Posts Tagged ‘San Pedro River B and B’

Lodging Near Tombstone

January 3rd, 2014 by Mike Hug

It is well known that the best lodging near Tombstone is called Down By The River B and B and has the advantages of modern comforts for our guests.

Down By The River offers superior lodging near Tombstone with the modern comforts not found in older buildings that date from the 19 th and early 20 th century. Our San Pedro River b and b is within a short 20 minute drive of the Town Too Tough To Die. We call ourselves the Lodging Hub of Cochise County for a reason. Our B and B is close to all the attractions that guest will want to see in Cochise County while allowing them to stay at a single location – particularly Tombstone.

Tombstone Courthouse 1952 Picture

The Tombstone Courthouse in 1952

Tombstone was founding in 1878 when silver was found in the area. There are many old pictures that were taken during those early years. We have old friends that visit our lodging near Tombstone. Angie and I recently had the opportunity to visit with Sharon. She gave us the opportunity to scan some old photos of Tombstone. She had taken these pictures when she was visiting back in August of 1952. I haven’t seen many pictures of Tombstone from that era. If someone took pictures of Tombstone during that time, few have survived from 60 years ago. A lot of the town was dilapidated and there were wide open spaces to explore. Boot Hill was just the grave yard without any buildings or shops nearby like today. Some places like the Crystal Palace Saloon were located on the main street of town and appear to have been open for business. Some of the buildings were in disrepair, such as the Courthouse. The OK corral was just a sign hanging in the area and it delineated information on the gunfight. Now there is a daily live reenactment that is held behind a fenced in set.  I have a few photographs from the 50s and also some recent photos so that you can compare the changes.

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Wild West Car and Truck Show Near Our Tombstone B and B

June 6th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Our Tombstone B and B is the lodging choice

Although we are located in St. David on the San Pedro River, we still let our guests know that we are a Tombstone B and B. On the weekend of June 15th Tombstone will feature the 2nd Annual Wild West Car and Truck Show in Tombstone. The show also allows motorcycles to be entered. The show starts at 9 AM on Saturday the 15th and goes until 3:45 PM when trophies will be given out. It is a free sign up to enter and that is a real deal. The event is sponsored by the Dragoon Saloon and the registration sign up is at the Saloon on 5th and Toughnut Streets.

Wild West Car Show Poster

2nd Annual Wild West Car Show will be held on June 15, 2013

The entrants will receive a free barbeque lunch with their entry. Besides touring Tombstone, there are other things things to do during the show; including a 50/50 drawing, raffle prizes and door prizes. It should be a fun time to look at the old cars and trucks and how they are tricked out. During the show there will be live music by the group Song of Songs. Last year there were 65 entrants and the first prize went to a 1947 Buick Super, owned by Russ Oesterling from Safford, Arizona. All the benefits for the show go to the Cancer Society. This is a cause close to my heart because my wife Barb, who established this Tombstone B and B with me, died of cancer almost 4 years ago.

During the year, there are other events in the area that also provide proceeds to cancer charities. The Knights of Columbus have a fund raising golf tournament in late February.  Down By The River B and B helps with the tournament and is a sponsor. In October, Tombstone also hosts the Corvette and Ghost Riders car show. This event has drawn up to 250 entrants over the two day show. The proceeds there also go to a charity, in this case the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Cancer Center. Mark your calendar for that event and watch our events page on the website for upcoming things to do in Cochise County.

When you decide to come to one of these events, look up Down By The River, our San Pedro River B and B, as a lodging alternative to other Tombstone B and B s. You will find us to be a memory making experience.

Birding Areas Near Down By The River B and B

January 20th, 2013 by Mike Hug

Gold finch at feeder

Lesser Goldfinch and Warblers love to visit the feeders

Birding is one of the many things to do in Southeastern Arizona, in particular Cochise County, and our B&B is near to all these locations. In fact there is a path to the San Pedro River that is right out the back door of our BnB. The B and B is located on the west side of the tree lined San Pedro River away from the noise of Highway 80. We keep most of the 15 plus acres of the property natural so that the wildlife has shelter and food sources. We do keep feeders for the birds and the resident birds frequent them. Many finches, sparrows, doves and quail frequent the feeders during the day. During the spring summer and fall the hummingbirds are always around to grab a sip of nectar. There are the territorial hummingbirds that run the others off but once in a while a hummingbird will hold it ground and fight. If you want to get up close and personal, sit in a chair on the patio, sip some wine and  wear some read ear rings. You may hear a hum next to your ear. turn slowly as it will probably be a hummingbird looking for a drink.

