An Illustrated History of Mayer, Arizona

Stagecoaches, Mining, Ranching and the Railroad


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About the Book

Near the center of Arizona, in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains, lies the small, unincorporated town of Mayer. With a population of less than 1500 people, Mayer remains unknown to almost all but its residents and neighbors, but its history is as lively and resonant as many larger cities. This volume chronicles the story of this rural western town and the men and women who put it on the map, including its founders, Joseph and Sarah Mayer, who established their settlement around Big Bug Stage Station, purchased for $1200 in 1882. It traces the continued influence of the Mayers and other early families through later generations and the town’s role in the growth of ranching, the railroad and mining. Covering a spectrum of topics integral to the history of central Arizona, this study depicts the uncompromising landscape and pioneering spirit that defines the western American frontier. There are 314 historical photographs included.

About the Author(s)

Nancy Burgess, a historian, professional photographer, independent preservation consultant and Arizona culturekeeper, lives in Prescott.

Bibliographic Details

Nancy Burgess
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 310 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6287-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Foreword by Marshall Trimble, Arizona State Historian      1
Preface      5
Introduction      7

1. The Black Canyon Road, or, How Do you Get There From Here?      9
2. The Mayer Family at Big Bug Station      25
3. The Town of Mayer: How the West Was Really Won      39
4. Ranchers and Farmers Follow the Dusty Trail to Mayer      54
5. School Bells Ring      75
6. Joe Mayer, Entrepreneur Extraordinaire      91
7. Business Is Booming      109
8. The Mining Boom: Boom and Bust      135
9. The Railroads Arrive      167
10. The Depression Years and World War II in Mayer      193
11. The Later Years: Post–World War II      215
12. The Modern Years: Mayer Today      238

Bibliography      255
Index      261