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5/10/2022

West USA Realty

There is a new face in a Real Estate company in Round Valley with nearly 30 years total experience with local expertise! What’s special about this duo is that you already know these folks! Introducing Brandee Snyder and Skye Snyder, the mother and son real estate duo who work like a team. Skye is a native of Round Valley and Brandee has been a resident for 36 years. She is almost a native and feels like Round Valley is her hometown.

You will find Skye’s enthusiasm and Brandee’s experience a winning combination to serve you with integrity and trust. It will be their pleasure to help with all your Real Estate needs in a different company, but with the same great service with gratitude as Brandee eventually “hands over the reins” to Skye in the future.

Their backgrounds are diverse and very interesting. Both are military veterans, with Brandee serving in the US Air Force as a Russian interpreter and Skye served in the Navy for 6 years as a Nuclear Machinist Mate on a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine. Brandee met her husband, the late Michael “Doc” Snyder, in the Air Force, and after their discharge she worked as a graphic artist and muralist while he pursued a degree in Chiropractic Medicine. They moved to Arizona in 1983 and Skye was born a couple of years later. Brandee was explicit in her admiration of Russell Crosby of Century 21 Ponderosa Realty for giving her the opportunity in 1996 to become a realtor and paying for her education. Before becoming a Realtor, Brandee’s love of art, sign painting and graphics led her to painting over 10 murals in Round Valley. You can see one of her best murals (John Wayne) at Junk & Java on the patio wall. She also designed and placed many of the sandstone historical monuments around town.

Both Skye and his sibling Sea grew up in Round Valley and graduated from Round Valley High School, where Skye was the graduating class Salutatorian. After high school, Skye went into the Navy, where after 6 years he received an honorable medical retirement for injuries while on duty. After the Navy he attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts Institute in Scottsdale and became a Certified Chef. For the next 8 years he worked for Emerson Automation Solutions as an Engineering and Business Consultant. For the last year and a half, he has worked as a Licensed Real Estate Agent training with his mom/mentor.

Now, for the mother/son team we mentioned. Through Skye’s desire to enhance his career and join West USA Realty and Brandee’s desire to be working side by side with her son, it will lead them to open a branch of West USA Realty in Round Valley. They will have full access to MLS and cooperate with all the local Realtors. They will be listing and selling lots, acreage, homes, commercial properties, and eventually, property management. At present there is no local brick and mortar office, but they will meet you anywhere and almost any time for showings. They look forward to meeting new clients and serving past clients. Brandee and Skye can be reached at: Brandee - 928-245-4535, and Skye - 928-551-3961. Their email addresses are: arizonabrandee@gmail.com and skyesellsaz@gmail.com. Their affiliated West USA Realty office is located in Pinetop at 2482 E White Mountain Blvd #B Pinetop AZ 85935.

 

 

 

4/26/22

On occasion, we will be putting the history of Round Valley, (Springerville-Eagar) AZ  on our blog. This first installment comes from the website www.roundvalleyaz.com. It was written by the late Jack Becker, a Round Valley native. This first piece is a little about Jack and our history. Check out the round valley website for all the history or watch this blog for more installments.

   

Historian pieces history together

Copied from Valle Redondo Days '92
by Mike Grace (Special to the Independent)
Friday, September 4, 1992 --Valle Redondo Section -- Page 5D

SPRINGERVILLE-- Separating fact from fiction is a historian's greatest challenge.

     Tales of the old west, outlaws, gunslingers and reckless gamblers become taller through generations of storytelling.

     Simple deeds grow into acts of sweeping heroism. Hardship and disaster is retold as triumph and adventure.

     In the case of the history of the Round Valley area, no one has done more to unravel the mysteries and separate truth from fiction than life-long resident and historical researcher Jack Becker.

     A descendant of Gustav Becker, one of Round Valley's pioneer settlers, Jack has devoted many years to researching the background that forms the early history of the settlement of the area from 1869 to 1887.   Becker was born into the history of Round Valley due to his own family roots, which date back to the 1870s.

     Becker who works for the Apache County Adult Probation Department as coordinator of community services. He devotes virtually all his free time to searching archives, court records and old news clippings to garner threads of information regarding the lives of key figures in Round Valley history.

     "People were always asking me about the history of the area, and there really just wasn't much in the way of real historical work done, " he said. "A majority of 'local' histories have largely represented hand-me-down grandmother type retelling of non-researched stories, some of which were recounted totally incorrectly."

