- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: PublishAmerica (December 24, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 160441300X
- ISBN-13: 978-1604413007
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,969,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Tale of Two Rivers: Pioneer Settlement in Arizona 0th Edition
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by Stanley C. Brown
The two rivers in the title of this work by former Payson Town Historian Stanley C. Brown refer to two streams familiar to rim country readers. The first part of the book brings us the multi-part story of the early pioneer settlement along and around the East Verde watershed. The second part of the book takes the reader on a geographic and historical tour of the Tonto Creek basin. Readers who live in this area will read with apt attention as familiar places, places where we have hiked, camped fished or just driven by, are detailed from the first days of European settlement in the area. Also familiar are the names of the tenacious pioneers who braved isolation, poverty, rustlers and Apache Indian attacks to build the foundation of our current lives. Their great grand children still live among and around us, we see them often.
Stan Brown leaves us with a quote from a note left by Floyd Pyle on his cabin door “Here is a message to neighbors and all travelers and tramps: When you're going through this country and come upon this camp, just make yourselves at home, friends, if I am not about. The door may not be open but the latchstring is always out. You will find bacon, beans, coffee, milk and butter on the shelf. So don't leave this place hungry, just pitch in and help yourself.” This kind of sums up the best nature of the early pioneers, a nature that we would do well to emulate.
Author Brown tells us of births, weddings and late night dances. He speaks to the human side of the hard life at the end of the 19th Century in Rim Country. But he does not exclude important historical items from his telling.
He finishes his book with a few sentences that I found totally charming. When the Roosevelt Dam opened its gates for the first time, a thoughtful citizen with an empty Champagne bottle filled it from the sparkling water. That bottle of con-joined Tonto Creek and Salt River water was later used to launch the mighty Battleship Arizona.
We especially appreciated the Indian history woven into the narrative-- so tragic and yet fascinating. Among the many places described we'd love to visit; we are especially intrigued with the descriptions of the Mazatzal Wilderness and the pueblo ruins near Payson. Since we probably won't be able to see these places, the book is providing us with great images--ones that help us feel like we are part of innumerable scenes and the histories.
Aside from the historical perspective, the book is also littered with funny little sub-stories like how Gisela (which I always thought was pronounced "Jizzela") and the Baby Doll Ranch got their names, as well as uncle Frank chasing the hatchery truck.
There is a great blend of history and storytelling that kept me glued to see what adventures awaited in the next chapter. It truly gave me a new appreciation for that wonderful state of Arizona and all its rich history.
Thank you for putting pen to paper to share your collection of facts, stories and personal memories. I became so attached that I almost feel like I lived that history myself.