Fort Bowie, AZ

We went out to Fort Bowie for the Centennial of the U.S. Park Service. B Troop was there and we hiked in and around the fort. Fort Bowie was founded in 1862 by the California Column and name for one of their officers. Old Fort Bowie is on a hilltop above Apache Spring and was there to guard this important water source where the Battle of Apache Pass was fought for possession.

Fort Bowie 010Remains of the stone Overland Mail Stage Station where Lieutenant George Bascom held off Cochise for 14 days in 1861. The walk in to the fort is full of history.

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Posted in 19th Century Army, Bascom Affair, Battle of Dragoon Springs, Butterfield Overland Mail, Chiricahua Apaches, Cochise, Dragoon Springs, Geronimo, Tom Jeffords | 2 Comments

Sky Rock

Sky Rock is a song by Carol Markstrom on her album, Crossing Borders. It was a fabulous dance pavilion way up Texas Canyon (near I-10 at the Dragoon exit). Built in the 1930s for the Adam’s Family Rodeo, we’ve only found one photo. Enjoy the song here.

Cochise County 021 Dancehall

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Santa Fe Indian Market

There is nothing quite like Santa Fe Indian Market. See my video here. We had a great time making some new friends and seeing old ones. We sold a lot of books. This year we got there a day early and were able to visit Rancho de Golodrinas with Oscar, an excellent guide, and got to see the Santa Fe petroglyphs.

Indian Market 3 020

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Posted in American Indians, Chiricahua Apaches, Comanche, Indian Culture and Ceremonies, Indian jewelry, Indian Tools & Material Culture, Jicarilla Apaches | Leave a comment

Trading Posts

I love a good old trading post. I grew up with one, the Apache Mercantile in Dulce, N.M. The next nearest store was 90 miles away in Farmington. We thought of that as the “big city,” after all, it had two main streets. The trading post had everything you might need from canned peaches to chaps, 50-lb sacks of flour and beans to saddles.
Apache MerchantileTrading Posts have an interesting history. The government licensed traders to Indians theoretically controlling the trade and keeping it honest. Thus the government established a monopoly for the trader leading to constant accusations that the traders were over-charging. This led to price controls and the ruin of many traders. It also led to a good many gifts to elected officials in order to obtain the license. Continue reading

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The Graves at Dragoon Springs, WNPA

Western National Parks Association, Oro Valley

Doug Hocking will speak on The Graves at Dragoon Springs, at 12 P.M., and 2 P.M. Saturday, August 27, at the Western National Parks Store in Oro Valley. There are four graves at the Overland Mail Station at Dragoon Springs. Forest Service signage says they are the graves of four Confederate soldiers killed May 5, 1862. However, two of the graves have been there since 1858. Who really lies buried there? What are the exciting stories behind their demise? Continue reading

Posted in American Indians, Battle of Dragoon Springs, Chiricahua Apaches, Cochise, Dragoon Springs, Silas St. John, Speaking Engagements | Tagged | Leave a comment

Going to Santa Fe for Indian Market August 18 to 21

We’ll be in Santa Fe from August 18th to the 21st signing books at the Eldorado Hotel, Native Treasures Show, 309 San Francisco St., Santa Fe, NM. Meet the author.

Author Doug Hocking will be signing his booksdoug 027closeMassacre at Point of Rocks, Mystery of Chaco Canyon, Wildest West and Devil on the Loose – at the Native Treasures Show in the Eldorado Hotel, August 18th to the 21st, 2016. Doug grew up in the Rio Arriba on the Jicarilla Reservation and is a graduate of McCurdy HS. He is currently on the board of the Arizona Historical Society and the Southern Trails Chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association and is Sheriff of the Cochise County Corral of the Westerners in Tombstone. His work has appeared in True West, Wild West and the Journal of Arizona History. His historical fiction is set in the Southwest in the 1850s and 60s.

