Sun Valley Lodge has again been awarded a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council to host our popular Discover Arizona series. For the third straight year, we will be presenting programs designed to explore life in Arizona. The public is invited to join us every Thursday at 10:00 AM from March 31st through April 28th to celebrate and explore our fascinating state.
We will open the series with a presentation by historian Todd Weber who, in period attire, will recount the successes and perils of the Corps of Discovery as they journeyed to the Pacific in their epic 1804 expedition. Audiences will discover the little known history of Sacagawea’s son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, who went on to become one of the most interesting and foremost figures in early Arizona history.
Just weeks after Pearl Harbor, the War Department announced the construction of a massive ammunition depot ten miles west of Flagstaff at Bellemont on U.S. Highway 66. Flagstaff’s population exploded from five to twenty thousand.
Dr. John Westerlund will lead the audience through a fascinating period when the Army rushed the $17 million project to completion and the Navy halted plummeting enrollment at the teachers college (today Northern Arizona University) by shipping in one thousand sailors and marines as part of its “V-12” program. Additionally, 1,000 Hopi and Navajo construction workers were employed on the project and 250 POW’s were transferred to Flagstaff.
Historian Reba Grandrud will discuss the Hall of Fame created in 1979 by the Arizona Women’s Commission and the Office of the Governor. Seventy fascinating Arizona women have now been honored since the first induction ceremony in 1981 – homemakers, educators, entrepreneurs, ranch women, legislators, judges, authors, potters, transplants from other states, a mayor, an architect – each one, a woman whose story is worth telling, and retelling.
J.J. Lamb, Director of the Vail Preservation Society, has collected over 60 oral histories related to the New Deal and local history. In this fascinating presentation she will recount the story of the ‘boys’ of CCC Camp SP-10-A who worked underground surrounded by the natural beauty of stalactites and stalagmites to develop Colossal Cave as a tourism destination during the mid 1940’s.
Discover Arizona concludes with a return appearance by Dale Curtis Miles who was born on the San Carlos Apache Tribal Area and was their first tribal historian. The Fight at Skull Cave in the Salt River Canyon took place during General George Crook’s Tonto Basin campaign in December 1872. It proved to be an important engagement during General Crook’s first campaign in the Arizona Territory; it was a testing ground for his method of using tribal scouts and mule pack trains along with small columns of soldiers for search-and-destroy missions against hostile Apaches and their Yavapai allies. This presentation looks at the battle from both sides, with a focus on what many believe to be the most important witness, Mike Burns, a Yavapai boy who was captured right before the cave stronghold was discovered.