Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Road-trip to Stanton

This past December, John's boys were visiting and so we took them on one of our road trips.

This time we decided to find the ghost town called Stanton.

It ended up being somewhat of a disappointment, but I'll get into that later.

On the way there, we passed through the town of Yarnell, where we spotted this...

and this...

---- insert screeching car noise here ----

We pulled in and discovered they had lots of goodies for sale.

Car stuff, old appliances, and much more.

via Days of Vintage

via Days of Vintage
Mike, the owner, couldn't have been any nicer and he's willing to deal, even on the cheap stuff.

Here's the website, if you're ever in that part of Arizona.

After drooling all over that, we headed on down the road aways and spotted this...

An old burned down, abandoned house.

Or at least we think it was a house.

We couldn't find any information on it.

I did find some old writing in the cement though.

HAE S-69'

The writing below is confusing.

9.5.3. 1895 - 5.3.82


I can't make out the rest, this way or...

this way.

Whatever the building was, it certainly had a beautiful view.

Back on down the road for quite some time, we finally found Stanton.

You can read more about the history of it 'here', but basically it was a stagecoach stop until gold was found nearby on what was to become Rich Hill.

Sounds innocent enough right?

Well, to begin with, it's named after Chuck Stanton, who ended up being a murderer.

Later it was reported that the residents liked to drink blood.

After it was abandoned, the Saturday Evening Post bought it and gave it away in a "jingle contest", but the winners didn't know what to do with it, so it went up for sale.

In the 1960s, hippies lived there and started using the old buildings for firewood.

In the 1970s, a mining association bought it and turned it into a recreational vehicle destination for members only.

And that is where my part of the sad story starts.

You see, we didn't know any of this when we headed out, because we just like to pick a town on the map and go, hoping that there will be some evidence of the people that lived there... buildings, foundations, etc.... So, when we arrived in town, we were surprised to find it surrounded by RVs, and ATVs zooming around in all directions.

You won't see them in my pictures, because I cut them out, but trust me, they were there.

As we got out of the car, my first reaction was to go up to the building you see below.

And I did, only to be accosted by the woman that works there.

Apparently, you have to sign in and listen to her tie-dye wearing husband tell you a lot of false facts about the place first.

It was free, but Good Lord, I would have rather paid a fee.

Finally, we were released to go have a look around.

Another sad fact, is that the buildings, that weren't destroyed, are not being kept up like they should be.

The outsides are in tact, but the insides are just awful.

Case in point, the opera house below.

The only thing that might be original is the wood burning stove, but we couldn't be sure.

There was an old piano though.

One of the other workers there said that the building is haunted by a little girl and once in a while the doll moves.

You can bet every penny that I kept my eye on that creepy doll.

When we took a gander at the back of the building, Mr. tie-dye told us that the holes were from gunshots.

Sorry, but I've seen woodpecker holes before, sir.

Good try though.

Across the way, was the old hotel.

As you can see below, the inside is just as disappointing as the opera house.

Yes, that's plywood covering the ceiling.

sad, sad, sad.

I guess I should just be happy that there's more than foundations left in the little town or that it didn't end up having the same fate as that burned down house we found. It has certainly faired better than a lot of these places we've traveled to. That's for sure.

It's just that this piece of history has survived so much, only to be taken over by a group of people that couldn't really care less about it and use it for a gimmick to get people out there.

It breaks my heart.

I hope one day, someone with a true love of history will rescue it.

Of course I hope that about every old thing, now don't I?


Speaking of history...

On our way home, we came across an old graveyard.

I don't know about you, but John and I always stop and take a look around when we see one.

He always has and I always have.

Just another one of those weird things we have in common.

I find them sad and fascinating at the same time.

At least someone cares about this piece of history.

So, that was our trip to Stanton.

Even with the disappointment of what it's become, we had a good time, as always.

I hope you did too.




  1. That's too bad about Stanton being such a disappointment. Like you said at least you had fun all together. I love old graveyards too. I think it is the creepy and being fascinated all at the same time feeling that you get. Have a great rest of the week.

