mining operations were ordered shut down by the US Government as part of the
country's war effort since metals other than gold were needed. Oatman was fortunate
insofar as it was located on busy U.S. Route 66 and was able to cater to travelers
driving between Kingman and Needles, California. Even that advantage was short-lived
as the town was completely bypassed in 1953 when a new route between Kingman and
Needles was built to make an easier route south of the mountain passes. By the 1960s,
Oatman had been reduced to a ghost town with a population of only 60.
In the 1970s, nearby Laughlin, Nevada started building up as a popular gambling
course of a year. Over the years, the town experiences a decline in population.
According to the 2000 census, it had a population of only 128.
In its heyday, from the early 1900s to the 1940s, Oatman and the nearby town of Gold
Road were the largest producers of gold in Arizona.
Gold was first discovered in Oatman in 1902 by a man named Ben Taddock who, while
riding along the trail, saw free gold glittering on the ground and immediately filed a
claim. A tent city soon sprang up as other miners heard of the gold find and flocked to
Lacking the funds to develop a mine, Ben Taddock sold his claim in 1903 to Judge
E.M. Ross and Colonel Thomas Eqing, who in turn sold it to the Vivian Mining
Company. The mining camp was named Vivian and in 1904 the first post office was
established for the growing population. Between 1904 and 1907 the mine yielded over
|If you have a picture you'd like us to feature a picture in a future quiz, please
email it to us at CFitzp@aol.com. If we use it, you will receive a free analysis of
your picture. You will also receive a free Forensic Genealogy CD or a 10%
discount towards the purchase of the Forensic Genealogy book.
|How Carol Solved the Puzzle
|My first search was “arizona girls”. That brought up a long list of rather unsavory web
sites. I decided I was on the wrong track with that search. The next search was
“arizona ghost towns”. There are a lot of Arizona ghost towns, too many to click on all
of them. My third search was ‘famous couple honeymoon ghost town’. Bingo! That
brought me to Google books and a book named Nevada by Heidi Knapp Rinella. The
text included a description of the burros that wander into the center of town each day
and are seen in your photo. Then I went back to the list of Arizona ghost towns. That
website showed pictures which included the rock formation seen in the background of
The town is Oatman, Arizona. (So, why did I find it in a book called Nevada?
Apparently it’s just across the border from Nevada.)
|If you enjoy our quizzes, don't forget to order our books!
|Answer to Quiz #285
December 26, 2010
I don't remember how much I told you about
Oatman, but my grandmother lived in the
"first rock house on the right" that used to be
the old assayers office. My dad and I did a
lot of hiking in the area and found interesting
places like the dump from the area that used
to be the red light district (lots of bottles) and
someone's house which still had a swing on
the front porch and a claw foot bath tub still
in the bathroom. The house must have been
built around the tub, because there was no
|1. What is the name of this town?
2. Who it is named after?
3. What famous couple spent their honeymoon here?
|See Results of
Our Eighth Occasional PhotoQuiz Survey
|Thanks to Quimaster Wendy Plew for submitting this photo.
|Congratulations to Our Winners!
Margaret Waterman Deborah Lee Stewart
Nancy Lear Carol Farrant
Stan Read Sharon Taber
Judy Pfaff Margaret Paxton
Carol Lemieux John Chulick
Judy Kiss Harold Atchinson
Marcee Bradshaw Katrina Weiss
April Veness Mike Dalton
Marilyn Hamill Milene Rawlinson
Jim Baker Susan E. Skidmore
Collier Smith Peter Norton
Daniel E. Jolley Wayne Douglas
Charles Coates Gary Sterne
Donna Jolley Liz Rector
Dennis Brann Don Draper
Robert W. Steinmann Jr. Alan Lemm
Nicole Blank Arthur Hartwell
Jim Bullock Mike Swierczewski
Karen Kay Bunting Patricia Frazier
|Comments from Our Readers
I was surprised to identify this town by googleing on "Arizona Girls". Stan Read
When I looked at pictures of Olive Oatman and her tattoos I
thought of the Klamath Indians on the northern California
coast. In the early days the women had three parallel
vertical blue lines tattooed on their chins. I remember
seeing the older women with the tattoos when I was a kid.
