Grand Canyon Railroad

The Grand Canyon Railroad is a 64 miles railroad which connects Williams Arizona to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The original 64 mile route was built by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway company in order to construct and promote the Grand Canyon Village. The railroad was completed on September 17th, 1901. in 1901 a ticket could be purchase for the sum of $3.95.

First Train to Carry Passengers all the way to Grand Canyon Village. 
SEPT. 17, 1901. Photo By G.L. ROSE.
First Train to Carry Passengers all the way to Grand Canyon Village. SEPT. 17, 1901. Photo By G.L. ROSE.

The El Tovar Hotel is completed in Janurary, 1905. The hotel is constructed by the Santa Fe Railway to accommodate train passengers and uniquely located just 20 feet from the Canyon Rim. The initial success of this railroad is diminished with the widespread adaptation of the automobile and the highway system. Passenger Service is halted in July 1968 and later freight service is halted in 1974.

In 1988, the line is purchased by Max and Thelma Biegert, who restored the railroad and started operations in 1989. The Biegerts made their fortune in Nevada, operated the line until 2006 when the railroad was again sold to Xanterra Travel Collection. Today, the railroad offers both diesel and steam engine service and operates as a Heritage Railway and gives the passenger a brief means of enjoying a by gone era.

The Polar Express

Every winter, following the release of the Christmas classic movie the Polar Express, the Grand Canyon Railway’s offers a special train serice, the Polar Express. The Polar Express is a 90 minute journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams, Arizona, to “the North Pole”. During the journey, passengers are encouraged to sing and treated with hot chocolate and a reindeer bell.

Our son, nephew and niece poising with The Grand Canyons Railroad's engine number 29 - The Polar Express
Our son, nephew and niece poising with The Grand Canyons Railroad’s engine number 29 – The Polar Express

Grand Canyon Railroad Map

Grand Canyon Railroad Summary

Name Grand Canyon Railroad
LocationCoconino County, Arizona
Grand Canyon National Park
Years of OperationSeptember 17th, 1901 – Current
GaugeStandard Gauge
National Register of Historic Places00000319


Chloride Arizona

Chloride Arizona is the oldest continuously inhabited Silver Mining town located in Mohave County, Arizona. The name derives its named from Silver Chloride (AgCl) which is found in abundance in the local Cerbet mountains.

1916 Chloride Main Street. Arizona.
1916 Chloride Main Street. Arizona.

Chloride’s modern history began in the late 19th century when prospectors, drawn by rumors of silver and other valuable minerals, began to explore the nearby hills and canyons. In 1863, a prospector named John Moss struck silver in the area, leading to a flurry of activity as more miners and settlers arrived. The first official post office was established in 1866, and Chloride was officially born.

Chloride experienced rapid growth during the late 1800s as mines produced substantial amounts of silver, lead, zinc, and other valuable minerals. The town’s population swelled. Businesses, saloons, and other establishments sprung up to cater to the needs of the growing community. At its peak, Chloride boasted a theater, several hotels, and a bustling main street.

Chloride Arizona and part of the Cerbat Range, looking easy from Silver Hill,  with Tennessee Avenue in the foreground - 1906- Photo U.S. Geological Survey
Chloride and part of the Cerbat Range, looking easy from Silver Hill, with Tennessee Avenue in the foreground. 1906 – Photo U.S. Geological Survey

However, like many mining towns of the era, Chloride’s prosperity was short-lived. Fluctuating metal prices, mine closures, and the depletion of easily accessible minerals led to a decline in the town’s fortunes. By the early 20th century, Chloride entered a period of decline. Much of its population began to dwindle as residents sought opportunities elsewhere.

Despite the challenges, some residents remained in Chloride, and the town managed to maintain a semblance of its former self. The 20th century saw the rise of tourism as visitors were drawn to Chloride’s picturesque desert landscapes, historical buildings, and remnants of its mining heritage. Efforts to preserve the town’s history led to the restoration of several historic structures, including the Monte Cristo Saloon. The saloon proudly claims to be Arizona’s oldest continuously operating bar.

Modern Relevance

In recent decades, Chloride has experienced a revival fueled by a mix of nostalgia, artistic expression, and a desire to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The town has attracted a diverse group of residents, including artists, retirees, and those seeking a slower pace of life.

