Archive for October, 2012

Guest Shares Experience

October 31st, 2012 by Mike Hug

Patio

We recently had a small item show up in the Arizona Republic. The item was published on October 28, 2012 inRepublic Column Oct 23, 2012 the travel section. We have had other items published in newspapers by travel editors including the Republic. What surprised us was that this item was one that a reader shared with the paper. The reader has been a guest here on multiple occasions and she took it upon herself to let others know what her experiences were when she had visited our B and B. We didn’t know that this was published until we got some phone calls from people that said they had read about us in the paper.

It really is gratifying to know that you have positively affected someones experience to the point that they want to tell others about how much they liked what we do and how we do it. Both Angie and I feel that this type of compliment is humbling. It also tells us that our focus on the guests and making their memories of Down By The River B and B unforgettable is on the right track.

Additionally, Judy’s item was followed by another reader talking about the John Slaughter Ranch near Douglas, AZ. I showed the location of the ranch in one of my previous blogs. The ranch is a little over an hour away from Down By The River, the “Lodging Hub of Cochise County” and we have visited it. In an upcoming blog I will go into some details on what you can expect to see there.

We would like to thank all our guests and especially Judy for the confidence that they show in us to take the time and effort to share their experience at Down By The River B and B. It means a lot to us to know that we are able to provide a great get away for our guests.

New Years Eve at the River

October 26th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Snow at the B and B

Snow at the B and B

Sometimes we do get snow at the B and B but it doesn’t last very long. It is usually gone before noon.

Down By The River B and B has a tradition on New Years Eve. We celebrate the New Year with all of our guests and pop some Arizona Sparkling Wine at 12 AM. Every year we invite the guests that are staying with us and we invite some of our old neighbors and friends to attend.We celebrate the end of the old year and look forward to the next one which we always hope is better. The best part is that we don’t charge our guests any extra for the evening although there are some restrictions.

The tradition actually goes back before Barb and I started the BnB. We would have an open house with our neighbors and friends. After Barb and I had moved into the B and B, we decided to keep the tradition going. It has been over 20 years now that we have celebrated New Years Eve in this fashion. Our old friends and neighbors still make their way down to St. David every year to ring in the New Year at our southeast Arizona B&B with Angie and me. It is fun to make new memories and remember the old ones.

Snacks Picture

New Years Eve we provide a variety of snacks for our guests to enjoy

This year we decided to advertize the affair. and give people a chance to come join us. We have always had guests here on New Years Eve. Prior to this year, we would inform the guests when they make their reservations for that time of the year and ask them to join us. We start the festivities at 9:00 PM. There are munchies to eat and we have music on until close to midnight. At that point when we turn on the TV and watch the ball drop from Times Square. Last year we had guests in all the rooms from as many states along with our friends and neighbors. Karl brought a Yule Log for us to eat. It was mighty tasty. We had other items to taste like meat balls, shrimp, cheese and crackers and much more. We always find something enticing.

This year we decided to give out the information for perspective guests who are looking for something to do

Yule Log Picture

Yule Log was brought by our friend Karl

on New Years Eve while visiting Southeastern AZ. Some of our guests have come to Arizona to root on their Alma Mater at the Fiesta Bowl and have extended their vacation to visit this part of the state. They have chosen us because of our central location to all the great things that make up Cochise County. So if you want to celebrate NYE at an Arizona B&B that is the Lodging Hub of Cochise County, consider Down By The River for the unique experience of ringing in the New Year.

The only requirement of the guests is to bring their own drinks and be in a cheerful mood. We also require that the reservation must be for a minimum of 2 days at the normal room charge. The use of discounts, certificates or gift cards are not allowed during the stay. Reservations are first come first served and the full non refundable charge will be taken at the time of the reservation.

Holy Trinity Monestary – Saint David

October 19th, 2012 by Mike Hug

The Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David, AZ has a festival coming up on the second weekend of November. The festivals always have the unusual things that may work for the hard to by for Christmas Present. If you decide to come to the Festival consider lodging with us at the Southeastern Arizona B & B, Down By The River B and B.  I am also going to give a little background about the monastery and how it came to be located in St. David, AZ.

The Holy Trinity Monastery at St. David, Arizona was founded on September 3rd, 1974 by Fr. Louis

Lady of Guadalupe Church

The Church at the Monastery is built in the shape of a cross

Hasenfuss, O.S.B.  A priest of the Diocese of Tucson, Fr. Clark Moore, was running a children’s residential program on the 92-acre property.  When he was unable to meet the mortgage payments, he suggested to Fr. Louis, who was in Tucson giving a retreat, that the Benedictines establish a retreat center.  When Fr. Louis returned to his monastery at Pecos, New Mexico, he presented the idea.  Abbot David Geraets approved, and Fr. Louis arrived with two associates, Maxine and Larry Lee and Marty Martinez to begin a new monastery.  Ground was broken for Our Lady of Guadalupe Church on December 12th, 1974, and Bishop Green presided over its dedication on June 24th, 1981.

