Finding Kerlin's Well is real departure from my usual topics and format. This story begins about 130 years ago in northern Arizona on the Beale Wagon Road. Henry Martin Tanner, my great-grandfather was traveling across Arizona in a wagon to settle on the Little Colorado River at a place called Allen's Camp. Along the way they suffered greatly from lack of water, not an unusual problem in Arizona at the time. The Beale Wagon Road had been constructed by Lieutenant Edward Fitzgerald Beale. Beale was famous for using camels to carry supplies. OK, but I am getting way too far from the problem.
Henry and Eliza Tanner stopped at a water hole named by Lieutenant Beale after his clerk, Fred E. Kerlin. The spot is called Kerlin's Well and it is located somewhere near the small town of Seligman on Route 66, the famous cross country highway that followed the Beale Wagon Road. That is the key to the problem, "somewhere about nine miles north." That's it, that is all the directions I have been able to find.
Now, why would I want to find a water hole out in the middle of the Colorado Plateau? While my great-grandfather was there, he chiseled his name into the rock with the date, 1877, and I know that it is still there and quite visible. In among the next few posts, I will tell the story of how we did or didn't find Kerlin's Well.