YAN-EPA office crew visit traditional Yavapai-Apache lands in Fossil Creek
By Vivian Stevens, EPA Supervisor/YAN
The Environmental Protection Department decided to take a trip out to Fossil Creek on November 8 to take photos of our staff.
EPA Manager, David Lewis, was unable to make this trip.
The waterfalls represents our logo (on artwork for submitted design by Juaquin Villegas), our people, and our natural resources.
The day trip was nice and we all enjoyed the hike; had fun and a two people jumped into the cold creek.
Chasen Ross (from Preservation and Technology Center for the Nation) joined us and be our photographer.
“From the Dixon Lewis homestead, we hike about a 1.4 of a mile to the falls trailhead. The distance from the trailhead to the falls is supposedly around 3.7 miles one way but I feel like it was closer to 6 miles”- Chasen Ross.
We thanked him (Chasen Ross) by taking him out to lunch. Beautiful day, beautiful land, and beautiful people!
We had a logo contest for tribal youth during our 2016 Earth Day event. Juaquin Villegas, Mary Beauty’s grandson, won the contest.
Juaquin was given $100 and lunch at Crusty’s Pizza. He created the logo representing the water, land, and air.
Photographs by Chasen Ross, Preservation and Technology Department for YAN
*Editor’s note: Fossil Creek is located 16 miles east of Camp Verde. The Arizona Public Service generator plant was first located here right at the turn of the century. The operations called the Irving (1909) and Childs Power plant (1916) had water turbines which powered the electric generators which gave Phoenix its first electric power source.
Many Yavapai and Apache worked on building these power plants serving as labors for APS which built metal flumes built on stilts which channeled the water into half-pipes for miles down the canyon into the turbines.
The largest undertaking was building of the road into Fossil Creek canyon and the construction of the metal flumes to carry the water to the turbines from the spring located up the canyon.
The electric plants were eventually decommissioned. The last electric plant and the buildings associated with it were dismantled in 2010.
Some of the prominent Yavapai and Apache families working there in the 1950s were Wilson Beecher, Harrington Turner, Dixon Lewis, Ernest Smith family and Leonard James from the Yavapai-Prescott Tribe.
For more information about people who use to live in Fossil Creek, visit the Preservation and Technology Center.
Don Decker, editor