It is interesting how the tribes is such different areas
developed similar markings for the woman
I was about to give up until I searched for "burros in the street". Jim Baker
I had some fun explaining to my wife what I was doing searching for "Arizona Girls" in
the middle of the night! LOL. Alex Sissoev
I solved the puzzle by brightening and increasing the contrast of the picture a bit using
Irfanview, which enabled me to barely read "Kathy's" at the top of the sign on the store.
So then I google-imaged "kathy's arizona" and spotted the store near the top of the first
page of pics. That gave me "Oatman, AZ" and the rest was easy. Collier Smith
Google Earth view shows "come see our turtles" rather than "Kathy's [Tackyshack?]
Antiques," but "Kathy's antiques collectibles Arizona" was enough to find the place.
N.B. Are you sure you haven't had too much egg nog? - Q. Gen.
Note: The burros made it easy. Wayne Douglas
Search for Tattoos & "Arizona Girls" led to a tattoo parlor in Oatman AZ with a sign
about "Arizona Girls". Search for "Oatman AZ" led to information in the quiz.
Your puzzle reminds me of how much I miss the West. Donna Jolley
I love this little town! I have been there several times. The donkeys gave it away for
me. I have seen them walk right into a store during the summer time. Liz Rector
I am quite late getting to this but what better activity to do after supper on New Years
Eve. By the way - Happy New Years and once again, thanks for the weekly quizzes.
The Oatman Hotel hosted Clark Gable and Carol Lombard during their honeymoon. I
bet you pay premium prices for the very suite in which they stayed. I look forward to
the 2011 photos. Don Draper
This was a good one because I even though I live dangerously (I'm the one who cuts
the labels off my mattress and pillows, which is a punishable offense under most state's
laws!). I went against my better judgment and punched in "Arizona Girls" + "Tattoo"
into Google and spun the big prize wheel, leaving behind my morality, ethics, and a
strong new trust in my anti-virus software, and somehow, some way, safely, but with
some new and unique imagery in my head, came up with the right answer, through the
Arizona Girls Candles Shop. Go figure, it doesn't matter how you get the answer as
long as you get it!. By the way the "Hint" button is not working.
Good quiz! I did two and a half weeks in AZ in 1988, mostly in Tucson, Tombstone,
Bisbee, & other Sonora Desert areas, including Nogales, Mexico. I absolutely loved it
out there, but failed to visit the Grand Canyon, one of the biggest regrets of my life.
Always loved that area of the country, 2 years ago did some training at New Mexico
Tech at Playas, NM facility (Energetic Materials Research Institute) doing some
Homeland Security research/training building car/truck bombs and blowing them up in
the desert. Very cool stuff! In 1979, I wanted to go to school at Colorado School of
Mines, (original career plan was to be a geologist), but sadly my grades were not high
enough. Ended up getting my A.S. in Geology, and my B.A. in Forensic Psychology, a
perfect natural progression to my current career . . .but I digress...!!! Have a Happy
New Year!!!! Robert W. Steinmann, Jr.
Yay - I got this one without peeking at the hint. I Googled "Kathy's" + the words
'Arizona collectibles', got Kathy's TackyShack in Oatman, AZ and confirmed it by
Google images of the above rock and burros wandering through the town.
Rock formation got me to Oatman. Unable to find your picture. Found a few with
Arizona Girls store, but every thing else is different. Google maps doesn't have any
burros, and the Country Store has a white fish symbol. Interesting story about Olive
Oatman. Interesting that the burros come into town for handout during the day, but
leave at night. Arthur Hartwell
Yes, the rock formation was a distinctive feature in the picture, but here in Colorado
where we have 1992 peaks above 9050 feet it is next to impossible to try to guess
names. I didn't even try. I can imagine some of the hits "Arizona Girls Tattoos" would
come up. I didn't try that either.