     Becker, who is totally self-taught in research techniques, used official records and newspapers of the period to locate and substantiate information. "Court records or official documents, of course, are the most dependable," he said, pointing out that it is "factual stuff."

     Newspaper writing from that period was biased and opinionated he said. You wouldn't believe how outlandish some of the editors and writers were in those days," he said. "A modern newspaper could never get away with that kind of writing, even on an editorial page."

     However prejudiced or not, Becker still gleans important information from such accounts, especially if there is more than one. Names, dates, and circumstances shine through even the most bigoted of writing.

     "What you look for is an official document collaterally supported by newspaper accounts," Becker said. "When you find both, that's virtually a lock-on."

     He said he personally does not engage in interviewing at all because of the time frame.  One of the problems in the Round Valley area is that our first permanent local newspaper, the St. Johns Herald, did not begin publishing until 1885.

     The Pioneer was established in 1882 by C. A. Franklin at St. Johns but didn't last long and no copies are known to exist.   The Apache Chief in 1884 was published for nine months during that year and was a highly anti-Mormon journal. It also did not survive.

     "This is a real problem because our history here actually begins around 1870, so we are looking at about a 15-year gap of historical events with no 'local' paper reporting on them." Becker said.

     To further complicate matters, this area was part of Yavapai County until February of 1879 with its seat in Prescott, 250 miles away. "Even after Apache County was created, the Legislature didn't get around to creating a judicial district until two years later," he said.

     For all intents and purposes, "historical" records here in the Round Valley don't begin until 1882.  "By 1885 our court records are fairly complete here. A lot of records from Prescott are missing in the interim period, so I count heavily on secondary research ---through newspapers," Becker said.

     "The great writers and historians of the period who wrote about all these sheriffs and personalities did not have access to what we do because there was no microfilm library. They didn't know what was going on in Prescott, Santa Fe, and other places critical to the developments here in Round Valley," he said.

     In the 1960s the government and historical societies, through grants, began microfilming records.

     "Let me tell you how happy I was when I first found out about the project years ago," Becker said.  "It's a lot easier to scan microfilm than to actually dig through the real thing."

     "What I say about historical writing is that if it isn't substantiated by a creditable source, don't even bother writing about it," Becker said.  And he should know.  His extensive research work and investigation has attracted the interest of the Arizona Historical Society, which is encouraging him to collaborate on a venture to publish much of his work.

     His research clearly shows the great majority of the original settlers came here from New Mexico or had resided there prior to entering this area and most were Hispanic, he said.  So for a lot of his research Becker goes back to New Mexico and legal documents and newspaper articles there.  I have to go back to the 1860s there in order to trace developments which led to Western movement here."

     New Mexico was fairly well established and Becker estimates that it had something like eight times the population of Arizona Territory in those days.     

     "The Round Valley area was Apache land and there weren't any settlers around prior to 1870.  Despite some tree-ring dating work done by a few researchers, the facts are that only transient movement occurred in Round Valley before 1870.  "When some of the first dendrochronology (tree ring dating) work came out, there was a lot of excitement because the results showed wood in structures around here that was a lot older than that particular time frame," he said.

"There's no question but that the dating of the construction material is correct," Becker said. "However, if you check the records over in New Mexico, you can find that the individual concerned who owned the structure was still over in Santa Fe or Albuquerque or wherever."

"The truth is that these people when they moved this way from New Mexico dismantled a lot of their structures and brought the wood here to reuse," he said.

     Until Fort Apache was established, this was heavy Indian country.  There is a very complete history of Fort Apache through Army records which are still completely intact. It was first known as Camp Ord, then Camp Mogollon, Camp Thomas, and finally, Camp Apache before becoming Fort Apache in 1879.

      "Fort Apache is what propelled everything in this area.  It was the economic basis and driving factor." Becker said.   "Sure this was a beautiful valley, but nobody could settle here on account of the insecurity of the Apache wars."

     The first settler consisted of the families of W.R. Milligan, O.W. McCoullough and Anthony Long. Contrary to many misplaced rumors, the area was not settled by sheep men.

     The fort was the driving force of economic reality that created the influx of settlers to this area."

     "With a large force of men here in the area, you had protection and also certain needs which acted as a magnet to attract people," he said.

     The presence of an Army post meant huge grain contracts, the need for beef, charcoal, wood and all sorts of materials.

