Desert Messenger

January 19, 2011

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P��� 22 Voices from the Past Excerpts from “In the Shadow of Saguaros” By Rosalee Oldham Wheeler Find In the Shadow of Saguaros at Readers Oasis Bookstore, Qtz. ���.D�����M��������.��� (Previous story was: William G. “Bill” Keiser - A Love Story) Bouse - Gateway to the Swansea Mine Pioneers and miners from all parts of Bouse was originally named Brayton for John Brayton Martin, a storekeeper in the area. Then in 1907 Thomas and Margaret Bouse moved their family nearby and found a wonderful supply of water at a shallow depth of only 25 feet. Thomas Bouse homesteaded 320 acres, thus beginning the town that now bears his name. That same year a Mr. Filbrook surveyed 160 acres into several 25-foot frontage lots creating the main street in Bouse. READER’S OASIS BOOKS 690 E. Main - Quartzsite (one block east of Family Dollar) 928-927-6551 the world learned of the richness of the Bouse Mining District which had previ- ously been considered unprofi table be- cause the copper ore had to be hauled by burro 40 miles over the desert to the Colorado River where it was loaded onto steamboats bound for the Pacifi c Ocean. But in 1907 the A&C (Arizona & California) Rail- road laid a spur track from Bouse to the Swansea Mine off the Congress Junc- tion / Parker Line so that ore from the Swansea could be transport- ed to ocean ports and then shipped to Swansea, Wales where it was smelted. Bouse was beginning to boom and J������ 19, 2011 Alaska Hotel was built. This two-story cement block hotel was quite elegant. The exterior cement was molded to look like cut stone and the interior walls were of solid oak with tongue-and-groove fl oors. The graceful lobby was heated with a huge pot belly stove that had a large glass window so guests could relax and view the glowing ironwood coals. Jim and Elsie Townsend moved from Bouse with Train in the early days Quartzsite Radio KBUX 94.3 FM • Quartzsite’s Favorite “CLASSIC HITS” • Local Information • Weather • 24 Hours Day / 7 Days Week! 928-927-5111 First locally-owned and operated music station in Quartzsite, Arizona. Proudly serving the communities of Quartzsite, Bouse, Brenda, Rainbow Acres, La Paz Valley and beyond, since 1988. the A&C Mercantile was built. The fi rst Bouse Post Offi ce was established inside the A&C on January 22, 1907. Down the street Thomas Bouse built the 14-room Bouse House which was often fi lled with investors from Wales who came to check out the Swansea Mine. This two-story wood structure had a veranda all around the second fl oor. If the nights remained hot, guests would go out on the veranda and wait for the arrival of the cool eve- ning breezes. Tamarisk trees had been planted around homes and businesses because they wept a salty moisture that cooled the air when the breezes blew. With so many people visiting Bouse the need for another hotel was met when the California to the Bill Williams area northeast of Bouse. Jim was a geolo- gist and had reason to believe that there were also rich deposits of gold in the Bouse Mining District. In 1934 the Townsend’s bought the A&C Mercantile and moved into Bouse. A couple of years later telephone ser- vice was installed with 15 lines. Hom- eowners and businessmen invited State Senator Ray Thompson and Floyd Ross, President of the Parker Valley Tele- phone Company, to come for the inau- gural celebration. Goldie Reynolds, a beautiful intelligent young lady, grew up in Bouse where she met and married Ray Thompson, a rancher from Parker. Ray was elected to the Yuma County Board of Supervi- sor and later represented the area as our  SEE BOUSE ON PAGE 23 WATCHES BATTERIES BLACK HILLS GOLD SAME LOCATION! Tyson Wells space #11 AVIS & DICK CASSEM 602-390-1613 CRAFTS & YARN NOW OPEN! Same Location! Lots of New Yarn! We’re looking forward to seeing all our friends and customers! Tyson Wells Space #11 • Wool Sock Arlene & Dale 605-390-6379 Everyday Low Prices!

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