Friday, September 30, 2016

Link to The Foothills Focus

Thank you to Elizabeth Medora and the Foothills Focus for this lovely article!

Local Author Discusses Inspiration

Hope to see you tomorrow from noon to two at the Old Canon School Museum at Heritage Park in Black Canyon City!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Open Invitation to Upcoming Events

Copyright (c) 2016 Marcy J. Miller

It's fall. Although the summer heat felt endless at times, fall has finally - and suddenly - arrived. 

My October calendar is blossoming along with the citrus and the yerba mansa. In addition to some private gatherings, I'm scheduled for book signing events that are open to the public. Please join us at any of the following! I will have copies of my book of New River history available - or just stop by and say hello.

On Saturday, October 1st from noon to 2:00 p.m., Old Canon School Museum at Heritage Park in Black Canyon City have invited me to do a book signing.  The museum is inside Canon's former one-room schoolhouse. Here's an opportunity to visit the museum, tour the Heritage Park, and talk history.  The historic schoolhouse, pictured below during its recent repainting and restoration, is waiting to welcome you. While you're there, consider joining the Black Canyon Historical Society. Small town historical societies and museum depend on the support of those who recognize the value of keeping local history alive.

Only twelve miles apart, Black Canyon's history is closely intertwined with the history of New River.  Although the communities had significantly different historical foundations, the cast of characters and the forces of nature largely overlapped. The road that gave life to both communities - the Old Black Canyon Stagecoach Road - forged a link between residents and wayfarers alike.  Many of the original homesteader families intermarried. Local cowboys worked ranches that spanned the region. 

Address:  33955 S. Old Black Canyon Highway, Black Canyon City

Copyright (c) 2016 by Marcy J. Miller

On October 18th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., I'll be signing books at the historic Wrangler's Roost Resort in New River. The Roost represents not only New River's local history, but the influence of the hospitality industry in Arizona. One of New River's original homesteads, colorful Oklahoma-born Chief Meyers developed the Roost into a guest ranch. Chief sold the ranch to Port and Lois Halle in 1941. The Halle family continued its operation as a guest ranch for several years until selling it to the famous Lew King of Lew King's Rangers television show. 

The site still boasts its original stone lodge and bunkhouse. It is still in operation as a resort and wedding venue. Don't miss the chance to see Wrangler's Roost. It has such an interesting history it merited its own chapter in the book.

Address:  25500 W. New River Road, New River

Wrangler's Roost
Photo courtesy of Lance Halle

For the holidays, look forward to a gathering of authors on central Arizona history at the Old Canon School Museum on December 1st.  Stay tuned!

Copyright (c) 2013 by Marcy J. Miller * All rights reserved * No part of this content may be reproduced without the author's express permission * Links, however, may be freely shared * Thank you for linking, liking, sharing, tweeting, +1ing, forwarding, and visiting * Hope to see you again soon!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Now in Print: My New River History!

There's nothing quite like the feeling of opening that newly-arrived box of one's own books. It has been quite a journey writing this smallish edition.  It involved meeting with thoroughly amazing people who were either a part of New River's history or who help to keep it alive. It meant hundreds of hours late at night poring over old census records, newspaper archives, land patents, and as many other primary sources as I could find. During the research and compilation of this book, I contended with one torn rotator cuff, bouts of lameness due to multiple foot conditions exacerbated by too many birthdays and too many miles, an utterly miserable oral surgery, husband's heart issues and procedures, husband's broken ribs, two newborn calves, one miscarried foal, the loss of two beloved old dogs and the arrival of two beloved puppies, and my elderly mother's multiple hospitalizations. The book research kept me grounded throughout. It has been exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure. Most of all, it has been an incredibly rewarding process.

The distinctive landmark Gavilan Peak,
also known as "Twin Peaks" or "Twin Buttes" to locals
(c) 2016 MJ Miller
I transitioned from feeling as if I merely lived on the skin of New River to actually being a part of it. I visited as many locations I wrote about as possible, hiking to ruins, riding old trails, studying old maps and new aerial photos. Most of all, researching history involves human research: studying family histories, listening to anecdotes, reading letters and memoirs. At times I'd cry when I read about the tragedies and losses of those families I came to know so well. Mostly, I'd revel in the courage and grit they exhibited as they settled in the area. I shall be forever honored to have met the Jackas, the Gees, the Halles, June Evans Bond, and so many others who contributed to the book - and who built the community. These were the sons and daughters of ranchers, homesteaders, cowboys and soldiers, who watched their parents sacrifice and struggle. I felt as if I was watching those labors myself as I heard their stories and studied their photos.

So, here it is, at long last:  Images of America: New River 

I collected far too many stories and bits of local history to include in this volume. I also photographed  the places I visited along the way and, as the current book is solely comprised of vintage photos, I could not include the current photos. In the future, I'll release the longer, more complete story of New River with the "now" photos to complement the "then" photos of the current book.

For now, I'm enjoying sharing New River's story with anyone who wishes to hear it. Thanks to the families who shared their photos with me, I can also share the area's images with you.

Jerry Jacka and Lois Essary Jacka generously contributed a tremendous amount of photos and information. For an outstanding history of the Jacka's historic Sun-Up Ranch, contact Jerry directly:  Jerry Jacka's Website. (You'll also want to look at Jerry and Lois' other stunning books!)

On Tuesday night, September 13, 2016, I'll speak about the book at the New River - Desert Hills Community Association meeting. It's open to the public. Join us from 7:30pm to 9:00pm at the Daisy Mountain Fire Department Station #141, 43814 N. New River Road. 

Should you have an interest in having me speak on local history or if you'd like a signed copy, please contact me at: 

Thanks for stopping by!