Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Group to preserve Henry Wickenburg's burial site

[Source: Sherry Anne Rubiano, Arizona Republic] -- Atop a hill near downtown Wickenburg lie the remains of the town's namesake, Henry Wickenburg. But unless someone told you exactly where the site is, you would never know it was there. There are no signs directing visitors to the burial plot in a residential neighborhood at Adams Street and Howard Court. Only eroded headstones and aboveground tombs, wild trees and cacti, and a flagpole with no flag mark the site. "It's kind of sad," said Cindy Thrasher, president of the Wickenburg Historical Preservation Society. "People don't know where it is. A lot of improvements need to be made." The society plans to purchase the site through an auction held by the town. It also would restore the gravesite.

Proposed improvements include repairing the tombs, purchasing adjacent property, moving an APS power pole, providing a walkway that is ADA-accessible, adding biographies of each pioneer buried there, and surrounding the site with a wrought-iron security fence. They also would like to add the property onto the Arizona and National Registers of Historic Places. Total improvements are estimated at $150,000, but Thrasher said restoring the site is priceless. "This is something that we can grasp and hold onto, and we should," she said. "It's just something I think the community should hold dear." The "Henry Wickenburg Gravesite" has been a controversial issue over the years. Several improvements need to be made, but some residents opposed spending tax dollars on the town-owned site. Encroachment issues also have come up because nine properties abut the gravesite.

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Arizona Republic.]