     "The idea that this area was founded by outlaws is ridiculous. Who and what were they going to rob?" Becker said.  "We ended up with a lot of them, but they aren't what built this place."    

     "The Round Valley is a really rich multi-cultural mosaic of many elements, each of which has played a very important role in bringing us where we are today," said the historian. 

     Becker feels the most fascinating aspect of the "manifest destiny" era in the colonization of the Round Valley and Little Colorado area was the extreme cultural diversity in the various ethnic groups and how they adapted to one another.  "You had New Mexican sheep men, Anglo Texan cattlemen, Civil War veterans from both sides, friendly White Mountain Apaches, men on the run, farmers, prospectors, European immigrants and finally the Mormon colonists who came to stay," he said.

     These various groups vied for political power and economic dominance in local and county affairs, coming to a head during most of the 1880s with a minimum amount of violence and no range wars. "They simply learned to live with each other," Becker said.   He feels very strongly that what we do today becomes history tomorrow.  What makes it "exciting" history to some is its remoteness from us.

     "Today everything is documented and recorded in computer banks," he said. "What I search for is the thread that binds us to the past, when records weren't so complete and life was very different."

4/20/22

You never know what you may find in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.

04-07-2022

R LAZY J WILDLIFE RANCH

Sometimes the story behind the business is as interesting as the business itself. Take the R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch in Eagar. How does one become the operations manager, then owner of multiple wildlife ranches? Vanessa and Jacob Roer are the owners of R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch here, and the Roer Zoofari in Vienna, Virginia.

The story begins when Vanessa was a 14-year-old babysitter for the zoo director at the Bear Country USA in South Dakota. Her work ethics and trustworthiness impressed the director so much that when she was 16 years old, he hired her at the zoo. She started at the very bottom doing all the nasty jobs and was soon promoted to taking care of the newborns. After high school, she worked at the ranch seasonally through college. In the fall of 2009, she began running Bearazona near Williams, Arizona. They left Williams in 2016 to go east and took over the Roer Zoofari in Virginia. They soon realized that Virginia weather was not suitable for some of the animals they raised. That’s when they remembered their love for Arizona. During 2017 they purchased the land they are currently are located on. Remember, when opportunity knocks, open the door.

The R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch is located at 649 E. Central Ave. in Eagar. They are open 7 days a week year- round and the hours are 8am – 4:30pm. The guided open tram Safari Tours are at 10am, noon and 2pm. During the tour, many of the larger animals come up to the tram where you can hand feed them. After the Safari, is the guided walk around tour where you can get up-close and personal with some of the animals. The ranch has over 500 animals to view and interact with.

General admission is $25 for those 3 years and older. Seniors and military admissions are $20. School rates are $10 per student. Season passes are $75 for individuals and $250 for 6 member families or groups. Children under 3 are free. The tram can carry up to 40 passengers, so bring a crowd and cameras for more fun. You will love their gift shop.

For reservations, call 928-551-1824, or stop in at one of their tour times and we are sure you will be accommodated.

 
Springerville-Eagar Regional Chamber of Commerce CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD
By Bill Farbstein, Membership Chair
 
At a recent Foundation for Little Colorado Revitalization (FFLCR) meeting, Karalea Cox was presented the CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD by Chamber Director Becki Christensen and Board Members Tony Contrares and John Wilfong.
 
Karalea Cox, the President of the FFLCR, has been instrumental in procuring many loans and grants that will be of extreme value to our communities.
In 2021, the FFLCR received 2.2 million dollars in loans and grants from the USDA to assist in building a USDA meat processing plant. The new company that was formed is called Little Colorado Meats (LCM) and will be up and running within a month or two. LCM also received a Workforce Grant of $10,000 to assist with workforce hiring bonuses for staff.
 
Another plan in formation is an Aquatic Center. She and other foundation members surveyed the community and found overwhelming support from our citizens. This endeavor is still in the planning stages.
 
The FFLCR received a grant in 2019 to form a Business Expansion and Retention Program. This program pursued studies to help our communities understand the economic issues affecting our area.
 
A Small Business Revolving Loan Program was established. The Foundation received a USDA grant for $70,000 along with donations from Springerville, Eagar and St. Johns of $2500. The Industrial Development Authority of Apache County assisted with a donation of an additional $20,000. This money has been loaned to many small businesses in our communities.
 
The Foundation is working on a Retail Training Program to train and develop trained employees for our local retail businesses.
 
