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Sunday, January 8, 2012

A stormy Day
Even though we had planned to depart for Joshua Tree National Park today, we stayed put here in Q-site. The reason was the weather forecast which had predicted winds in excess of 30mph at the park, while over here upto25mph were expected. And it is not wise to battle the wind on the highway. 

It started blowing pretty early and increased over the afternoon. 

Rather than sitting around in the rig all day I suggested a visit to the Quartzsite Museum, which offers interesting displays of the town's history. 
However, when we got there the place was closed, inspite that we were well within their advertised opening hours.
A bit disappointed we turned around and saw the sprawling fleamarket. At this market you won't find much new stuff, but everything between heaven and earth which might be classified as JUNK. Well it probably is junk for some people, while others value their historical uniqueness. And if I had been looking for a tool, a special book or record or an oil lamp, I would have found it there.
However, I wasn't really looking, but curiously browsing.

When I turned over a pair of shoes (they were brand new, but out of fashion, I'd say) the vendor sneaked up on me and started his sales pitch. But I didn't try them on.

The famous "book seller" in Quartzsite

Now, since the visit to the muesum failed I have found an account of the town's history on the internet, and if you are not too bored already, you can read it here:

"The town of Quartzsite is located on the site of old Fort Tyson, a privately owned fort built in 1856 by Charles Tyson for protection against Indians. Because of the water which existed at this place, Tyson's Wells soon became a stage station on the road from Ehrenburg to Prescott. In 1875 Martha Summerhayes described this place as being the most melancholy and uninviting that she had ever seen, saying that it "reeks of everything unclean, morally and physically..."

Although Hinton lists Tyson's as being the same place as Los Posos, maps show that the two were seperate, Los Posos lying about four miles to the east of Tyson's. Gradually as the stage lines disappeared, Tyson's Wells was abandoned.

In 1897, the development of mining in the area resulted in a small boom. It was reported that Tyson's Wells had three stores, two saloons, and a short-lived post office. Apparently when it became necessary to re-open the post office because of renewed mining activity, a new name had to be found since the post office did not permit offices to re-open the post office under formerly used names. Therefore, George Ingersoll suggested the name Quartzsite, since quartzsite is actually found in the vicinity, but quartz is not. However, the post office in error apparently added an "s" to the name. The resulting "Quartzsite" erroneously implies that quartz is found locally. Actually Quartzsite is approximately nine miles east of the old Tyson's Wells which lay nineteen miles from Ehrenberg. Therefore, a different name was doubly suited.

Travelers through Quartzsite today may visit the grave of Hadji Ali, who was a camel driver for Lt. Edward Fitzgerald Beale on his trip across Arizona. Hadji Ali (b. Syria c. 1829; d. December 16, 1902) who was known as Phillip Tedro in later years, came to Arizona as a camel driver in 1856. When camels were abandoned for use of transportation of supplies, Tedro kept several animals and used them to haul freight in southern Arizona. He was then living in Arizona City (now known as Yuma). In 1868 he turned the animals loose near Gila Bend. 

For many years it was reported that camels were seen in the mountains and other parts of southwestern Arizona. The simple headboard for his grave was replaced by the present stone monument and plaque in 1934. His name has been anglicized to "Hi Jolly".


  1. Such a history this place has had. Sure hope your wind calms down for tomorrow. We had a tailwind today so we weren't fighting the wind.

  2. I can't believe you did this today and didn't tell us about it this evening when we were sitting around! You told us about the museum but not that you visited the famous book store! We would have laughed WITH you.

  3. Interesting place. We have been there twice but have not seen the museum.

  4. nice picture of the famous naked book guy..only ever seen the backside of him..think I want to keep it that way!.. :)

  5. Haven't been there yet, but looking forward to it. Thanks for the history. The bookseller must have skin like leather!!

    Mike and Dee

  6. Interesting place...the bookseller sure doesn't have to worry about doing laundry !! Hey Bea I betcha your left arm was behind 'your' back with your hand in your back pocket..I know thats where mine would have been :)

  7. Next time your there ask Paul Winer (bookstore proprietor) to play his baby grand piano for you. It is a real trip!

    One of the guys in our group asked him and he was happy to oblige. You can see it at

    Have a good time in Joshua Tree. I hope to catch up with you sometime down the road again.


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