Thanks for the reference to the earlier quiz on Olive Oatman. That was another good
I'm looking forward to more fun quizzes in 2011 Jim Bullock
Happy New Year to you, too! I love it that in Oatman the donkeys have the right of
way. Margaret Paxton
|I searched Google for "AZ ghost town antiques" and first came up with this page.
A picture there showed that I had the right town, so I next checked Wikipedia for
Oatman, AZ, and found "After a few other names, Oatman was named in the
posthumous honor of Olive Oatman, a young Illinois girl who was kidnapped by
(presumably) Yavapai Indians and forced to work as a slave. She was later traded to
Mohave Indians who adopted her as a daughter and had her face tattooed in the custom
of the tribe. She was released in 1855 near the current site of the town." Another
article on Olive Oatman describes the "Oatman Massacre".
The same article also mentioned "Built in 1902", the now-Oatman Hotel is the oldest two
|story adobe structure in Mohave County, a
Mohave County historical landmark and is
especially famous as the honeymoon stop of Clark
Gable and Carole Lombard."
Incidentally, I see in Google maps some changes
have been made in the signs, e.g. the "Turtle" sign
on top of the building and a change in position of
the "stop sign".
way to remove it without tearing out a wall. My aunt and uncle lived there as well, and
used to participate in the yearly Gable/Lombard look alike contest. My grandmother ran
the general store for a bit, too. I have many good memories there.
It was very interesting to see how people came up with the answer, and the questions
and information they add. FYI - no one cleans up the burro poop as far as I know.
You have to be very careful where you walk! The top floor of the Oatman Hotel is
now a museum. It's never actually been a 'hotel' as long as I've been going there (40+
years). It's really a restaurant and bar now. I haven't been back there for a while. My
grandma passed away a few years ago. We did have a family gathering about 5 years
to ago to put my father's ashes down the mineshaft behind my grandma's house, as he
wanted. Maybe it's time for another visit.
Have a wonderful New Year! I'm looking forward to more quizzes in 2011.
|Comments by Wendy Plew
Submitter of This Week's Photo
N.B. When Carol Farrant did this, she
came up with some "unsavory
websites". Don't know why this worked
for you, but good job! - Q. Gen.
I found a close match of the quiz photo by
googleing on the images with a search for
"Arizona Girls". Mixed with oodles of
female pulchritude on page 9 was this
photo from Flickr. farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/2129177052_1d5f648ccc.jpg
Love the burros! Sharon Taber
The burros gave it away, I looked up popular Arizona ghost towns for tourists and saw
one that described the "wild" burros that roamed the town. Thanks for the fun, this is
the first contest I've entered. Katrina Weiss
I googled: famous western town named after famous=couple honeymooned.
The sixth result on google went to takemytrip.com. The rock formation in one of
photos was elephant tooth behind Oatman, Arizona. Googling on Oatman Arizona and
famous couple led to: town after Olivia Oatman who was kidnapped by Apaches circa
1857. Clark Gable and Carole Lombard married in Kingman, Arizona and honeymooned
in Oatman on March 29, 1939. The locale is on the famous Route 66 that went from
Chicago, Illinois through the SW to Santa Monica, California. My newly married
parents may have passed this way in 1940 on their trip back to California in their brand
new Oldsmobile. They remarked of seeing the Grand Canyon which was off of 66.
On the walls of Taco del Mar restaurants there is a route 66 mural in which Kingman is
listed. Mike Dalton
|Hints for Solving the Puzzle
|Elephant Tooth Rock Formation
|Tattoos and Arizona Girls
1. Oatman, AZ
2. Olive Oatman
3. Clark Gable and Carol Lombard
Just across the Colorado River and up the
hill from Laughlin, Nevada in the Black
Mountains of Mohave, AZ is the historic
town of Oatman, Arizona. Located at an
elevation of 2,710 feet (830 m), it began
as a tent camp soon after two prospectors
struck a $10 million gold find in 1915,
though the area had been already settled
for a number of years. Oatman's
population grew to more than 3,500 in the
In 1909 the town changed its name in
honor, in the posthumous honor of Olive
Oatman, a young Illinois girl who was
kidnapped by (presumably) Yavapai
Indians and forced to work as a slave.
