Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Finding Kerlin's Well -- I begin the search

Kerlin's Well, where my great-grandfather carved his name into the rock in 1877, turns out to be very elusive. March in northern Arizona is an interesting month. Warm sunny days can turn icy cold and very windy. Our first expedition turned out to have all types of weather.

Before leaving for the north, I spent some time online trying to find more information but without much success. I did find a YouTube video someone had taken of the site, but there was no location information. There is a book about the location,

Smith, Jack. Kerlin's Well: A Unique Site on the Beale Wagon Road Near Seligman, Arizona. Tales of the Beale Road, no. 3. Flagstaff, Ariz: Tales of the Beale Road Pub. Co, 1986.

But I found the name of the book only very shortly before we left to drive to northern Arizona. I have since requested the book on Interlibrary Loan. But that will be another story. The only directions I had were from the book, Tanner, George S., and J. Morris Richards. Colonization on the Little Colorado: The Joseph City Region. Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1977 by my Uncle George Tanner. The description is vague, "nine miles north of Seligman."

We drove north of Phoenix to Prescott and then on to Prescott Valley. There we stopped at the Prescott National Forest office and looked at their collection of maps. The Beale Wagon Road is clearly marked on the Kaibab National Forest map but the map does not extend as far west as the Seligman area.

We continued north out of Prescott Valley to Ashfork on Interstate 40. We drove to the Ashfork Museum and the lady there showed us a map to the Beale Wagon Road north of Ashfork, but that didn't help much since Ashfork is about twenty miles east of Seligman. We are very experienced in traveling on the back roads of Arizona and Utah and our truck is loaded with everything from water, some food, survival gear, tow ropes and etc. otherwise, this could be a very ill advised expedition.

Stay tuned for the next installment.

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