We do get the Raptors at times that come over the field on the hunt. I did do a blog on a Northern Harrier that

Northern Harrier Picture

Northern Harrier flies low over the back acreage looking for prey.

spent most of the spring gliding over the property. He was back again in the fall and we see him every once in a while this winter. In the mornings and afternoons during the spring we have some American Kestrels that show up and hover over the fields. It is fun to watch them dive down for a morsel and fly back up to a limb and then repeat the cycle. We do have Red Tail Hawks in the area but last summer we had something larger. It took a while but I got a long shot at the bird sitting on a limb of a tree at the river. After walking toward the tree I saw how big the limb was and my best guess along with some other birders that were here was that we had spotted a golden eagle. We saw that bird many times over the summer. Just after the New Year we were coming home late at night and an owl took flight from a pole as we came around the corner. We couldn’t tell what type but there have been Great Horned Owls seen at the San Pedro by Angie and me last summer. Check out this list we have of birds that have been spotted on the property.

Vermillion flycatcher picture

Vermillion Flycatchers are found in the San Pedro River area and on the property of Down By The River B and B in St.. David.

There are other locale areas that are near the bnb in Benson and St. David. Benson has a birding trail that is near the waste water plant along the San Pedro River. This can be reached by heading north on Ocotillo Road at the corner where Safeway is located. Go under the I – 10 freeway and turn right at the sign for the San Pedro Valley Golf Course. Turn left at the T and follow the road to the waste water plant. The other local area is the Holy Trinity Monastery that is about 1/2 mile north of the B and B on the east side of the river. The Monastery has an award winning birding trail that was dedicated in 1993 that starts on their property. The Monastery also has pond and 150 acres of open area adjacent to the tree lined river. There is also a trail south of St. David along the San Pedro River at Fairbanks. This trail is wooded and goes back to the ghost town of Contention. For other birding areas click here for a list of locations and then reference the map below to get a perspective of distance from the B & B.

It has been a bit on the cold side in Arizona over the last week and so the birds are really hitting the feeders. It

Black-chin picture

Black-chinned Hummingbird taken by our guest Egil from Norway.

seems that the year is moving along relatively fast for us. Christmas came and went and now we are half way through January. The birds will start migrating back through the area in March and April. In April of 2008, we had a birder that spent three days at the b and b either on the porch or with occasional walks to the river and sited 53 birds. She was very excited that she could find such a large population in such a small area. I was amazed that she could identify that many birds in such a short time. Migration isn’t too far off and we have future guests that have already made their reservations for that time of the year. Check out our list of the birds that have been seen on the property and at the San Pedro River that flows behind the property.  Come join us and see what we have to offer. We are centrally located so that trips to other birding areas are close by.  We just updated the map. Please right click on the map below and click on view image to get the full size map and you can see what I mean.

Cochise County Map

Down By The River B and B is “The Lodging Hub of Cochise County” and you can see all the things to do in the area from this map

San Xavier Mission – Part of a Loop Trip

December 28th, 2012 by Mike Hug

San Xavier del Bac

San Xavier del Bac Mission

Down By The River B&B is centrally  located for various day trips to places throughout SE AZ. The San Pedro River B and B Lodging is perfect for loop trips to see this part of Southern Arizona. One all day loop trip we like to make is driving to Tucson and then taking Interstate 19 south with a stop at San Xavier Mission, then on to Tubac. Leaving Tubac head south to Nogales with a possible stop at Tumacocori Mission State Park on the way. At Nogales take Highway 82 east to Patagonia and finally stop at Sonoita and Elgin to do a little wine tasting. From here we take 82 east as we head on home. This loop trip can be done in reverse or it can be a detour on the way to or returning from our southeastern Arizona BnB.There are even some alternates that can be used to shorten the loop.