Besides providing facilities for retreats, the Monastery has built a library of 70,000 volumes, not all of which are cataloged. In keeping with the tradition of the Benedictine Monks, the property also has a museum.  Check with the Monastery for times that the facilities are open. An RV park is used for the vehicles brought by winter volunteers who are instrumental in helping the community.

Holy Trinity Monastery is affiliated with the Olivetan Benedictines of Monte Oliveto in Italy. It is unique because it includes lay people in addition to the monks.  Residential oblates choose to live, pray and work in community with the monks, and live in their own manufactured homes on the grounds. The monastery’s mission is not restricted to the local area. Fr. Henri Capdeville, the current Prior, also ministers to and works with oblate groups in San Diego, CA and El Paso, TX.  He came to the community in 1976, became a monk in 1979, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1993.

The Monastery now consists of 150 acres, and has been built up over the years mainly by volunteer labor.  The site includes the church, monks’ cloister, offices, dining areas, bookstore/gift shop, bakery, pecan orchard, gardens, ponds, and cemetery.  With the help of the Bureau of Land Management, a 1.3 mile bird sanctuary trail was dedicated in 1992.  The San Pedro National Resource Conservation District presented the monastery the “Conservation Cooperator of the Year” award in 1993 for the trail, which runs along the San Pedro River.  Many bird-watching groups are often on site when the community arrives at church for morning prayers.

Festival Picture

The festival in Spring and Autumn attract many people to view the things that vendors have on display at their booths.

The Monastery is self-supporting, utilizing multiple fundraising projects. During the year, there are various group retreats booked on weekends, as well as longer individual stays.  These are a source of income, but it doesn’t stop there.  Other sources of funding come from the Monte Cassino RV Park, sales of pecans, breads and pies; the gift shop, Benedict’s Closet thrift store, mass stipends and general donations.  Two large arts and crafts festivals are hosted in the Spring, the second weekend of May (Mother’s Day), and in the Fall, the second weekend of November (just in time for Christmas!) A monthly e-mail newsletter, The Holy Herald, is published by the Monastery and sent to readers.

In the late 1970’s, Fr. Henri came up with the festival idea.  It started as a carnival type activity, with quarter and half-dollar games.  Over the years, it has turned into a vendor show with up to 150 artisans selling handmade crafts.   The festivals also provide local entertainment, which usually includes the Phoenix Tongan Catholic Community. The dining room serves an ever-popular BBQ plate, but other food venues are available as well.

The festival events are staffed by volunteers from the Knights of Columbus who work at the entrance, a Police Explorer Troop which manages parking, the Sheriff’s Assist Team is also on hand, along with the St. David Fire Department and local Ambulance Service.  Numerous other volunteers help with the food prep, dining room, raffles, and general operations.  Fr. Henri stated “Without the wonderful people who give their time and efforts, the Monastery would be hard pressed to be able to meet its goals.”  The festivals have fallen on hard times recently, due to the lagging economy, but better times appear to be around the corner since the last Spring Festival was an improvement over the year before.  The Monastery is located on Arizona Highway 80 between mileposts 302 and 303.  The address is PO Box 298, St. David, AZ 85630.  A committee now runs the planning for the festivals, and if you are inclined to help out, you are encouraged to call (520) 265-2827 and leave a message.

Website Updated

October 12th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Down By The River Bed and Breakfast announces that the new website is up and running. It has changed our presentation of the Bed and Breakfast into what we feel is a much more user friendly form. The Navigation bar is now across the top of the website with some drop down tabs. In the next couple of months you will see more content being added. We want this to be an informative site where our guests can see what is available to them when they visit Southeastern Arizona.

We will be working on expanding our information about the many delightful places that our guests are able to visit. We have done some exploring and we will have future items in the blog and also on the website about the different attractions. We recently added a page that lists all the wineries in Sonoita/ Elgin and in the Willcox/Sulphur Springs Valley areas near our b&b. All these wineries are within a short driving distance of the B&B. We also keep updating our website birding list when we see birds along the San Pedro River or on the B&B property. Our guests also tell us of birds that they have seen and if the bird isn’t on the list we will add it.

We are hoping to start offering more specials during the year and have a tab that will be used to highlight what we will be offering. We currently have a “Brewers Weekend” scheduled for the first Saturday in November that will allow the guest to see a demonstration on how to brew beer. We have had some comments on this and we will be ready to demonstrate the process and also have hand-outs on what we did. There are other events that are going on in the area and on our “Area Upcoming Events” page we list the events up to three months ahead of time. This page gets updated on a monthly basis so that guests can plan and schedule their trip. Take a look to see what is being offered in Cochise County. We are the “Lodging Hub” for the area with easy day trips to most of Cochise County and the eastern parts of Santa Cruz and Pima Counties, including Tucson.

