountains are 125 to 175 years old (Turner et al., 2003), the mature palo verdes currently living in the Monument are presumably at least 100 years old. Therefore the younger ironwood stumps visible at present must have been topkilled before today&rsquos mature palo verdes established, and those that have topkilled and resprouted twice or more are probably several centuries old. Conversely, the large, vigorous specimens in well-watered washes may be only 100-200 years old.
The heartwood of Olneya tesota is almost nonbiodegradable. The minerals deposited in the heartwood that make it too dense to float in water are toxic to most saprophytes and termites. This ironwood tree stump is weathering away by physical processes. It probably died two or more centuries ago. Chuckwalla Mountains, California.
The most likely candidate for the last catastrophic drought that killed ironwood trees to the ground is the one of 1891-1904 some call it the most severe drought documented in southern Arizona (Turner et al. 2003). But others consider the mid century drought of 1942 to 1977 to be the worst since 1700 A.D. it eliminated most pinyons and junipers established before 1850 in much of New Mexico (Swetnam and Betancourt 1998). That drought also thinned out many desert landscapes (Turner et al. 2003). A more recent drought in the 1990s killed significant numbers of palo verdes (Bowers and Turner 2001). We can still identify the carcasses of these palo verdes at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in the Tucson Mountains. We observed no mortality of ironwood trees in undisturbed areas of the Tucson Mountains during that period (Dimmitt pers. obs.), nor does the literature reviewed mention dieback of ironwood trees during the past several decades.
The primary cause of death of ironwood trees is unknown. If drought is a significant mortality factor, then these events must be spaced centuries apart. There is a root rot caused by a fungus in the genus Ganoderma (Olsen 1999, Hine 1999). We have observed its effects of slow yellowing and diminution of foliage over several years at ASDM and at Bach&rsquos Greenhouse Cactus Nursery in the foothills of the Tortolita Mountains. We did not observe these symptoms in any trees in IFNM, nor did we find any publications documenting its occurrence in wild trees. The disease seems to be associated with disturbance.
|Considering how long dead ironwood trees persist in the landscape, mortality must be extremely low because it is rare to see more than a few dead trees in a population. A disturbing exception is these old ironwood trees in the Chuckwalla Valley (west of Blythe, CA) that have been declining for at least 30 years. In some areas more than three-quarters of them are now dead. This mortality has not been reported in the scientific literature. It may be long-term drought, though groundwater pumping has also been suggested. Another possibility is that the smaller drainages were diverted into larger ones that had culverts under the old highway (now replaced by Interstate 10 a few miles to the south and renamed Ford Dry Lake Rd. and Corn Spring Rd.). The summer storm (right) came much too late to save the tree in the foreground, though the large wash in the background has healthy trees that have leafed out from an earlier storm.|
The largest ironwood known in Ironwood Forest National Monument.
The largest ironwood tree we found in the Monument is 11 meters tall and 13 m wide (36 X 43 feet) in Avra Valley east of the Samaniego Hills. This area is characterized by sparse but large ironwood trees the plot had ten trees over 7 m (23 ft) tall.
It is worth noting that Ironwood Forest National Monument was not created and named after the ironwood tree because it has the largest trees or densest forests. The Monument&rsquos claim to fame is that in this area ironwood trees have more ecological associates than anywhere else this phenomenon was measured (ASDM 2000).
ATA-218 was laid down as Yaupon (AN-72) on 29 January 1944 at Slidell, Louisiana, by the Canulette Shipbuilding Company. Her name was cancelled on 12 August 1944, and she was designated ATA-218. She was launched on 16 September 1944 and commissioned on 10 March 1945.
Information regarding ATA-218 ' s brief Navy career is almost totally lacking. Even her decommissioning date is unknown. Her name was struck from the Navy List on 17 April 1946, and she was sold through the War Shipping Administration on 3 January 1947. Presumably, she was scrapped.
Heavy Containment Zone
The Heavy Containment Zone, (HCZ) is one of the farthest zones in Site Phoenix, rivaled only by the Super Heavy Containment Zone (SHCZ). The primary combatives that patrol and guard the afformentioned zones are the Mobile Task Forces, with members of the Global Occult Coalition and the Security Department acting as the auxiliary combatives.
Typically, no ScD are allowed in without any reason to do so, however for testing purposes only Researchers (?) and above (with supervision of a Senior Scientist) may test on Euclid-level SCPs in the containment.
Because of the diversity of SCPs in Heavy Containment, CDNs (Class-D Nation), regular CDs, and various hostile GOIs will usually target this containment zone and the SHCZ, which is why a checkpoint was installed in front of the HCZ, with personnel from the Mobile Task Forces Beta-7 "Maz Hatters" and Psi-16 "Martyrs" taking priority in guarding the checkpoint to limit the amount of unauthorized personnel inside of it.
The desert ironwood grows as a bush or tree and reaches heights of about 10 metres (33 ft), and average trunk diameters of about 60 cm (24 in) in exceptional sites in larger protected washes it can reach greater height and a more massive trunk.
In younger trees, the bark is gray, shiny, and smooth in older trees the bark is broken open. The tree is an evergreen plant, but can lose its leaves if temperatures fall below 2 °C (36 °F). In continual drought conditions leaves will be lost.
