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Apache Trail, AZ

Apache Trail

Maricopa and Gila Counties

Name "invented" by railroad officials on completion of Bowie to Globe branch of S.P.R.R.  Came into use about 1919 when Prof. Abner Drury of Berkely, Calif. Was commissioned by the S. P. R. R. to reconstruct the established nomenclature of points on Roosevelt dam highway. 

For publicity purposes the name "Apache Trail" was extended to cover the road to Globe, 40 miles beyond the dam. 

For conversational purposes the stage drivers in early days invented weird tales for their passengers.  "Mormon Flat" was the scene of the massacre of a part of Mormons.  "Tortilla Flat" was where Mexican travellers stopped to cook tortillas, etc. etc.  Fairy tales, all.

Worst of all, established historic names which the pioneers of Arizona desired perpetuated were ruthlessly changed into meaningless Spanish words.  For over half a century this trail was known generally, as the "Tonto Trail," because it led direct from Tonto basin to the Salt River valley.

In Nov. 1888, the author brought a band of saddle horses through the basin to the valley via this Tonto Trail.  Where the Salt enters the granite gorge now blocked by the Roosevelt dam, were two trails down the river.  One took his choice.

From Tonto creek north of the present dam, one trail led over the southern flank of Four Peaks, kept on top of Salt River canyon for about 20 miles, then dropped into it at Horse Mesa, crossed the river, climbed out on south side and followed up Pranty creek, where Old Man Pranty had his cabin, to the back bone at its head  There one followed along the watershed east of Superstition mountains to the open desert near Goldfields.

Or, if one came down the Salt river he turned from that stream a little below the present settlement of Livingston, climbed out along  Campaign creek around Windy Hill, and picked up the Tonto Trail near head of Le Barge cree.  Bother trails were passable but very rough.  The settlers used them only in emergencies, taking the trail over Reno Pass when time permitted. 

The Apaches used these trails to reach and raid their long time enemies, the Pimas and Maricopas.

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