Category: Uncategorized

Teresa Celaya, La Doña de Arivaca

by Mary Kasulaitis What does it take to move to a new land, settle down, and make a success of your life? Especially when you are a middle-aged, sometime single mother from Mexico, the new land is Arizona Territory, and the year is 1886?…

Marian Mikesell

by Mary Kasulaitis In recent weeks, a lot has been said about Marian Mikesell, (especially by her good friend Sheila).  The sign on the Arivaca Farmers’ Market has been redone, in memory of Marian, who inspired its creation. But in this day (weeks, months)…

Arivaca Mercantile

by Mary Kasulaitis It has something for everyone, our Merc.  At least, that’s the goal of the current owners, Mary and Roger Beal and Andrea Morondos.  The Merc provides affordable food, produce, meat, fresh bread and pastries, as well as hardware supplies and unique…

The Caviglia Family

by Mary Kasulaitis Bernardo Caviglia arrived in Arivaca in 1887. He was born in Genoa, Italy, and had come to America in 1876 with several other Italians. After spending some time in Nevada and Leadville, Colorado, they settled near Tombstone. Bernardo told the story…

Another view of Eva Wilbur Cruce

by Mary Kasulaitis Many of you have read Eva Wilbur Cruce’s memoir, A Beautiful, Cruel Country, in which she tells of her childhood on a ranch three miles west of Arivaca. If you were living in Arivaca in the 30s and 40s, you would…

Herman and Ella Searle

by Newell Searleedited for the Connection by Mary N. Kasulaitis Herman and Ella Searle were the kind of pioneers every historian loves. Educated and articulate, they kept diaries and wrote letters. With these in hand, territorial Arizona comes to life. Herman Searle came to…

Oro Blanco Homesteaders: William M. and Della Marten

by Mary Kasulaitis The early years of the 20th century were busy with the activities of homesteaders in the Arivaca valley. Up at the headwaters of Arivaca Creek, William M. Marteny and his family settled on arable land and he traded cattle and horses….

Chinaman Charley

by Mary Kasulaitis On the news we often see horrific crimes that have been committed by people who could have been stopped, we think, if only we had known. Many think this kind of thing didn’t happen in the “good old days.” I invite…

William S. Tonkin, miner and rancher

by Mary Kasulaitis Stories of the old days in Arivaca and Oro Blanco are remembered by the families of the relatively few people who settled in this area in the 1800s. The Tonkin family arrived in new Oro Blanco in about 1880, probably following…

The Murder of Phil Shanahan, 1886

by Mary Kasulaitis After alluding to the Shanahan murder in the last article, I thought I should tell the whole sad story. Apaches had been the biggest deterrent to settlement in Southern Arizona up until the early 1870s when they were subdued and put…