Leaves are bluish-green and pinnately compound. Leaves are arranged on a petiole, 6 in (15 cm) long, with 6-9 leaflets-(or variously up to 15, 7, 7-opposite, and one terminal), each being 0.7 to 2.5 cm (0.28 to 0.98 in). At the base of each pinnate leaf petiole grow two thorns, about 1 cm (0.39 in) long.
Bloom time occurs in late April/May to June. Flowers are of 5 unequal petals, in colors of medium purple, magenta-red, or also white to pale pink. Seedpods are 5–8 cm (2–4 in) long, and light reddish brown when seedpods are ripened. Two other species Parkinsonia florida-(Blue Palo Verde), and Acacia constricta-(Catclaw Acacia) have similar light red brownish seedpods. Catclaw acacia's seedpods are noticeably J-shaped and of shorter length.
The desert ironwood, Olneya, is native to the southwestern United States and extreme northwestern Mexico in the Baja California Peninsula and the Sonoran Desert, and is partially an indicator species of that desert. Within Mexico its range includes the states of Baja California Sur and Baja California, on the Gulf of California side east of the cordillera ranges, and Sonora state west of the Sierra Madre Occidental cordillera, in the south approaching the northern border of northern Sinaloa state. In the southwestern US its range includes the Colorado Desert of southeast Southern California, a part of the Sonoran Desert, and western and southern Arizona. Olneya does not range into the higher-elevation, colder, southeast of Arizona's Sonoran Desert region, nor into the sky islands of the Madrean Sky Islands region.
Ironwood Forest National Monument in south-central Arizona is named for Olneya tesota.
An indicator species Edit
Olneya tesota is an indicator species of the Sonoran Desert region.  The Sonoran Desert has one other species with the identical north-south, and east-west range. The seasonally migrating lesser long-nosed bat follows the bloom season of various species from south to north and extends into the same regions of the Sonoran Desert as Olneya. The bat ranges from southern Baja California del Sur and north into the southwestern United States. 
In the north, both species define the Colorado Desert subregion of the Sonoran Desert surrounding the northern end of the Gulf of California further south in the Baja Peninsula the sub-division is defined as the Vizcaino Desert.
The winter and permanent range of the bat extend into the northern countries of Central America.
The pleasant-tasting sap is consumed by bees and hummingbirds. The silky-flycatcher or phainopepla pose a problem, for when they consume mistletoe berries and excrete them in the cracks of Olneya tesota, the mistletoe will parasitize its host. 
The seeds can be eaten by first being roasted. 
Olneya ironwood is very hard and heavy. Its density is greater than water and thus sinks it does not float downstream in washes, and must be moved by current motion.
Due to its considerable hardness, processing desert ironwood is difficult. Final treatment of the wood with solutions can also be difficult because of its high density. As a result, mass processing of this wood is difficult, and most of its commercial usages are artisanal, such as durable wooden sculptures as well as knife handles.
Desert ironwoods aren&rsquot as iconic as saguaros, but the trees &mdash officially known as Olneya tesota &mdash are the unsung heroes of much of the Sonoran Desert. They can live for centuries in the scorching heat, they provide valuable shade for young saguaros and other desert flora, and their wood is among the hardest and densest in the world &mdash hence the name. A drive through 190,000-acre Ironwood Forest National Monument offers plenty of these desert stalwarts, along with an up-close view of one of Southern Arizona&rsquos most distinctive peaks.
From Marana along Interstate 10, head west on Marana Road. After passing through farmland and crossing the Santa Cruz River, you&rsquoll turn right onto Silverbell Road and begin winding into the monument. The road eventually turns from pavement to dirt, but it&rsquos well maintained and easy to navigate in most cars.
In addition to ironwoods &mdash identified by their blue-green leaves, grayish bark and purple spring blooms &mdash you&rsquoll see paloverdes, saguaros, ocotillos and prickly pear cactuses, many of which are &ldquonursed&rdquo by ironwoods. It&rsquos an impressive contribution to the desert ecosystem, but ironwoods are impressive even after they die. Because their wood is so dense, it&rsquos essentially immune to decay, so a dead ironwood might be around for several hundred years before it erodes away.
The plant life isn&rsquot the only draw of this drive. The saguaros attract lesser long-nosed bats (a threatened species), and desert bighorn sheep live in the monument&rsquos Silver Bell Mountains. Keep an eye out for hawks, roadrunners and turkey vultures, too. And the area&rsquos human history is on display at more than 200 Hohokam rock art sites.
Soon, you&rsquoll approach a mountain whose strange profile you&rsquove probably noticed while driving on I-10. Ragged Top, like ironwoods, is appropriately named. The rhyolite peak is a textbook example of a volcanic plug, which occurs when magma hardens in a vent on an active volcano. That&rsquos what happened here about 22 million years ago. Today, Ragged Top is a popular climbing destination, but there&rsquos no established trail to the summit. If you&rsquore not in the mood for scrambling, just enjoy the views of the craggy peak from the road.
A couple of miles past Ragged Top, around Mile 20 of the drive, you&rsquoll reach an intersection with Sasco Road. If you&rsquore driving a passenger car or don&rsquot feel like having your teeth rattled, turn around and head back to Marana the way you came. But if you have a high-clearance, four-wheel-drive vehicle, you can turn right and navigate a rocky, rutted dirt road to return to I-10 in Red Rock. The payoff on that road is views of Picacho Peak, the ghost town of Sasco and more ironwoods. But if you can&rsquot do the whole drive, don&rsquot worry. The ironwoods will be there the next time you visit &mdash and a few hundred years after that, too.