Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q = Quartzsite: A to Z Blogging Challenge

 Quartzsite, Arizona is known as a center for winter visitors and RV camping. Many more come to the area for the gem and mineral shows and swap meets. They provide the major portion of the town’s economy.

Originally the site was an adobe stage station built in 1856 by Charles Tyson. With a good source of water and grass for the stock it became an important stop between California and Arizona. Tyson's Station was visited by diarist Martha Summerhays in 1874 as she traveled through the area to meet with her soldier husband. She described it as melancholy and uninviting. 

Parts of the original adobe walls were used to house the Quartzsite Historical Society in 1980. It contains local memorabilia, relics and photographs.

The area slowly died away but in 1896 there was a mining boom in the area and town of Quartzsite was born.  

One of the local landmarks is the burial site of "Hi Jolly." Camels were brought to Arizona by Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War in 1856 He believed camels would be the answer to dealing with the harsh environment of the southwestern United States. Ahiji Ali was one of the drivers brought over with the camels and he was nicknamed "Hi Jolly." They were used to help Lieutenant Edward Beale’s effort to establish a reliable wagon route west. The experiment met its end as the camels were mean tempered and other livestock was panicked by their presence. Hi Jolly ended up in Quartzsite where he died in 1902. Thirty-three years later the Arizona Highway Department erected a pyramid-shaped monument over his grave. The grave also contains the ashes of the last government camel.

To learn more about the A to Z Blogging Challenge go here.