One of Chloride’s most unique and captivating features is the open-air Chloride Murals project. In the early 1960s by local artist Roy Purcell, this project has transformed the town into a vibrant canvas. Murals depicting scenes from Chloride’s history, Native American culture, and the American West decorate the sides of buildings and rock formations.

Chloride Arizona Town Summary

NameChloride, Arizona
LocationMohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude35.4047, -114.1812
Elevation4,022 ft (1,226 m)
Max Population2000

Trail Map


Alamo Crossing Mohave County Ghost Town

Alamo Crossing is a submerged ghost town hidden beneath the waters of Alamo Lake, Mohave County, Arizona.

Alamo Crossing, Mohave County Arizona
Alamo Crossing, Mohave County Arizona

The town is founded by Tom Rogers about 1899. The little hamlet served as a small mining community to transient prospectors with most of the population camping out. During its heyday, the town only consisted of a five-stamp mill, a few stores and a post office. The town’s population is never known to be significant.

In 1968, an earth filled damn is constructed along the Bill Williams River by the Army Corp of Engineers for flood control. The 283 foot tall damn caused the formation of Lake Alamo, which is about 80 feet deep. The remains of Alamo Crossing still lie in the waters of the lake. Scuba gear is required to explore the remains. The town site was believed to be one of the best preserved ghost towns in the county, prior to flooding.

In 2020, the area surrounding Alamo is revived for mining again, this time for placer gold prospecting.

Trail Map

Town Summary

NameAlamo Crossing
Also Known AsAlimo,
LocationAbout 60 miles northwest of Wickenberg on Bill Williams River, Mohave County, Arizona
Latitude, Longitude34.2605, -113.5827
Elevation1,237 ft (377 m)
Post officeNovember 13, 1889 – December 15, 1900
March 30, 1911 – 1918 Alamo


The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882 reports of the murder of Tombstone Resident Morgan Earp while playing pool in Tombstone, Arizona. This event followed the O K Corral shootout and the attempted murder of Virgil Earp. These two events caused Wyatt Earp to lead a vendetta ride across the desert hunting the assassins. The death of Moargan made the right side of page three.

The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882
The Tombstone Epitaph, March 20, 1882
Morgan Earp historical photo, 1881. Probably taken by C.S. Fly.
Morgan Earp historical photo, 1881. Probably taken by C.S. Fly.

March 20, 1882
The Assassin at Last Successful in His Devilish Mission

Morgan Earp Shot Down and Killed While Playing Billiards

At 10:00 Saturday night while engaged in playing a game of billiards in Campbell & Hatch’s Billiard parlor, on Allen between Fourth and Fifth, Morgan Earp was shot through the body by an unknown assassin.

At the time the shot was fired he was playing a game with Bob Hatch, one of the proprietors of the house and was standing with his back to the glass door in the rear of the room that opens out upon the alley that leads straight through the block along the west side of A.D. Otis & Co.’s store to Fremont Street.

This door is the ordinary glass door with four panes in the top in place of panels. The two lower panes are painted, the upper ones being clear. Anyone standing outside can look over the painted glass and see anything going on in the room just as well as though standing in the open door.

At the time the shot was fired the deceased must have been standing within ten feet of the door, and the assassin standing near enough to see his position, took aim for about the middle of his person, shooting through the upper portion of the whitened glass.

The bullet entered the right side of the abdomen, passing through the spinal column, completely shattering it, emerging on the left side, passing the length of the room and lodging in the thigh of Geo. A.B. Berry, who was standing by the stove, inflicting a painful flesh wound.

Instantly after the first shot a second was fired through the top of the upper glass which passed across the room and lodged in the wall near the ceiling over the head of Wyatt Earp, who was sitting as a spectator of the game.

Morgan fell instantly upon the first fire and lived only about one hour. His brother Wyatt, Tipton, and McMasters rushed to the side of the wounded man and tenderly picked him up and moved him some ten feet away near the door of the card room, where Drs. Matthews, Goodfellow and Millar, who were called, examined him and, after a brief consultation, pronounced the wound mortal.

He was then moved into the card room and placed on the lounge where in a few brief moments he breathed his last, surrounded by his brothers, Wyatt, Virgil, James and Warren with the wives of Virgil and James and a few of his most intimate friends.

