Last friday we took another road trip to check out the old ghost town of Stanton, Arizona. Because Stanton is my middle name, Sarah Sullivan thought it appropriate that we visit that town. The trip got off to an unauspicious beginning in the town of Clarkdale when I saw the flashing lights of an on-coming cop car at the same time I saw the sign for the 15 MPH speed limit. Needless to say, the cop made a quick U-turn and pulled me over. He said I was going more than 20 MPH above the speed limit which meant I could do jail time in Arizona. After he checked me out for priors and saw that my rap sheet was clean he let me go with a written warning. Then he proceeded to comment on the Jeep and he suggested a back road route to Sedona that I should try.
The road to Prescott and beyond was a beautiful trip over the Mingus Mountains and then across Pleasant Valley and over another mountain range. There were tons of switchbacks and great views over the valley. We finally made it to the road that leads to the ghost towns of Stanton, Octave and Weaver. It was a maintained dirt road that passed by herds of cattle and horses.
The town of Stanton has been converted into an RV camp whose owners have stabilized the three remaining buildings and allow visitors. They even left the bullet holes in the wall of the Opera House. Stanton was originally named Antelope Station until Charles P Stanton came along and devised his plan to take over the town and the mining activities. Stanton managed to cause dissension amongst some of the local business owners, got one to kill the other and then the killer was sent to jail (3:10 to Yuma?). So Stanton took over the town, became its post master and named it after himself. That lasted only a couple of years until he was shot for allegedly insulting the sister of a gang member named Cristero Lucero. The town's life span was about 20 years. There are still posted claims for mining in the area and there is a little mining activity among the people living in the area.
From Stanton we tried to find Octave, but it appears that the remnants of the town have been fenced off probably due to some new mining going on. Up the road from Octave is the old town of Weaver. All that remains there is a cemetary full of unmarked graves of miners and claim jumpers along with a delapidated house and some rusted out mining equipment.
It really was a fascinating look and reminder about a time in our country and about the people who settled the west.
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