Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Turkey Creek Siding...

...known as Cleator since 1925. I passed through this ghost town in mid-June on the Crown King trek with the Sson. However, what brought up the subject was a sighting of a teeny 1" diameter baby horned toad that I flushed out in my garden today. I hadn't seen one of these lizards at my house in over 15 years! My mind just naturally turned to the desert. Cleator, in this case.

The town got its start in 1903 as a station on the railroad between the smelters in Mayer and the mines up 5000 feet higher in the mountains near Crown King.

James Cleator, a gold miner born on the Isle of Man, bought a partnership in the town in 1905 and became sole owner in 1915, renaming it after himself in 1925. Though he tried to peddle the town (to no avail) in 1949, he turned it over to his son Tommy who ran it until his death in the early 1990s.

The bar is currently open, with "the best beer in 20 miles." Not to mention the only beer in 20 miles.

In 2006, there were reported to be six persons living in greater Cleator, though it looked like more occupied places than that when we went through.

If you'd like to know more about Cleator, here, here and here are sites you might explore. Incidentally, Cleator even rates an entry in the Wikipedia. Below are more pictures of the local real estate.

8 comments:

paul said...

Hi Granny J, I had a chance way back to have a cold beer with Tommy in his old bar. He had to clean up some old newspapers and horse tack to make a place to sit for us. We met his lawyer daughter who pulled in a big Mercededs, nice girl! Like her father, she is passed as well. Hooley has some interesting stories here about Cleator. Good day! http://www.bigshotartists.com/Meyer%20to%202.htm

sheoflittlebrain said...

very interesting gj... I don't know if I've actually ever been to Cleator! If so, I really don't remember it! Now I have a yen to go!

Granny J said...

Thanks, Paul, for your tale -- a lot more civilized than your encounter with the pack of Australian dogs up in the Prietas!

Brain -- hey, let's! When it cools off a bit.

Granny J said...

There's some cool art work at the site Paul mentioned. To make it easier, here is the exact URL...

sheoflittlebrain said...

gj, did you notice that Paul's encounter with a pack of one hundred or so wild Australian Shepards took place shortly after he washed off in the waters of the Hassayampa river? Do you think some water slipped down his throat?

Granny J said...

Brain -- so that's it! Readers from far parts should know that drinking water from the Hassayampa River is reputed to end one's ability to tell the truth -- for all time.

Steve G said...

I find towns like this interesting. The history if anyone remembers is what makes it so.

Granny J said...

Steve -- our local museum is pretty good on local history, even though they weren't much help about those faces on the facade of the St. Michael hotel.

 
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