Georgie Digs: Annie’s Mammoth Memories

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Georgie Digs!

In her memoirs, Annie Forbach said she had been born in 1891 along Aravaipa Creek where her parents, James and Caldonia Brandenburg, had settled just a few years previously. Annie was the youngest of her siblings who were James (Jim), William, May, and Robert, and before Annie was old enough to go to school, her mother moved to Mammoth, Arizona each Fall so May and Robert could attend school. They lived in a house that the family owned there, and their mother kept boarders who were men who worked at the mill there, as the mine was in full operation. Annie also said that Mammoth was a very busy town with lots of businesses, among them the general merchandise stores of Mr. E.E. Putman (who was also the Post Master) and E.W. Childs.

  Annie stated that during her first year of school in Mammoth, there was an epidemic of diphtheria and an elderly Army doctor, Doctor Pool, took over the care of the sick people. After Annie’s sister, May, was married, Annie stayed with her sister and continued school in Mammoth which she stated was an “old type” mining town; that the Schultz, Collins, and Mohawk group of claims were being worked at the town of Schultz, five miles northwest of Mammoth; that the ore was sent by an aerial tramway in big iron buckets to the stamp mill in Mammoth; and that the gold was milled from the ore and smelted into gold bars and shipped to Tucson where it was shipped to other markets.

   Annie stated that after two sons had been born to her sister, May, her sister was glad to have Annie stay with her through the school year, and she helped with the housework and care of the children.. One errand for her sister that she disliked was having to go through town past three saloons to get yeast from a Chinese restaurant so her sister could make her bread. She said the saloon bartenders didn’t always look before they threw water out on the street or sidewalk, and there was always several Chinese men lounging about , some sleeping, and others smoking the long Chinese pipes with opium.

   One day as she was entering the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant from the dining area, with a glass jar in her hand in which to put the yeast, one of the men was coming through the door with a long carving knife as she started to enter. She ran home very frightened, and her sister got no yeast that day. The next day she went to another restaurant owned by a Mrs. Boise who was one of her father’s customers for fruit and produce from the Brandenburgs’ Aravaipa Creek property.

  Remembering how Mammoth  was in my early years , and how it now is, I wonder where those very early businesses, including saloons and restaurants, were located in Mammoth.

Georgie Wood (18 Posts)


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