We wish to thank Inside Out Solutions for the work that they put into the website. The old website was developed by Mike but was becoming outdated and wasn’t as functional as Down By The River  B & B needed. We had many guests tell us that the old website didn’t do the B and B justice. After these types of comments were heard Mike looked at updating the website but time restraints kept him from being able to perform that task. We knew we needed to have the website revamped and so we chose Inside Out because of our long relationship with them. We are pleased with the resulting website that they have produced for our Southeast Arizona bnb. Let us know what you think about it by commenting on the blog or by going to our Facebook page and liking the post.

Gadsden Hotel

October 5th, 2012 by Mike Hug

Gadsden Hotel Picture

Gadsden Hotel was opened in 1907

Down By The River B and B is just the right location as an anchor site for lodging when you plan short day trips to different parts of Cochise County. There are a lot of things to do in Cochise county. Centrally located with access to the major highways that cross the county, Down By The River is the southeastern AZ bnb lodging that has it all. One of the locations that we have within a short distance is the City of Douglas. There are two particular things to see and do in Douglas. One thing to do is to stop and see the Gadsden Hotel. The second is to visit what is left of the San Bernardino Spanish Land Grant that is now the site of the John Slaughter Ranch and Museum. The ranch is located to the east of Douglas about 15 miles. I will be writing about that in the near future as it is a neat place to see.

On December 30, 1853, The United States purchased the land south of the

Hotel Lobby Picture

The Gadsden Hotel Lobby is large and open with glass panels in the ceiling.

Gila River in Arizona and New Mexico from Mexico by ratifying The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The person spearheading this was James Gadsden who was appointed by President Franklin Pierce as the Minister to Mexico. Gadsden had an ulterior motive for the purchase. He owned a railroad and with a group of investors had learned that the only southern rail route to the west cost of the United States would have to run through a portion of Mexico. After working for a short period of time Gadsden was able to persuade President Santa Ana of Mexico to sell the 45,535 square miles of Mexican territory to the US for about 33 cents per acre.

The Gadsden Hotel, named for the Gadsden Purchase, is located in Douglas, Arizona and is within a mile of the Mexican border. The hotel was first opened in 1907 and has had many dignitaries and famous people have stayed there. Eleanor Roosevelt, most of the Arizona Governors and movie stars including Lee Marvin and Shelley Winters have been guests at the hotel.

The 5 story hotel was state of the art when originally opened. The lobby is large with tall columns that support the roof. Each of the columns are painted in 14k gold leaf which at the cost was $20000. The ceiling of the lobby is decorated with stain glass panels that run the length of the lobby. The mezzanine is also home to an original Tiffany

Greek Warrior

Greek Warrior statue at the start of the stairs.

stain glass mural that covers over 40’ of wall space. The desert scene in this glass mural is beautiful to behold. An original oil painting by Audley Jean Nichols is located below the windows while two Greek warrior figures are positioned on the posts at the start of the staircase banisters.  The hotel still has the original 1929 telephone switchboard, reportedly the first of its kind to be installed in Arizona, and has one of the oldest manually operated elevators west of the Mississippi. The switchboard isn’t used anymore but does make a fine display behind the front desk. The Hotel was placed on the National Historical Registry and was proclaimed a National Historic Site in 1976. It fell into disrepair and was purchased in 1988 by the present owners. They have since brought it back to the beautiful state that it is in today. The dining room and the barroom are located off the lobby. The meals served at the dining room are quite good and we have eaten there and found the cuisine to our liking.

Stain Glass Ceiling Panel

Stain Glass Ceiling Panel

Some Trivia about the hotel is told by the staff. This includes a list of movies made on the premises including “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean” and “Terminal Velocity”. One of the items of gossip is that Lee Marvin was almost in a barroom brawl at the hotel. It is reported that Pancho Villa rode his horse up the staircase of the hotel to the mezzanine. Critics say that wasn’t possible since Pancho Villa was killed in 1923 and that the hotel had burned down and was rebuilt and opened in 1929. However, the hotel management point to newspaper accounts that indicate the Italian white marble stairway survived the fire and that Pancho Villa did the ride before the hotel had burned.  There are staff members and guests at the hotel that state that the hotels is haunted backing it up with accounts of the sightings. The mezzanine has glass cases with memorabilia on display. There is also pictures on the walls of the old town of Douglas and the events that happened.  It is interesting to spend some time there and look at the grandeur that is on display.

Tiffany Window

The original Tiffany Glass window spans over 40 feet of wall area and is 8 feet tall.

 

 

 

 

 

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