Road to Nogales

The Arizona Daily Star has an intersting and amusing description of the trip from Tucson to Nogales. One excerpt:

The hard-to-miss mountains on your left are the Santa Ritas. The highest peak is Mount Wrightson, named after William Wrightson, killed by Apaches near Sonoita in the 1860s.

The second-highest peak, topped by the Smithsonian Institution’s observatory, is called Mount Hopkins, after a man named Gilbert Hopkins. Also killed by Apaches. You may notice a theme here.

“Apache,” by the way, is not an Apache word. It’s a Pueblo Indian word, and it means “enemy.”

The Continental road leads up into Madera Canyon, where in March 1860, a young woman named Larcena Pennington Page was kidnapped by Apaches. She had malaria and couldn’t keep up the pace, so her captors stabbed her, took her clothes and shoes, and dumped her off a ledge.

Sick, wounded, starving and almost naked, she started back on her hands and knees. Nine to fourteen days later – accounts vary – she crawled back into the lumber camp where she had been abducted and nearly scared the loggers to death, so ghastly and unexpected was her appearance. Larcena Pennington, as she is usually called, lived to the age of 76 in Tucson, but her father, first husband and two of her brothers were eventually killed by Apaches. The number of Apaches killed by Penningtons is not recorded. A downtown street is named after the family.

The lumber camp in Madera Canyon was an outpost of the sprawling Canoa Ranch, part of which now lies under the town of Green Valley. A Scottsdale company has proposed developing other parts of the old land grant: plans include three or four ground-watered golf courses in addition to the seven Green Valley already has. The Canoa Ranch project promises to generate the only warfare in the Santa Cruz valley this coming year.