2012 AH Classic Wall CalendarShop the AH Store >>

Our 2014 calendars are now available!

Classic Wall Calendar

CL14 $10.99

Our classic 13-month spiral-bound calendar features 30 full-color photographs and a handy map of Arizona on the back.

Order Now >>
Purchase Camping GuideShop the AH Store >>

Featured Book

Arizona Highways
Camping Guide

AGCS3 $22.95

Our newest book, which includes Arizona Highways iconic photography and maps, is sorted by region and is written for car-campers and families. Detailed information about accessibilty, amenities and fees is included for each campground.

Order Now >>
2011 AH Wildlife CalendarSee Selection of Images >>

Featured Prints

Poster Prints
Special Edition Prints

Many of the extraordinary images found in our award-winning magazine, scenic coffee-table books and exquisite calendars can be purchased as fine posters and prints.

Order Now >>
Shop the AH Store >>

Featured Gift Item

Centennial Issue Reprint

SPCENN2 $4.99

If you missed our February 100-page Centennial Issue on newsstands earlier this year, here's your second chance to get a copy of this special collector's edition of Arizona Highways magazine..

Order Now >>

  • print page
  • Tell a Friend
  • Post to Facebook
  • YouTube
  • past to del.icio.us
BULLEThistory archive

History Archive Photo
Henry Wickenburg, circa 1890

© Desert Caballeros Western Museum Archive

>> Click on image to view
it larger in a separate window.

He Put the Wickenburg in Wickenburg
Although it never became the largest town in Arizona, as Henry Wickenburg predicted, the town he founded is big on history, and this year, it celebrates its sesquicentennial.

By Kayla Frost

Henry Wickenburg wanted gold — and gold he got. Born near Essen, Prussia (modern-day Germany), in 1819, Wickenburg sailed to the United States 28 years later. He first made his way to California and later arrived in Peeples Valley, Arizona, where he teamed up with two prospectors, E.A. Van Bibber and Theodore Green Rusk. In 1861 or 1862, they set out for the Harquahala Mountains with dollar signs in their eyes.

According to Mark E. Pry, author of The Town on the Hassayampa, the trio found nothing worth pursuing in the mountains, but on their way back to Peeples Valley, Wickenburg saw a quartz ledge that looked promising. He visited the site on his own and found evidence of gold, which he later showed to the other men. Although they filed a claim, neither Wickenburg nor his partners took any action.

In 1863, Wickenburg returned to the site alone and filed a new claim. Turns out, there was, indeed, gold in those hills, as well as silver. The mine — dubbed the Vulture Mine — went on to produce millions of dollars in ore.

The community of Wickenburg grew up around the mine, and the man behind the town had big dreams for the settlement, which is located just 54 miles from Phoenix. A column in the June 15, 1910, issue of The Arizona Republican read: "Henry Wickenburg … said many years ago that the town would some day [sic] be the largest in Arizona. This is by no means an improbability."

Although Wickenburg's vision never came to fruition, the town has become a favorite among fans of Western culture. This year, it celebrates its sesquicentennial.

>> Back to History Archive


Story ArchivesFind previously published stories online... [more]

Global SnapshotsSend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

Photo of the DaySend us a photo of you or someone you know posing with Arizona Highways. We'll post it on our website. It's that simple... [more]

 

Social MediaJoin our Facebook, Twitter and Flickr communities for behind-the-scenes glimpses at Arizona Highways... [more]

Events & PromotionsEscape, experience and explore Arizona, one event at a time... [more]

Travel GuidesThere's so much to see and do in Arizona. Let our online travel guide be your one-stop resource for planning your next Arizona adventure... [more]

site map  |  terms of use  |  privacy policy  |  corporate sales  |  about us  |  contact us

Arizona Highways Television AZ Dept. of Transportation AZ Dept. of Public Safety Arizona Highways Photo Workshops

© Copyright 2014 Arizona Department of Transportation, State of Arizona. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without written permission from the publisher is prohibited. The images on this Web site are copyrighted, digitally watermarked and registered with the Digimarc tracking system. All rights reserved. Copying and downloading images from this site are strictly prohibited.