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By Dave Lewis

Previously:  Spanish explorers first set foot in Arizona in 1539.  They saw the land and major rivers, encountered numerous native tribes, and moved on.  For the next 150 years, with a few exceptions, Spaniards made no attempt to remain in Arizona.

 

The exceptions: In 1629, Spanish missionaries from settlements along the Rio Grande came into the Hopi lands and established missions which were occupied intermittently for the next 50 years.  At Hopi and throughout New Mexico, Spanish soldiers and priests virtually enslaved native people even as they worked to convert them to Christianity.  In 1680, a rebellion was organized at Taos, and in a remarkably well-coordinated uprising on a single day in August, natives in several dozen far-flung pueblos and villages rebelled.  Four hundred Spaniards were killed, including most of the priests; several thousand settlers were routed and chased down the Rio Grande toward Mexico.  The few Spanish missions at Hopi were destroyed. Once again, Arizona belonged to the natives.

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Previously:  While the Coronado Expedition was at Zuni in the summer of 1540, Pedro de Tovar made the first European contact with the Hopi.  Garcia Lopez de Cardenas became the first European to see the Grand Canyon.  The Hopi were no happier to see the Spaniards than the Zuni had been.

 

By October the expedition moved east toward native pueblos along the Rio Grande -- a province the Spaniards called Tiguex (tee-wish).  Coronado’s men again asserted their dominion over the natives, and Cardenas became notorious for brutal, murderous retaliation against any resistance.  Anger and frustration were rising among the Spaniards who had expected by this time to be dripping in gold and jewels.  Fray Marcos, whose fantasies sparked the expedition, was sent back to Mexico in disgrace.  The next man who promised to lead Coronado to cities of gold would be dealt with more harshly.

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By Linda Ogo and Sandra Lynch

Many American Indians have been popularized in books, documentaries and provocative motion pictures.  The Yavapai Indians, however, have been largely absent from such published or dramatized history.  Much of this is the result of a tradition that enabled the Yavapai to survive from prehistoric times to the present—that of preserving their culture within family groups.
 

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By Michael King

Last week’s Days Past article reviewed Prescott’s experience in establishing a reliable system of residential water storage and distribution. This week, we’ll examine Prescott’s current water supply and the celebration of “The Biggest Splash.”

In 1946, a comprehensive water study was completed for the City of Prescott.  This was during Mayor James Whetstine’s administration.  Plans included developing a series of wells, constructing pump stations, and installing a large holding tank facility in Chino Valley just north of the Chino Valley High School.  Mayor James Whetstine’s administration laid the ground work for new Mayor Hillard Brooke to carry out the project.  Brooke’s administration brought the issue before voters in April 1947, with an $800,000 bonding provision.  Out of the 858 ballots cast only 25 were opposed.  At that time, water was provided by surface water from the Goldwater Lakes and Hassayampa Lake (83%), the Sun Dog infiltration gallery (10%) and the Weston Well (7%).

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By Michael King

May 14, 1948 Daily Courier Article:

“Let’s celebrate! Tomorrow will be one of the greatest days in the history of Prescott.  It marks the turning of the gurgling, bubbling, crystal clear water of the Del Rio artesian basin into the mains of a thirsty city to end, at least for some time to come, the long water famine through which the city has struggled and gasped, lo, these many months.”
 

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By Dave Lewis

Previously:  The Coronado Expedition reached the Zuni village of Hawikuh in July 1540.  The Zuni tried to send the Spaniards on their way with assurances that they would find cities of gold if they just kept going.  Coronado would fall for this line just a few more times.

 

Hoping to find riches without having to go too much farther, Coronado remained at Hawikuh for three months while scouting parties searched for other villages.  He learned of multi-story pueblos to the northwest in a province called Tusayan — the Hopi lands of northern Arizona.  Pedro de Tovar went to investigate.  The Hopi had heard through the “moccasin telegraph” that unwelcome strangers were on the way, but they discovered resistance against the Spaniards was futile, as it had been for the Zuni at Hawikuh.  Futile, too, was the Spanish hope for easy wealth.

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By Dr. Sandra Lynch, Adjunct Curator -- Sharlot Hall Museum

The concept of a museum originated more than two millennia ago with Ennigaldi, a Babylonian princess.  She lived in Ur, in today's Iraq, about 530 BCE (Before Common Era).   Her father, Nabonidus, was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.   He cared little about governance, which might explain why he was the "last king.”  Instead, his life-long pleasure was digging for artifacts from earlier kingdoms.  He might have been the world's first archaeologist.  

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By Dave Lewis

The people of Hawikuh laid down a line of sacred corn meal and asked the strange men riding strange animals not to cross.  The Spaniards crossed and the battle was on.  Zuni bows and arrows were no match for armored men on horseback with swords and lances.  The proud but half-starved Spaniards swept into the village and feasted on the provisions the natives were laying by in the summer of 1540. 

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The Grand Canyon (not to mention our own Granite Dells and Thumb Butte) used to be in New Mexico; much of New Mexico used to be in Texas; Texas used to be in Mexico.  All of the above used to be part of Spain.  And Arizona didn’t even exist until the 1860s.

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Buckey O’Neill, Yavapai County Sheriff in 1889, led a four-man posse that same year into northern Arizona. It captured four cowhands who’d robbed a train near Diablo Canyon. One of the outlaws, J. J. Smith, escaped while en route to Salt Lake City. Eventually, Smith was recaptured and hauled to Prescott to stand trial. While Smith was loose, the other three outlaws were tried and convicted, but were needed to testify in Prescott and were thus carted up from Yuma.

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