Sky Island – The term Sky Island, “mountain island in a desert sea”, was popularized by nature writer Weldon Heald, a resident of southeastern Arizona. The term salutes the beauty of the southwest.
Pearce – The town of Pearce was established in 1984 by James Pearce, miner and cattleman. After dismounting his horse, he sat down and relaxed, idly picking up a rock and hitting it on a nearby rock ledge. It broke, and the break showed gold! Thus, was born the Commonwealth mine, said to be one of the richest mines ever found in Arizona, producing over fifteen million dollars in gold.
Fairbank – Founded in 1882 when the railroad established a station nearby to the J6 ranch.
Charleston – Charleston was located on the San Pedro river about 6 miles south of Fairbanks. The Tombstone Epitaph on May 6, 1882 noted “Charleston has a very extensive trade with the surrounding country and Sonora. Its Mexican business is daily becoming more important, and it will continue to increase until it reaches very large proportions. The town is well regulated and free from turmoil. In fact, it is one of the most peaceful places we were ever in.”
Cascabel – Located on the San Pedro River, north of Benson, Arizona. Cascabel means “bell or rattle”. Home to a growing arts community there is an arts and crafts festival held every year in December.
Palmerlee – This town initially was a mining camp know as Reef and if you hike into the area you will see a geological feature that gave it this name. The towns name was then changed to Palmerlee in the early 1900’s. And then finally to Garces.
Gleeson – The post office here opened in 1890 under the name Turquoise and closed in 1894. The site of Turquoise was established by Indians who mined the gemstones in the area later to be called Turquoise Mountain. Tiffany & Company acquired the mines in 1890.
Middlemarch – Middlemarch mining camp was located in the middle pass of the Dragoon mountains about 6 miles southwest of Pearce. Said to have been the “middle march” of the military in early days between Fort Bowie and Fort Huachuca.
Terrenate – Founded in 1742 and is located southwest of the Huachuca Mountains. Late in 1775 Santa Cruz de Terrenate was relocated to the area of Fairbanks. This was one of a series of forts or as the Spanish called them “Presidios” that were set up to guard the northern reaches of “New Spain”. The presidios also contained missions as this was the second part of their function.
Reef – Named for a conspicuous reef of rock (Carr Reef), a series of quartzite cliffs running along the eastern side of the Huachuca Mountains, a noted landmark.