Just kidding, it is still over 100 degrees outside but if you tuned in for the season seven premier of Game of Thrones last Sunday night, you can relate. In the spirit of the show, here are some fun and interesting facts about Arizona and snippets about some well-known, and not so well-known, characters that made up the great state forty eight. Hover over the icons, on the map below, to learn more!
The coninage used in the Seven Kingdoms of Game of Thrones is based on the Gold Dragon coin which has two common smaller denominations: Silver Stag coins and Copper Penny coins. Silver was also used to create the silver mare that was given to Daenerys Targaryen by Khal Drogo as a wedding gift.
Also known for silver is Tombstone, one of the last boomtowns in the American Frontier. Founded in 1879, by prospector Ed Schieffelin – a scout for the U.S. Army headquartered at Camp Huachuca, who filed his first mining claim on September 21, 1877 near a grave site and fittingly named his stake Tombstone. In the mid-1880’s the town grew as the local mines produced $40 to $85 million in silver, the largest productive silver district in Arizona.
On the evening of March 15, 1881, Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton attempted to rob a Kinnear & Company stagecoach carrying $26,000 in silver bullion (about $645,000 today) in route from Tombstone to Benson, Arizona. Driver Eli “Budd” Philpot and passenger Peter Roerig were both shot and killed. Deputy U.S. Marshal Sheriff Virgil Earp and brothers, Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp, pursued the suspects, which set off a chain of events that ended on October 26, 1881 in the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” A result of a personal, family and political feud, suspects Tom McLaury, Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton were killed in the gunfight.
Kings Landing is the capital of the Seven Kingdoms and many might not know that Tucson once served as the capital of the Arizona Territory until it was incorporated in 1877, making it the oldest incorporated city in Arizona.
Founded on August 20, 1775, almost four lifetimes before Arizona became a state if you consider the life expectancy at that time was 36 years old. Don’t feel like doing the math? Tucson founding father, Hugo O’Conor constructed a military fort, Presidio San Agustin del Tucson, at the base of what is now “A” mountain 137 years before Arizona was granted statehood.
During the Mexican-American War, Tucson was captured by Philip St. George Cooke with the Mormon Battalion, but soon returned to Mexican control. On June 8, 1854, Arizona south of Gila River was obtained via treaty from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase and from August 1861 to mid-1862, Tucson was the western capital of the Confederate Arizona Territory. In 1862, the California Column drove the Confederate forces out of Arizona making Tucson and all of what is now Arizona part of New Mexico Territory until 1863, when they became part of the new Arizona Territory. From 1867 to 1877, Tucson was the capital of the Arizona Territory until Tucson was incorporated in 1877, making it the oldest incorporated city in Arizona.
Originally home to the Hohokam where they built canals to support their agriculture, this land was abandoned during the 15th century and Fort McDowell was established in 1865 approximately 25 mi (40 km) northeast of present downtown. This allowed for new towns to be built farther down the Salt River and Phoenix was settled shortly afterward in 1867. American businessman and probate judge, Charles T. Hayden, moved to the Salt River area from Tucson in 1873 and laid claim to two sections of land along the south side of the Salt River “for milling, farming, and other purposes”. He used the land to build a cable ferry, grist mill, general store and other related businesses. These two settlements were known as ‘Hayden’s Ferry’ later known as Tempe.
Carl Hayden, son of Charles T. Hayden, represented Arizona in Washington D.C. for 57 years, 46 years as a Senator, from President Woodrow Wilson through President Lyndon Johnson. He earned a reputation as a reclamation expert and consistently backed legislation dealing with public lands, mining, reclamation and other projects affecting the Western U.S. He organized the funding and wrote the laws for the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State, played a key role in creating the formula for the federal highway system and was also heavily involved in the building of the Hoover Dam (Arizona’s North Wall), as well as many other dams in Arizona/the Southwest.
Like the 700 foot Wall in Castle Black, the Hoover dam stands at 726 feet tall. The Hoover Dam, located in Boulder City, Nevada was a town created to house 5,000 construction workers. The dam was built for $48.8 million ($860 million today) by 21,000 men, supposed to be veterans of the Spanish American War and World War I. As the first project with required hardhats, there was suspicions of a German plot to bomb the Hoover Dam’s intake pipes, cutting off electricity to Southern California’s aircraft manufacturing factories.