It is this dedication that earned Karalea the Citizen of the Year Award. The Chamber of Commerce is grateful to have such a hard-working community leader. She is a person we should all emulate.
 
 

3/26/2022

Radical Off-Road Raffle Drawing Winner!

The Radical Off-Road Raffle Drawing took place at the Chamber of Commerce on March 19, at 7:00pm. The winner is Jennifer of Gilbert, Arizona. Congratulations Jennifer!

Below is a video link to the Radical Off-Road Raffle drawing event.
 
 
 

3/23/2022

Spring is in the Air

The White Mountains of Eastern Arizona are waking up for spring. The temperatures are rising. The trees are starting to bud. The snow is melting, and the streams are rising. There is so much to do to keep you busy and entertained. April 15th is the anticipated date for the main roads into the forest to open. Until then we have much to see and do.

R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch in Eagar is open year- round, with tram safari’s rides to the larger animals and a walk - through area for the smaller ones. They also have a well - stocked gift shop for your perusal. Call 928-551-1824 for more info and prices.

The Springerville Heritage Center is open 6 days a week, with 4 free museums (the Renee Cushman Museum has a real Rembrandt etching). The Casa Malpais Ruins Tour is starting up again, weather permitting.

Lyman Lake State Park is just up the road and is open for camping, fishing, hiking, boating and petroglyph tours. Check out their website for more info. AZstateparks.com.

Other lakes in the area are:
Becker Lake, a catch and release fishery with trophy size trout.
Nelson Reservoir, south of Eagar, with boat ramps and shoreline fishing.
Luna Lake, just east of Alpine, has boat ramps, boat rentals, and store and camping.
Greer has three beautiful lakes with nearby camping and hiking and great restaurants.

Make sure you bring fishing rods, hiking boots, and day packs. What ever you forget can be purchased at Western Drug and General Store. Kayaks, bikes and E-Bikes can be purchased or rented at God’s Country Powersports in Eagar and Greer.

Here are a few other things going on this year:
The “Chrome in the Dome” Car show will be held at the end of April in the first domed high school football stadium in the world.

In June we will be hosting 4 days of “Buses by the Lake” on the shore of Lyman Lake State Park. Anything Volkswagen related is welcome to attend. Check out, busesbythelake.com.

The 4th of July in the White Mountains is the place to be. The parade starts in Eagar at 10am, then the Rodeo at 1pm, followed by fireworks at dusk. BBQ’s, Dances and fun all day.

Another local favorite is the “Springerville Rib Throwdown” starting on September 1st thru 3rd. All kinds of great tasting food available each day. Kids “Q” competition also.

Springerville-Eagar is a great place to vacation. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce for maps, day trip guides and information on everything mentioned above. We are located at 7 W. Main St. in Springerville. We are known as Round Valley because the only way out is up!

3/16/2022
SPRINGERVILLE-EAGAR REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARDS BANQUET

The Springerville-Eagar Chamber hosted its Annual Awards Banquet on March 12th at Avery’s BBQ in Springerville. It was a festive occasion for all that attended and a packed house as well. The menu was Smoked BBQ Ribs, Smoked Chicken and for veggie lovers, Smoked Jackfruit was available. The Chamber drew many door prizes for guests and there was a well-received silent auction.

Chamber Board of Directors President Greg Moter gave the opening remarks and then introduced all the Board Members. Chamber Director Becki Christensen introduced her staff and explained the steps the chamber is taking this year to increase our value to our members.

To start off the awards presentations, Membership Chair Bill Farbstein presented the First Annual Dave Pulsifer Award to Board Member and President Elect, Anthony Contreras. This annual award will be presented to a board member who best emulates Dave Pulsifer. Dave was an active and dedicated Board Member for many years and was a beloved leader to the Round Valley Community. He was a White Mountain Regional Medical Center Board Member for 17 years, served on the Apache County Sheriffs Search and Rescue Team for many years and ran the Round Valley Rodeo for 45 years. He also founded the Annual Friends and Family Picnic.

Tony Contreras is also an active Board Member who is held in the highest esteem by the Chamber Staff for all the work he has performed for us whenever he was needed. Tony is a professional Draftsman, a highly skilled photographer and a licensed Drone Pilot. He is an active member of the Foundation for the Little Colorado Revitalization and is the right-hand man for the Annual Springerville Rib Throwdown.