  2. Rue, I love old graveyards and will stop every time I see one! Just recently, my Mister and I decided to ride the backroads and came across a cemetery that is still in use. There was a good mix of old and new graves. As is the norm in Oklahoma, the wind had blown flowers, flags, and other pretties, all around the graveyard. We walked around and picked it up, putting it where we thought it belonged. The things we didn't know where they came from we put on graves that had nothing. By the time we left, pretty much every grave had a little something to decorate it. I think it is horribly sad when graves have nothing but a headstone. It's like they are just forgotten. I would love to visit Arizona simply for the ghost towns!

    Grace & Peace,

  3. Thanks for sharing! We used to go riding around in the country looking for old barns and such. I guess we stopped doing that once the kids got old enough that any 'spare' time was taken up with school activities. Maybe we will pick it up again sometime. Right now the weather is not cooperating for anything outside. It's beautiful during the week when he is at work and then the weekends are cold and/or raining.

  4. WHOA Gal! A little harsh about the residents in Stanton!
    Mr.Tie dye ? Really? How 'bout some old fashioned
    " if you can't say something nice..."

  5. My apologies to all the tie-dye loving Americans out there. As far as being old fashioned... how about this "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

    And honestly, I was being nice. I'm sorry to have offended you by trying to put a bit of humor in my blog post, but what I truly wanted to say was quite a bit harsher, especially about the care of the town itself.

    1. I happen to like hippies and tie-dye, but I wasn't offended by your statements at all. I can only speak for myself, but I found the humor in it! :-)

    2. as always, United States of the Offended...don't worry Rue..its ok...and I actually own some tye dye..and was not at all offended by what your truly have spoken. Just came home from a 70 day tour of South West, USA...for those of you who have not been there..hope you have the opportunity...some of the mountains and desert do not look like it could possibly be on this Planet Earth.. :0) wow..awesome...we went to Tombstone, expecting a Ghost Town type of scenario.b.but it was very touristy..but still lots of enjoyment..and I will say someone there has taken the pride in keeping the history there. :0) .. enjoy your blogs..thank you../jfain wannabee blogger

  6. I love old cemeteries. Whenever we travel, we always take the backroads and stop to visit. The stories and, sometimes, the sadness. I remember a couple's stone in Kentucky that also honored their 11 children, all who died at birth or before age 5.

  7. You always take the most interesting trips. I'm sorry this one wasn't the best, but the natural scenery sure is beautiful.

  8. A disappointment for sure. I always think of Bodie ghost town in California, my dad loved the less traveled road too. Just watched Only The Brave and I would love to go to Yarnell to pay my respect to the Granite Mountain Hotshots. I also think you'll enjoy Trinidad, Colorado too, lots of history there, my mom loved it there and I did too, visiting.
    I liked this post, Kathleen in Az

  9. i love old graveyards. I've stopped whenever I see one and walk through. I enjoyed your potos. I always like to see where other people visit and what they see.

  10. Oh, I know exactly what you mean. I always hope for an owner who cares for things too. Glad you got to get out for a fun trip though.

  11. I think I saw Fitssimmons, or something close to it on the name there.

  12. I hope the boys enjoyed riding around with you guys just the same. I am like you, I would have been so disapointed that those building were kept up right and history left the way it should have been. Such a shame. I too love to look at old grave yards and old grave stones. What is wild to me since I have never been to Az. is that there is nothing green. I love visiting my son in San Diego but when I get back to TN is is amazing to see all the green!

  13. I think the stone at the old burned down house has the family name of "Fittssimmons" on it! Old spelling but that name is common in Irish families, for sure. How sad, that must have been quite a lovely house in its time, with that amazing view!

  14. That's so sad that these people don't care about the true history. I hope you had fun exploring, anyway.

  15. Hi,
    Wow, what an interesting time you had.
    Our family does the same regarding graveyards. In the UP of Michigan there are old mining towns with grave sites. It is so interesting what they wrote on the stones during that time period.

  16. Despite the short-comings, I looks like you all saw quite a bit. It is sad that no one knows the true history of these old artifacts nor have been preserved. I would have totally loved it with the ghost stories, the creepy doll, and the cemetery. And I like the police car because it reminds me of Adam 12!



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