Ajo Historic Architecture – Central Plaza Built by Former Rough Rider

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Today I woke up feeling much better after catching a flu bug on Sunday. Poor Lisa is not so lucky she woke up yesterday with a terrible headache, high temperature and overall malaise. She made chicken soup for me Sunday and I’m so glad she did. Her soup is keeping us hydrated, providing needed nutrition and is easy to heat and serve. It took me three days to feel better so this is not the dreaded A(H3) version. Thank goodness.

What did we do before we got the flu?

Saturday, 3 February

It was a lazy Saturday morning. Made our coffee, sat outside, absorbed sun rays and enjoyed just being out in nature for awhile. In the afternoon, with the temperature rising, we got in the truck and headed into Ajo for something to eat.

WelcometoAjo
BEAUTIFUL UNIQUE WELCOME SIGN

Estrella Restaurant boasted the best hamburger in town so we went inside to order us a burger. By the time we got there it was between lunch and dinner, the owner asked if we minded coming back in about 20 minutes. Not at all. We walked across the street to the Ajo Central Plaza and ended up at the visitor center inside the old railroad station.

TrainDepot1
CENTER END OF HORSESHOE SHAPED PLAZA – RAILROAD STATION BUILT IN 1916

We learned most of the town and the Central Plaza was developed by John Campbell Greenway. As the manager of the New Cornelia Pit Mine he wanted to establish a town where his miners would raise their families. The town included the Central Plaza, two churches, and the Curley Public School. If true, this type of compassion towards immigrant miners was not the norm during the industrial revolution and was intriguing to me. Who was this guy?

TownSquare1
RIGHT SIDE OF CENTRAL PLAZA

I looked Greenway up in wiki. He graduated from the University of Virginia and Yale; early employment included a furnace helper for the Carnegie Steel Company; and joined Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War earning a Silver Star at the Battle of San Juan Hill. These are but a few of his accomplishments (really this guy had quite the life) before he was hired to develop the New Cornelia into the first large open pit copper mine in Arizona. Maybe he had a respect for laborers after his time working for the Steel Company.

That brings back memories of my Dad telling me stories about his time working at a Steel Mill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Dad was another amazing man.

Church2
CATHOLIC CHURCH ACROSS THE STREET FROM PLAZA
CatholicChurch1
SAME CHURCH FROM THE FRONT
ChurchDoor
I ENJOYED THE SPANISH ARCHITECTURE OF THIS DOOR IN FRONT OF THE OTHER CHURCH ACROSS THE STREET

Up the street from the plaza is the Curley School. A large building too big to fit into the picture frame and capture the detail. The picture below is only one-third of the school.

School3
CURLEY SCHOOL BUILT IN 1919

The school has been modernized to provide affordable work and living space to attract artists to Ajo. Throughout the western states artists have gravitated to historical mining towns like Bisbee, Arizona and Silver City, New Mexico attracting tourists from all over the U.S. It was fun to see the artist murals (below) throughout the town.

Lisa and I had a great day enjoying the mixture of the”old” 1900 Spanish architecture and the “new” artist murals in this historic mining town.

You might be wondering did we ever get our hamburger? Yes we did. We had a hamburger, fries and a beer. It was really good. Since we have not been to all the restaurants we cannot verify they have the “best” burgers in Ajo.

We always appreciate hearing from you in the comment section, we would like to know your name (email optional). Good evening all, thanks for stopping by.

 

7 thoughts on “Ajo Historic Architecture – Central Plaza Built by Former Rough Rider

  1. Randy February 12, 2018 / 12:09 pm

    Good to see your blog – it was interesting and it looked like you had a good time..take care and looking forward to you next posting Randy

    Like

  2. mary haddigan February 8, 2018 / 11:38 pm

    Sorry to see you have both been sick.
    Love the old church’s. It is neat. take me back to the first time I saw New Mexico.

    Liked by 1 person

    • arizonalizards February 9, 2018 / 12:33 am

      Hi Mom, old churches are some of my favorite architecture to look at. We are both feeling much better. We had a baby flu not that big one going around.

      Like

  3. John Williams February 8, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    very nice post, really enjoyed the writing and pictures. how big is Ajo??

    Liked by 1 person

    • arizonalizards February 9, 2018 / 12:36 am

      John, there is a little more than 3,000 full time residents. They also have two Rv parks that look filled to the brim in the winter.

      Like

  4. cgbeck77 February 8, 2018 / 4:21 am

    Really enjoying the blog. Hope to see you.

    Carl G. Becker 110 E Center St #1460 Madison, SD 57042 (501) 658 3719 cgbeck77@yahoo.com

    >

    Like

    • arizonalizards February 9, 2018 / 12:37 am

      Hi Carl, we hope to see you two also. We might be in CA later on, hopefully we will overlap with your visit.

      Like

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