Thursday, December 11, 2014
This morning, I decided to follow the Bates Well Road all the way to the Bates Well homestead. On the map above it shows highway 85 going north into Ajo and goes south to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I am staying about a mile down W Darby Well Road and that road continues southwest to Bates Well Road. I took this dirt jeep road south through the Sonoran Desert all the way to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
There was an unmanned pay station at the entrance to the park, but I had my senior national parks pass, it was free. Here are some photos of my 12 mile dirt road trip to the park.
Below is Black Mountain on the left. It is in the Little Ajo Mountain Range.
At the pay station they had this map. Click on it and you will find my location at the top center where the yellow “You are here” is located. It is about four more miles to my destination for the day.
The text below was taken from the Internet describing the history of the homestead.
“The Bates Well and Water Tank, Organ Pipe NM, were determined to be a contributing structures to the Bates Well Ranch, state level, under Criterion A, Sonoran Desert cattle raising & B, association w/Robert L. Gray, Sr.. Period of significance for the ranch, 1913-1942.
Long Significance Description: The Bates Well and Water Tank, Organ Pipe NM, was determined to be a
contributing structure to the Bates Well Ranch, at the state level of significance, under Criteria A, Sonoran Desert cattle raising; and B, cattle ranching property associated with Robert Louis Gray, Sr. The ranch's period of significance is 1913-1942.
The ranch was one of the fifteen ranches and line camps in the Gray family partnership cattle business which developed the ranching potential of the Sonoran desert country north of the border and dominated the lands of Organ Pipe National Monument for nearly 60 years.
The original Bates Well was dug around 1867 by W. Bates. It collapsed and another was dug by around 1913 by Reuben Daniels; a third was dug by Daniels and Charles G. Puffer in 1915. It is a capped well that was pumped by a gasoline generator. The water tank stood on platform nearby. Both were abandoned in 1951.
The Bates Well Ranch property represents a very complete and intact example of the frontier ranching pattern in Arizona typical of the Sonoran Desert during the first third of the twentieth century. The Bates Well and Water Tank were determined eligible by the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office for listing on the National Register of Historic Places as contributing structures to the Bates Well Ranch property on August 25, 2005.”
It was a four hour jeep ride going at about 20 mph over an often time washboard road. I was beat when I got back to the MH.
Enough photos for one blog, see you later.