There are people that have never heard of the San Xavier del Bac Mission, or White Dove of the Desert as it is also called. Some people have stopped and some others may have seen it in the distance as they traveled on Interstate 19. I first saw in the 1970s when I came to Arizona. Barb was there during the restoration and saw the work that was being done. So I am going to tell you a little about this landmark when you make this loop trip. Each year 200,000 people from all over the world stop to view the finest example of Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.

San Xavier Altar Picture

The Main Altar

The history of the mission started in 1692. Father Eusebio Kino, a Jesuit missionary, established the San Xavier Mission just south of present day Tucson at the Tohono O’odham Village of Wa:k. That is spelled correctly. The church was named after the patron saint San Francisco Xavier, pronounced ”Havier”, “del” is Spanish for of the, and the word “Bac” comes from the way Father Kino wrote down the word Wa;k.  Visits by missionaries to the village were sporadic until finally in 1752 the first church building construction was started under the tutelage of Father Espinosa. This church still stands adjacent to the east side bell tower. The building now houses the museum and gift shop. The actual construction of the large church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797 under the Franciscan missionary Father Velderrain. Father Velderrain accomplished this with the help of the village population and monetary loan of a wealthy rancher in the State of Sonora in present day Mexico.

The mission has been under many jurisdictions since it was established. Originally, this part of Arizona was under the authority of New Spain. When the Mexican people gained independence in 1821, San Xavier became part of Mexico.

Last Supper Mural

Last Supper Mural

With the Gadsden Purchase of 1854, the Mission joined the United States as part of the New Mexico Territory. The territory was later split and San Xavier became part of the Arizona Territory and then in 1912 the territory became a state. As to the Catholic Churches jurisdiction; San Xavier was in the Diocese of Durango when the mission was first established. It changed to be a part of the Diocese of Santa Fe when it was established in 1859. In 1866 Tucson became a diocese and regular services were again held at the Mission. A school was started at the Mission in 1872 by Franciscan nuns. In 1963, The Mission was listed as a National Historic Landmark and it has the distinction of being the oldest intact European structure in Arizona.

 The original construction was made with low-fire clay brick, stone and lime mortar, the entire structure is

Lady Of Guadalupe Picture

Lady Of Guadalupe

roofed with masonry soaring vaults, which is not found in any other Spanish Colonial buildings within the United States. The artwork and decorations on the interior of the church are from unknown artisans. The belief is that they were from Queretero and were created in guild workshops and then transported to the mission by pack animals. After being placed in the church then local craftsman finished the work using gesso, a gypsum product, and then adding paint. The Franciscan Cord can be found throughout the interior and exterior of the church. There are many mural paintings and statues throughout the mission

 Over the years the mission started to deteriorate through normal wear and tear and in 1859 the first repairs were made to the church. In 1887, an estimated 7.6 earthquake in Mexico damaged the mission. This earthquake was about 60 mile south of Douglas, AZ and was felt up to 120 miles away. The quake also changed the flow of the San Pedro River and you can read what the Tombstone paper wrote about the earthquake here.  In 1905  Bishop Granjon began

East Side Chapel

East Side Chapel

major repairs on the mission and again more restoration was done in 1939 after a lightning strike affected the west tower. Cement was one of the repair materials used during these times. As it turns out this would later cause more damage to the artwork on the interior of the church.

In 1989, excessive leaks were found in the walls and forced emergency restoration. Major conservation began in 1992 with a five year effort to preserve the interior of the building. I remember seeing the building in the late 1970’s. The murals and statues looked worn and drab. This was caused by all the years of candles being burned in the church. Because of the smoke and water damage the work was critical to maintain the artwork. There is an ongoing effort to preserve the church when the money is available. Funding sources have been harder to get due to budgetary restrictions by grant and state organizations. To help with the preservation of the Mission, a group of community leaders formed the Patronanto San Xavier in 1978. You can read about their efforts on their website.

To reach the Mission drive south on Interstate 19 about 9 miles, take exit 92 (San Xavier Road) and follow

West Side Chapel

West Side Chapel

signs to the Mission. Visiting the Mission San Xavier is free of charge. During the year there are special events that are held at the mission.  It is definitely worth your time to take a look at a part of history that help to shape this part of the Southwest. This mission and Tumacocori are the inspirations for us to name one of our guest rooms the Mission Room.

San Xavier Side View

San Xavier Side View

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