Crown King & The Bradshaw Mountain Railroad

A visionary and entrepreneur named Frank Murphy built a railroad from Mayer up into the Bradshaw Mountains to Crown King

Back in the 1870’s people were finding gold up in Crown king .was the largest mining town in Yavapai county of the Bradshaw mountains. Tons of people were flocking into Crown King!

Frank Murphy was the Man who had the idea to build the Bradshaw Mountain railway. The dirt road up FR259 is actually the railroad bed that Murphy had built, because it costed $21.50 a ton to haul the ore by muleback! Frank Murphy hired workers via newspaper, offering a dollar a day to work on the railroad.

Newspaper clips

By 1920, Murphy’s railroad was abandoned, Frank died three years prior. Below are present day photos of the trip we recently took up FR259 into Crown King, enjoy!

Before going up, this is Cleator, another ghost town. Not much but some historic homes and a general store.
Cleator General store
A view going up the road, it gets a little bumpy going up, be careful of off roading vehicles and some speeding drivers that cause a lot of dust! The rails give some sense of security.
Entering into Crown king, you will see Christmas ornaments still left on the pine tree entrance. Very cheerful.
On the left side of road, you will see this old truck.
Take a right, you will go into Crown king and see this general store, to the left a church and behind the church is a lodge, cabins. Right now you can buy the home, lodging business, church and event center for $2,499,!
They are doing renovations in Crown King this month
Once you get to Crown King, you can always go in and enjoy the food and drinks, just don’t get drunk and drive down the road, please!!!

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Vanessa Rossi-Sondgeroth

Scarlet Macaws, Chocolate, And gems trading business between ancient Anasazi & the Aztecs!

Archaeologists have discovered ancient bones of the parrot and cacao in Chaco canyon! Which means the ancient meso-Americans were doing some trading business with the ancient Pueblo Indians! Pueblo, also known as the Anasazi.

These gorgeous Scarlett Macaws are from the tropics of south & central America.

The Chaco canyon was the home of ancient Anasazi Indians. Thousands of these people lived here in an isolated area between 850 and 1250 A.D. The Chaco Canyon heritage center is located in Northwestern New Mexico between Albuquerque and Farmington.

This historic site is very far out and almost inaccessible!
An image of Chaco Canyon

The prehistoric people would trade chocolate for turquoise and had a tight connection between the 11th & 14th centuries. Archaeologists have found so many items here! They found these containers that were used to hold Cacao (chocolate! Powder inside

Anasazi were well known for not only cliff dwelling, but these beautifully designed jars were used for drinking hot chocolate!!! Yes, archaeologists found many of these!!!
Anasazi pottery found at Chaco, look at how great the artist made this design!!!

The archaeologists found the skulls of 35 Scarlett Macaws at Chaco, 30 found in the Pueblo Bonita area.

A skull of the Scarlett Macaw!

Major amounts of Turquoise was found there as well, in fact over 200,000 pieces of the gem were found!! I definately am making the Chaco culture historical park a definately place to visit in the future and buying some real Chaco turquoise jewelry, maybe buy a bright Scarlett Macaw as well,and since I am an artist, I may just paint one as well with a cup of hot chocolate!!!!!

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Have a great weekend everyone!


Vanessa Rossi-Sondgeroth

Tucson’s Serial killer “The pied-piper”

Charles Schwib

Along with exploring and making my homemade soy candles, I am also into crime cases! I had never heard of a Serial killer that terrorized Tucson back in the mid 1960’s!!!!

So, I was fascinated when I came across this serial killer named Charles Schmid. Or as the Pied-Piper killer. He was a 22 year old who told two other people to help kill a 15 year old girl by the name of Alleeen Rowe. Charles yelled out “ I can kill someone and get away with it!” He took the fifteen year old outside Tucson . He then raped and took a large rock and smashed her head in with it. Then he told the other two to dig a hole. The other two who were with him was John Saunders and Mary French. They managed to provide alibis to the police, making Alleens disappearance sound like she just ran away from home! Everything went dormant until about a year later when a young lady by the name of Gretchen Fritz who was 17 at the time, was dating Charles had gone missing along with her sister. Charles was actually quite a charming and handsome guy, although he was short. He hated being short so he would shove paper in his boots to add height.

The pied-piper was often spotted along Speedway driving around. Most of the teenage community in Tucson actually liked him and never saw the dark side of him. He was eventually found guilty in 1966. He was given the death penalty. The police didn’t find Allen Rowe’s body til 67’ and his death sentence had ceased during the death sentence was temporarily haulted in 1971. In prison he was not liked and he was killed in prison by other prisoners on March 10, 1975 at age 32. Incidentally, he wore makeup and the mole on his face was drawn in by him, Crazy!!!!

Hope you enjoyed this very interesting article today!

I just made my pine candles if your interested in buying in my store! Have a wonderful rest of your day!


Vanessa Rossi-Sondgeroth