Awards were also presented to Volunteers of the Year Terry Shove and Danielle Hommel. Terry is currently President of the Round Valley School Board, a founding member and Secretary of the Foundation for the little Colorado River Revitalization, and she is involved with the Youth Basketball for Round Valley and St. Johns among many other interests. Danielle Hommel is currently the Manager of the Springerville RV Park, she is the right -hand women for the Springerville Rib Throwdown and is always there when and wherever she is needed. She is beloved by everyone who meets her.

God’s Country Powersports was presented with the Rookie Business of the Year Award. Tony and Jenny Harris opened God’s Country Powersports in the beginning of 2021. They sell motorcycles, sell and rent E-Bikes, bicycles and recently incorporated the inventory and service of the former Sweat Shop in Eagar. They now rent skis, snow boards, tubes and all the accessories that go with it.

Our Business of the Year Award went to Jacob and Vanessa Roer who are the owners of R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch in Eagar. They opened the ranch in the fall of 2018 and have been an exciting, educational and entertaining venue for all Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico. They have a guided open tram ride that takes you on a safari through the ranch where you can hand feed many of the animals. There is also a guided walk through the smaller animal enclosures. Mementoes are available in their gift shop.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Karalea Cox, owner of Common Sense Consulting and Facilitation in Eagar. Karalea was instrumental in forming the Foundation for the Little Colorado Revitalization, Little Colorado Meats and Round Valley Cares. She has written many grants that have increased the standard of living in all our local communities.

3/9/2022
MORE THAN JUST A CHAMBER

One of the many benefits of membership in the chamber is that you are always invited to stop in to visit with us during any given business day. We are here to chat, change business info, give business info, take applications, refer you to business owners that may be of help to you. Here are just a few of the other benefits you may want to discuss with us: 50 free black and white copies a month, color copies for just $.10 each, a bulk mail stamp, placement of your information for locals and tourists to see, development of color flyers for distribution or advertising and many more.

Some of our members are artists and are classified as vendors. We display their talents throughout the chamber.  Here is a list of who they are and what they offer:

Celtic Raven Leather – Custom Leather Work
Busy B Ranch – Scented Candles, over 60 Fragrances
Pat’s Treasure Box – Jewelry
Udderly Country – Homemade Fudge & Caramels
Call Verda- Relationship Coach and Author
Chana’s Hair Design – Hair & Skin Care Products
Childress.com – Nature Photography
Designs by DJ – Arts & Crafts
Artistic Illusions by Nikki – Wall Art and Crafts
Kim Trickey Art – Art
Roxanne Knight/K5 Gallery – Art & Jewelry
M&I Photo & Art – Wood Turned Bowls
Trotter Art – Art
Photography by JRT – Photo Art
White Mountain Chocolates & Blissful Publications – Home Made Candy & Books
White Mountain Dinosaur Center – Dinosaur Display, Tours and Toys
X Diamond Ranch – Books
Z’s Photography – Nature Photography

Come on by and see if there is anything we can do for you, and while you’re here see what else we have to offer.  We are located at 7 W. Main St. in Springerville. 928-333-2123.

3/2/2022
SUNSRISE PARK RESORT 

Sunrise Park Resort is planning to stay open to at least March 20th this year. If you would like to get a few runs in before the end of the season, now is the time. Rentals this year include Skis, Snowboards, Ski Bikes and Inner Tubes. Sunrise will be having season ending events starting March 1st. The resort has a hotel on the premises and the casino/hotel near Pinetop-Lakeside.

If you're interested in staying in laid back, beautiful Springerville-Eagar, you’ll find great hotels, restaurants and shopping. We also have a movie theater, ski and snow board rentals, e-bike rentals and the R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch, as well as fishing, hiking, and local museums. We are 27 miles or 34 minutes from the slopes.

For more information, you can find everything we have to offer on our Chamber website: springervilleeagarchamber.com. Take a few minutes to see what a great place the Springerville-Eagar areas are to move to or vacation in. While in town, stop in at the Chamber of Commerce to say hello and for more information about our area.

2/16/2022
COMING SOON!

Your Springerville-Eagar Regional Chamber of Commerce is honored to partner with ARIZONA@WORK to bring back the community opportunity for people wanting help with job hunting. In years past there was an office beside Blue Hills office in Eagar where displaced workers, youth who did not graduate, job seekers in need of training in a new industry and businesses in need of employees could go for help. That office has been closed for the last few years. Coming soon to the Chamber parking lot is the "ARIZONA@WORK Northeastern Arizona Mobile Job Center - a modified 15-passenger van designed to bring services that can be found in an ARIZONA@WORK job center to the job seekers of Apache County. The computers aboard the units have Internet access so job seekers can search for jobs and complete online applications and will be staffed with Career Specialists from a variety of ARIZONA@WORK programs that can provide assistance to job seekers with job searching, resumes, interviewing, as well as providing information about training/education." Your Chamber loves supporting our communities.

