Historic Sites Revealed Within Slide Fire’s Ashes

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Slide Fire - Archaeologist Jeremy Haines holds a railroad spike from a historic site.
Archaeologist Jeremy Haines holds a railroad spike from a historic site. (Photo: Krystle Henderson/12 News)

In June, firefighters in central Arizona successfully brought the Slide Fire to 100% containment. Working alongside the firefighters were archaeologists attempting to protect pieces of history and archaeological sites known to be in the area. However, as they worked, they stumbled upon previously unknown structures as well – including a cabin and a railroad trestle.

Now throughout the ashes, archaeologists have been able to take a closer look at the cabin, the railroad tracks, and the historic Lolomai Lodge that had also turned up now that the thinned vegetation has exposed its remains.

Archaeologists always knew that the Lodge existed in Oak Creek Canyon, but didn’t know exactly where. Author Zane Grey was known to have stayed there while he wrote some of his adventure novels in the early 1900s.

Archaeologist, Jeremy Haines, is also examining a century-old, half-mile stretch of railroad tracks and trestle found tucked away on the north side of the canyon.

While crews were working to protect the 1930s-era Hancock Cabin from the flames, they discovered a historic trail which led them to a site they are now calling Barney Springs Cabin. Only one corner of the structure remains standing. They named it after Jim Barney, a cattle rancher who lived in the area in the late 1800s.

Read more: Historic treasures from Slide Fire’s ashes

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