Our town, Wickenburg, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year. There are events scheduled to take place throughout the year, some of which may provide a photo-op or two. I was hoping to get some shots of the old western gunfights downtown in February, but blew it when I forgot the time and place. Oh well.

Here’s some dope on the history of the town via Wikipedia:

The Wickenburg area and much of the West became part of the United States following the Mexican-American War in 1848. The first extensive survey of the area was conducted by Gila Rangers who were pursuing Indians who had been raiding the Butterfield Overland Mail route and miners at Gila City.

An 1862 gold strike on the Colorado River near present-day Yuma inspired hardy American prospectors and miners, to search for minerals throughout central Arizona. The names of these settlers now label many of the surrounding geographic landmarks, including the Weaver Mountains named after mountain man Pauline Weaver, and Peeples Valley named after a noteworthy settler.

Among the gold searchers was an Austrian named Henry Wickenburg. His quest for gold was rewarded by the discovery of the Vulture Mine, where over $30 million in gold has been dug from the ground. Throughout the foothills surrounding Wickenburg are relics of other mines that stand as a tribute to the pioneer miner and prospector.

Ranchers and farmers who built homes along the fertile plain of the Hassayampa River accompanied the miners. Together with Henry Wickenburg and the miners, they helped found the young community of Wickenburg in 1863.

Clickable image courtesy of The Better Half.