She was later traded to Mohave Indians
who adopted her as a daughter and had
her face tattooed in the custom of the
tribe. She was released in 1855 after five
years with the Mohaves near the current
site of the town.
The settlement then began to fall on hard times until another rich vein worth $14 millino
was discovered in 1915 by Ely Hilty, Joe Anderson and Daniel Tooker. In no time at all,
Oatman was in the midst of a second boom when The Tom Reed Mine was established
in 1910. The new Tom Reed Mine breathed new life into the town, just as the Vivian
Mine was about to close.
When Route 66 was first built in the 1920s, several supporters worked to have the road
parallel the railroad through Yucca, where its supporters lived. However, Oatman was
at its peak as a mining community and had more clout. So, even though it made the
drive more difficult on those old Model-T’s, the road took the hazardous journey up
Sitgreaves pass and bypassed Yucca.
In 1921, a fire burned down many of Oatman's smaller buildings, but spared the
Oatman Hotel. Built in 1902, and formerly named the Drulin Hotel, the Oatman Hotel is
the oldest two-story adobe structure in Mohave County, a Mohave County historical
landmark and is especially famous as the honeymoon stop of Clark Gable and Carole
Lombard after their wedding in Kingman on March 18, 1939. Gable fell in love with the
area and returned often to play poker with the miners. The Gable/Lombard honeymoon
suite is one of the hotel's major attractions.
In 1924,United Eastern Mines, the biggest
employer in town, shut down operations
for good. But with the birth of Route 66,
Oatman hung on, catering to the many
travelers along the new highway.
By 1930, it was estimated that 36 million
dollars worth of gold had come from the
mines. The town boasted two banks,
seven hotels, twenty saloons and ten
stores. There were nearly 20,000 people
living in Oatman area.
By 1941, the remainder of the town's gold
mecca, and in the late 1980s Route 66
again became a popular destination for
tourists from all over the world. Oatman
started becoming very lively again.
Then, in 1995 the Gold Road mine was
reopened, taking out 40,000 ounces of
gold annually. In 1998, the mine closed
again because of low gold prices. It then
provided gold mine tours for several
years; however with the current price of
gold (in 2008), the tours have ceased as
the mine is reopening once again.
Oatman today is a tourist town. The main street is lined with shops and restaurants.
Wild burros, descendants of those brought by long ago miners, wander the streets.
Gunshots are heard as the Ghostrider Gunfighters perform daily, displaying blazing
six-gun shootouts in the middle of main street.
The road to Oatman from Kingman is very narrow with several sharp hairpin curves.
No vehicles over forty feet in length are allowed on this road. The road from Golden
Shores is not nearly as steep or sharp. Once in Oatman, there is limited parking. RV's
or those traveling with trailers can often have difficulty finding a parking spot.
When traveling westbound Route 66, Oatman Highway continues another 20 miles to
Golden Shores. The landscape along the way is dotted with mining remnants of more
Olive Oatman was a 14 year old traveling west in 1851 when
Southwest Indians attacked her family’s wagon train in
Arizona (then Mexico), capturing Olive and her seven-year-old
sister Mary Ann.
The girls lived with their captors for a year, then were traded
to the Mohave, who raised them. Mary Ann died, and Olive
was ransomed back to the whites in 1856, wearing a chin
tattoo. She became a celebrity in her day, embarking on a
lecture tour promoting a book that Rev. Royal B. Stratton
wrote about her ordeal, The Captivity of the Oatman Girls.
Newly published, The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman is
the first scholarly biography of Olive Oatman. It debunks a
number of myths that have circulated about her over the past century and a half. Ten
such myths follow.
1 - Her captors were Apaches.
2 - The rest of the Oatman family was killed in the massacre.
3 - She was a slave to the Mohave.
4 - She wore a tattoo that marked her as a captive.
5 - Her Mohave nickname was Olivia.
6 - She wanted to leave the Mohave but had no opportunity for escape.
7 - She married a Mohave and had Mohave children.
8 - She hated the Mohave Indians.
9 - She lived happily after her ransom.
10 - She died in an insane asylum.