Notwithstanding the intensity of his mortal agony, not a word of complaint escaped his lips, and all that were heard, except those whispered into the ear of his brother and known only to him were, “Don’t, I can’t stand it. This is the last game of pool I’ll ever play.” The first part of the sentence being wrung from him by an attempt to place him upon his feet.

The funeral cortege started away from the Cosmopolitan hotel about 12:30 yesterday with the fire bell tolling its solemn peals of “Earth to earth, dust to dust.”


Statement of E. F. Boyle

The transcribed testimony and statement of E. F. Boyle regarding the gunfight on Fremont Street in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. E. F Boyle is one of six people who testified that they heard Ike Clanton making threats to kill the Earps and Holiday. Boyle testified on November 17th and 23rd, 1881.

On this seventeenth day of November, 1881, on the hearing of the above entitled cause, on the examination of Wyatt Earp and J. H. Holliday; E. F. Boyle, a witness of lawful age being produced and sworn, deposes and says as follows:

E. F. Boyle, November 17, 1881. Barkeeper. To questions, relates that he knows Ike and that he met Ike in front of the telegraph office, about 8:30 or 9 A.M., October 26. They had a talk. Ike had a pistol with him.

(Q) State what if any threats were then made by him in respect to Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp or Doc Holliday, and if any threats were made, whether or not you communicated the same to W. Earp, V. Earp, M. Earp or Doc Holliday before the difficulty [later in the day]. Objected to. Objection sustained. Unanswered.

[Signed] E. F. Boyle

E. F. Boyle, a barkeeper, of Tombstone, November 23, 1881.

(Q) As to any threats he had heard from Ike. Objected to by prosecution. [Overruled.]
(A) After I went off watch at 8 o’clock in the morning, I met Ike Clanton in front of the telegraph office in this town. His pistol was in sight and I covered it with his coat and advised him to go to bed. He insisted that he wouldn’t go to bed: that as soon as the Earps and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street, the ball would open-that they would have to fight. He started to Kelly’s saloon and I went down to Wyatt Earp’s house and told him that Ike Clanton had threatened that when him and his brothers and Doc Holliday showed themselves on the street that the ball would open. Then I left and went home to bed.

(Q) Did you see any weapons [on Ike] except the rifle?

(A) Yes the pistol.

(Q) Do you know Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton?

(A) I know them all.

(Q) Do you know their reputation for courage and how expert they were in the use of firearms?

(A) Only by hearsay.

(Q) To what extent is that hearsay?

(A) The hearsay is that they are the finest in the country.


(Q) [Not written].

(A) Ike Clanton was the only one present at the time of our conversation.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Learned of their reputation last year before the difficulty.

(Q) [Not written.]

(A) Knew Tom McLaury about 18 months, never knew him to be in a difficulty with anybody. Learned of Tom McLaury’s reputation from old James Sweeny of Pick-‘Em-Up. I learned that Tom was one of the best shots in the country. I never questioned his courage.

(Q) Now tell me, who else told you about his reputation as a courageous and fine shot?

(A) Well, there [were] several sitting together down at Pick-‘Em-Up, and Jim Sweeny and Ned Fielder were speaking of his courage and being a fine shot, all I know of his reputation is from these men.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Knew Billy Clanton about the same length of time. Never was on intimate terms with him. Never knew him to be in any difficulty.

(Q) How do you come to state he had a general reputation for courage and was an expert shot?

(A) From the association of men he traveled with.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) I can’t tell any of the men from whom I heard their reputation. I have known Ike Clanton about two years. Knew Frank McLaury about 18 months. Ed Shipman, he now lives in Los Angeles, and it is from his statement that I got his general reputation, and no other.

(Q) [Not written].

(A) Will Hicks and Frank McLaury were in Kelly’s saloon and a man named Smith that keeps a store in Galeyville and Frank McLaury went out. This all happened one morning about two months ago. I came to open up the saloon for Kelly, and when I opened the saloon, I met this big [sic] Ed Byrnes, Frank McLaury, and John Ringo; and Byrnes started to tell me what-[all crossed out with lines, but no notation of the same.]

(Q) Did you ever of your [own] knowledge know of Frank McLaury to be in any difficulty?

(A) No sir.