Winfield Scott purchased the land that is now Scottsdale in 1888 for $3.50 an acre (now $87.13) or $2,240 (now $55,761.47). The Little Red Schoolhouse, now home to the Scottsdale Historical Museum, was built in 1909 for $4,500 (now $116,501.64). The one room schoolhouse is currently assessed by the Maricopa County Assessor at $861,985.
Today, Scottsdale is known for some of the most beautiful and expensive resorts in the country and has a reputation for nightlife, golf courses and fine dining. Like Casterly Rock in Westeros (home to House Lannister and major goldmine), Scottsdale is one of the wealthiest cities in Arizona. Not only is the residential real estate highly priced but the same goes for commercial. In 2016, 69% of the Valley’s absorption happened along the 101 freeway as it the most desirable area for business and retail alike. It is the place to be and be seen.
The Iron Islands, known for its iron mines, were a group of seven small rocky islands clustered for off the western coast of Westeros and were the smallest and among the least-populous of the regions. While Jerome, a town in the Black Hills of Yavapai County, is one of five communities that make up the Verde Valley. With a population of only 456 people in 2015, it was once home to the United Verde Copper Company which became the largest copper mine in the world.
The In 1876, Angus McKinnon and Morris A. Ruffner filed the first copper mining claims in Jerome. In 1880, Frederick A Tritle, the governor of the Arizona Territory and Fredrick F. Thomas, a mining engineer from San Francisco, bought these claims. In 1883, with James A. MacDonald and Eugene Jerome of New York City, they created the United Verde Copper Company. The mining camp on Cleopatra Hill was named Jerome in honor of Eugene Jerome, who became the company secretary. The United Verde Mine became the leading copper producer in the Arizona Territory, employing about 800 men and was one of the largest mines in the world. Over 77 years (1876 to 1953), the mine produced nearly 33 million tons of copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc ore. The metals produced by United Verde and UVX (Little Miss Daisy Mine), the other big mine in Jerome, were said to be worth more than $1 billion. According to geologists, the combined copper deposits of Jerome were among the richest ever found.
Like the magical Red Woman bringing Jon Snow from the dead, Sedona has its own energy pouring out through the vortexes among the red rocks. It is believed to be a special spot on earth where energy is either entering into the earth or projecting out… probably not enough to bring someone back from the dead, but still very intriguing.
Sedona was named after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly (1877-1950), the wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city’s first postmaster. Early settlers were farmer and ranchers as the area was well known for its peach and apple orchards. The first Anglo settler, John J. Thompson, move to Oak Creek Canyon in 1876.
Today, Sedona is known for the several energy centers, or vortexes of subtle energy, making it a spiritual power center. The power that emanates from the vortexes produces some of the most remarkable energy on the planet. This energy is the reason Sedona is full of people that are “on the path”, that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they can spiritually. It is also the reason that such a large New Age community has sprung up in the Sedona area, bringing with it a variety of spiritual practices and alternative healing modalities
Just like the Eyrie straddles the top of a peak in the Mountains of the Moon several thousand feet above the valley floor below, Flagstaff sits at almost 7,000 feet above sea level.
Flagstaff is named after a ponderosa pine flagpole made by a scouting party from Boston (known as the “Second Boston Party”) to celebrate the United State Centennial on July 4, 1876. The first permanent settlement was in 1876 when Thomas F. McMillan built a cabin at the base of Mars Hill.
The Babbitt brothers – David, George, William, Charles and Edward – came to Flagstaff in 1886 enter into the cattle ranching business. The brothers established the C.O. Bar Ranch on land between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Still today, the C.O. Bar is one of the largest cattle ranches in the Southwest. By 1889, the Babbitt brothers had also established a general mercantile store and in 1891 the entered into the Indian trading business, acquiring the Red Lake Trading Post. Over the next 100 years, the Babbitt family owned and operated over 20 trading posts on the Navajo, Hopi and Apache Indian reservations in Arizona.