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Peterson Ranch Meander via Abbey Tr 151, AZ
mini location map2016-05-01
12 by photographer avatarOregon_Hiker
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Peterson Ranch Meander via Abbey Tr 151, AZ 
Peterson Ranch Meander via Abbey Tr 151, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 01 2016
Oregon_Hiker
Hiking1.60 Miles 182 AEG
Hiking1.60 Miles
182 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Grasshopper
This was the fourth full hiking day of our seven night camping trip to the Aztec Peak area of the Sierra Ancha. We decided to take it easy on this day and do some exploring around the old Dewey Peterson Ranch site on the Abbey Way Trail. It was a short hike from the trail head on FR487. We meandered around the large meadow which was part of the ranch property trying to get a feel for what it must have been like back in Dewey's day. I haven't been able to find out much about the history of the Ranch or Dewey. There was a Dewey Lee Peterson listed in the 1920 and 1930 census for Gila Co, AZ. The 1930 census shows him listed as single, age 30, and part of his father's household. Perhaps his father, Garlas P Peterson, started the ranch and Dewey took it over sometime between the 1930 census and the 1940 census which shows Garlas living in a rented home somewhere in Gila Co. The ranch must have been well established when Dewey guided Emil Haury's archaeology expedition to the Sierra Ancha in the fall of 1930. There is a picture of Dewey taken on this 1930 expedition in Lange's "Echoes in the Canyon...". Dewey is sitting on top of one of the first floor rooms in the V:1:162 cliff dwelling and looks like he could be about 30 years old which would match the census record.

We found the well and foundation for the ranch house on a small knoll looking out across a large meadow which gently slopes downhill to the south. The meadow had a series of at least 5 to 6 seeps spread across the uphill side of the meadow that were all flowing water during our visit. This must keep the meadow green all year long. The apple orchard is located a short distance up slope from one of the main seeps but there are also individual apple trees scattered throughout the property. We found the charred remains of a couple of roof beams and some sheet metal from a roof at a location not far from the orchard that was probably the building [ photo ] rwstorm saw during his 1970 visit but had burned down by the time of his post Coon Creek Fire visit. The ranch was in a beautiful location with the spring fed meadows and orchards. How the property reverted back to the National Forest and did not remain a private property like the nearby Murphy Ranch which appears to be of approximately the same vintage is a mystery.

We ended the hike early in the day and were so invigorated by this pleasant meander that we decided to go on another hike on a nearby trail shown on our Garmin gps maps as Trail #151 - another mystery since it was obviously not the Abbey's Way Trail. This deserves a separate triplog and is not included here.
Flora
Flora
Apple Iris
Culture
Culture
Water Well
Named place
Named place
Peterson Ranch
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