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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Wondering About Authenticity? Ask a Historian!

There's Something About CAVE CREEK (It's The People)
By Gene K. Garrison
History, memoirs, lifestyles, humor, characters
ISBN: 978-1-4303-0982-6
Marshall Trimble, Official Arizona State Historian

Cave Creek is a one-of-a-kind town. In a Valley whose cities are
becoming more homogenous with each passing year Cave Creek has retained
its unique character. In time it too may become more like Scottsdale,
Carefree, Tempe, Mesa, and the other cities down below, but if and when
that time comes the old stories will keep the memories alive.

My earliest memories of the town are of the mid-1940s. My
uncle and aunt, Russell and Jeffie Talbott, owned the Golden Reef Mine
north of town. Later, my brother Dan opened an equine veterinary
practice in the area. Soon after my parents retired and joined him and
his wife Mary. I spent many hours traveling around with Dan on his
calls to the ranches north of town and many more sitting on a bar stool
at Harold and Ruth Gavigan’s Cave Creek Corral. It was here I met many
of the people in Gene Garrison’s book, including George Mileham, Jim
Hardy, and Logue Morris. There were others too, with colorful names
like O. K. Charlie, and Leadpipe.

Cave Creek is home to folks with wide interests. Geoffrey
Platts was a desert preservationist who gave his life to save a friend
in a flash flood and Catherine Jones was a colorful pistol-packin’
deputy sheriff who once shot a piece of the ear off a troublesome

Cave Creek has produced some of the West’s best cowboys.
Anyone who’s ever chased a wild steer down one of those cactus-strewn,
steep-sided canyons north of town can attest that anyone who cowboyed
around Cave Creek could cowboy anywhere in the world. George Mileham
was one of the best. Jim Hardy was one of the first to be born in the
little town of Phoenix and he was still spry when Phoenix celebrated
its 100th birthday. And some say Logue Morris was the inspiration for
the great western song, “Man With the Big Hat.”

Gene has pulled these stories together into a wonderful
book about the characters and places that made Cave Creek one of the
state’s most colorful towns. It may change some in the future but the
people have left an indelible mark on the area.

Marshall Trimble

Official Arizona State Historian

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