Doug’s biography of Tom Jeffords, The Life and Times of Tom Jeffords, Friend of Cochise is due from TwoDot Books spring 2017.

Drop by and see us in Santa Fe! We’ll be under this banner.

Bent's Store

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Land of the Mountain Men

Debbie keeps telling people at shows – we’ll be at the Santa Fe Indian Market in the Eldorado Hotel at a show called Native Treasures the third week of August – that our travels are posted on the website. Actually, they’ve been posted to Facebook Doug Hocking Author Page. But I need to update the photos on the web page.

In June, we were in Wyoming for the Western Writers of America Conference and took the opportunity to visit places I had never been. We looked into the world of the Mountain Men.Betakin 137We visited many of the Rendezvous sites. This one is in Riverton where the Wind River and Bighorn come together. It’s in an industrial park and not a very attractive site. Continue reading

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Starry Gazy Pie

Perhaps only the Cornish love Starry Gazy Pie. It’s delicious, but daunting. It should be made with pilchards head and tail left on. Holes are cut in the upper crust so that the heads stick through and the fish can gaze at the stars. We manage with sardines since all the pilchards I can find are drenched in tomato sauce.  Starry Gazy Pie is proudly served here on St. Piran’s Day, March 5.

St. PiranFear naught, press on with hearts of oak. Make yourself a pie. Some think consuming a few pints of beer first is helpful. Continue reading

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Eggs Poached in Chili

When we’re at shows – we’ll be at Santa Fe Indian Market in the Eldorado Hotel the third week of August – Debbie keeps telling people that I post recipes and travels on my web page. Actually, I’ve been posting these on Facebook Doug Hocking Author Page . But, I’ve figured out a new and better way to do recipes so here goes.

One of my favorite meals is Eggs Poached in Chili. You need a good, thick chili sauce made mostly of chili with meat stock and a little tomato to sweeten it. It’s a wonderful breakfast you’ll only find in the Rio Arriba, New Mexico north of Santa Fe. I guess that’s because only the chilis of the Rio Arriba are good enough.

Danny's Eggs Poached in Chili

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Tom Jeffords’s Secret

With Carol Markstrom’s Jefford’s Secret as background music, I need to explain what Tom’s secret was. Tom knew where Cochise was buried. Many white men wanted to know but Tom would never tell. Alice Rollins Crane spent twenty years trying to pry the secret from him.

Carol’s song tells part of the secret. Jefford’s Secret.

One might think that Jeffords kept the secret out of a bond of brotherhood or because he knew that some white men would put body parts and objects from the grave on display. There is certainly truth in this. There is something more.

The Apache don’t like to touch the dead. They worry about traps for the spirit. A woman’s spirit can become bound up in the design of a basket she makes, so she leaves a flaw in the design to let her spirit escape. There is a message not to become too bound up with things, not to love things too much. After a person dies, the Apache won’t say his or her name. The name might call the spirit back and that would be bad. Funerals are done quickly. The women wash the dead person’s hair and cloth him or her. And then they are buried quickly often by having the side of an arroyo collapsed over them. People do not want anything the dead person loved in life – his favorite horse or dog, his rifle or pistol, his favorite blanket. So, personal possessions join the dead in the grave, not because he needs them on the other side but because they don’t want him to return for them.

We have two differing accounts of Cochise’s funeral, both from white men, neither of whom were there. They heard from Jeffords or from Apaches. They make much of the pomp of the ceremony which is probably unrealistic. They do note the items that went into the grave with him including the blanket that Colonel Henry Hooker gave him. We know from them that Cochise was buried in the Sulphur Springs Valley near the mouth of East Stronghold Canyon the site of his last camp. And that’s all anyone needs to know.

For Jeffords, not telling was a matter of respect for Cochise and for his people. The location of graves were no one’s business except the family.

Posted in 19th Century, American Indians, Broken Arrow, Chiricahua Apaches, Cochise, Indian Culture and Ceremonies, Southeast Arizona, Tom Jeffords | Leave a comment