“USA ~The Tri-States; Including Oatman The Living Ghost Town, Arizona”

We are currently settled in Arizona for the winter and spring. We could not be happier! This means more time to play and relax, and less time moving Tiny!
On our way over to the area of Casa Grande, we hit up the Tri-State Corners of: California, Nevada and Arizona! It is easily done and we had fun!

We especially enjoyed visiting Oatman’s Living Ghost Town in Arizona, found on Route 66.
Cute donkeys wander around town like they own the place, always looking for free handouts from visitors. These critters are direct descendants of the working pack donkeys, which we used during the gold-rush era.

On the day we visited Oatman, there was a mock “bank robbery,” and even a “shoot-out.”
There are also plenty of shops with hand craft items for sale.
It’s great fun to visit Oatman! ⬇️

This old mining town is named after a woman who was captured and later released by the Mohave Indians, and Oatman is still alive today.
Gold Strike, after Gold strike kept Oatman alive; the biggest strike being in 1915 to the time of $14 million.
The town had its own newspaper; the “Oatman Miner.”
The population of Oatman went from a few hundred to over 3500, within a year, which led to long waits at the restaurants.
In 1921, a fire burned much of Oatman, but the town was rebuilt. Mining was somewhat sporadic throughout the next forty years, and Oatman still survives today.
More about Olive Oatman ⬇️

⬆️ Olive Oatman
A chin tattoo was given to her by the Mojave Indians, who reportedly treated her well.
It all started back in 1851 when Royse Oatman; the mother, Olives’ father, and all six of her siblings were attacked on their way to California, by a group of Apaches. They killed the family’s members except the girls. Olive, at that time was 13-14 years old and Mary Ann was seven years old. The girls were kidnapped, and a brother; 16-17 years old Lorenzo, was throw over a hill side and left there, believing him to be dead. While he was badly wounded, he did survive. When Lorenzo was 20 years old, he heard the stories about one white girl who lived together with the Indians along Colorado River. He travelled to California to organize a search group and when he was there, he heard that his sister had returned to Fort Yuma. Mary Ann had died of sickness, but Olive was found by the peaceful Mohave Indians, who has saved her from the rebellious Apaches. Since she wore the traditional Mohave tattoo, this meant that she was married.
A Mohave Indian had come into the Apache village and asked for the white girl. He had many items with him for trade, so the girl was able to leave the former tribe and walked 200 miles to Yuma, where she was reunited with her brother.
After that, Olive lived in Oregon and California for a short period. She married John B. Fairchild in 1865 and died in 1903, in Sherman, Texas.
John Oatman, who was Olive’s Mohave son, lived in the Vivian area. A year after his mother died, he had enough influence to change the town name from Vivian to Oatman, in her honor.

Another account tells Olives story in a shorter version: 

……a young girl was kidnapped by Mojave Indians in 1851. After a harrowing captivity, she was ransomed by the United States government in 1856. Her story drew wide publicity, and she traveled and lectured about her experiences.

The Oatman Hotel, built in 1902, is the oldest two-story adobe structure in Mojave County and has housed many miners, movie stars, politicians and other scoundrels.
The town was used as the location for several movies such as How The West Was Won, Foxfire and Edge of Eternity.
Clark Gable and Carol Lombard honeymooned at the Oatman Hotel on March 18, 1939. Their honeymoon suite is still one of the major attractions at the Hotel.
Gable returned there often to play poker with the local miners and enjoy the solitude of the desert.

Oatman’s “wild” burros are the descendants of burros brought here by the miners in the late 1800s; when the miners no longer needed them, they were turned loose. Each morning they come into town looking for food. They wander the streets and greet the tourists. Burro pellets and carrots are for sale at many of the shops. Shortly before sunset they wander back to the hills for the night.

The wild burro was first introduced into the Desert Southwest by Spaniards, in the 1500s.
Wild burros have long ears, a short mane and reach a height of up to five feet at the shoulders. They vary in color from black to brown to gray.
Originally from Africa (where they were called the wild ass) these pack animals were prized for their hardiness in arid country. They are sure-footed, can locate food in barren terrain, and can carry heavy burdens for days through hot, dry environments.
Early prospectors relied heavily on burros as they trekked long distances across the deserts in search of gold and silver. Many of these burros survived, even though their owners perished under the harsh desert conditions. Many more burros escaped or were released during the settlement of the West. Because of their hardiness, wild burros have thrived throughout the North American deserts, and their numbers have increased to perhaps 20,000.


For dinner, we headed from Arizona, over to Laughlin, Nevada to the Golden Nugget. I also “donated” some money at the casino. Daryl doesn’t care to gamble, but he patiently hung out with me ⬇️

I hadn’t been to Laughlin in about 35 years. It has changed a lot. It’s grown, but still small.
Laughlin is a resort town on the banks of the Colorado River, located at the southern tip of Nevada, 90 miles south of Las Vegas. It is the geographic meeting point of San Bernardino County, California, Mohave County, Arizona, and Clark County, Nevada.

We had a fun afternoon, then headed back to Needles, California; back to Tiny.

Needles KOA Campground ⬆️
Scenic from Needles, California to Casa Grande, Arizona  ⬇️

⬆️ Wild Donkeys can be seen in many places, even outside of Oatman, including Burro Highway

Merry Christmas today, one and all, from our home to yours! ⬇️


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Hello and Welcome to our Travel Blog Website, We are into our fourth year of our full-time Gypsy Lifestyle; buying one-way tickets to circumvent the globe. We enjoy writing about our experiences and taking photos of our adventuring along the… Read More