The Chamber Is Good For Business

HAVE YOU HEARD?

Your Springerville-Eagar Chamber is planning a huge event this June 9-12 at Lyman Lake. We have rented the entire beach area and invited all air-cooled Volkswagen vans, beetles, and new models to come experience our wonderland in Eastern Arizona. There will be food, a beer tent, craft vendors, contests, live music, games, raffles, fishing, swimming, boating, and camping. Even if you don't have a Volkswagen we have room for you. Come check out the vehicles, listen to the live music, enjoy some local food and/or beer. Day visit is $5 per person 12 and older. And, you could rent a camping space from us for either a day or for all three days. Are you a vendor? Call us at 928-333-2123 to register - cost is $15 a day or $45.

 

 

4/26/22

On occasion, we will be putting the history of Round Valley, (Springerville-Eagar) AZ  on our blog. This first installment comes from the website www.roundvalleyaz.com. It was written by the late Jack Becker, a Round Valley native. This first piece is a little about Jack and our history. Check out the round valley website for all the history or watch this blog for more installments.

   

Historian pieces history together

Copied from Valle Redondo Days '92
by Mike Grace (Special to the Independent)
Friday, September 4, 1992 --Valle Redondo Section -- Page 5D

SPRINGERVILLE-- Separating fact from fiction is a historian's greatest challenge.

     Tales of the old west, outlaws, gunslingers and reckless gamblers become taller through generations of storytelling.

     Simple deeds grow into acts of sweeping heroism. Hardship and disaster is retold as triumph and adventure.

     In the case of the history of the Round Valley area, no one has done more to unravel the mysteries and separate truth from fiction than life-long resident and historical researcher Jack Becker.

     A descendant of Gustav Becker, one of Round Valley's pioneer settlers, Jack has devoted many years to researching the background that forms the early history of the settlement of the area from 1869 to 1887.   Becker was born into the history of Round Valley due to his own family roots, which date back to the 1870s.

     Becker who works for the Apache County Adult Probation Department as coordinator of community services. He devotes virtually all his free time to searching archives, court records and old news clippings to garner threads of information regarding the lives of key figures in Round Valley history.

     "People were always asking me about the history of the area, and there really just wasn't much in the way of real historical work done, " he said. "A majority of 'local' histories have largely represented hand-me-down grandmother type retelling of non-researched stories, some of which were recounted totally incorrectly."

     Becker, who is totally self-taught in research techniques, used official records and newspapers of the period to locate and substantiate information. "Court records or official documents, of course, are the most dependable," he said, pointing out that it is "factual stuff."

     Newspaper writing from that period was biased and opinionated he said. You wouldn't believe how outlandish some of the editors and writers were in those days," he said. "A modern newspaper could never get away with that kind of writing, even on an editorial page."

     However prejudiced or not, Becker still gleans important information from such accounts, especially if there is more than one. Names, dates, and circumstances shine through even the most bigoted of writing.

     "What you look for is an official document collaterally supported by newspaper accounts," Becker said. "When you find both, that's virtually a lock-on."

     He said he personally does not engage in interviewing at all because of the time frame.  One of the problems in the Round Valley area is that our first permanent local newspaper, the St. Johns Herald, did not begin publishing until 1885.

     The Pioneer was established in 1882 by C. A. Franklin at St. Johns but didn't last long and no copies are known to exist.   The Apache Chief in 1884 was published for nine months during that year and was a highly anti-Mormon journal. It also did not survive.

     "This is a real problem because our history here actually begins around 1870, so we are looking at about a 15-year gap of historical events with no 'local' paper reporting on them." Becker said.

     To further complicate matters, this area was part of Yavapai County until February of 1879 with its seat in Prescott, 250 miles away. "Even after Apache County was created, the Legislature didn't get around to creating a judicial district until two years later," he said.

     For all intents and purposes, "historical" records here in the Round Valley don't begin until 1882.  "By 1885 our court records are fairly complete here. A lot of records from Prescott are missing in the interim period, so I count heavily on secondary research ---through newspapers," Becker said.

     "The great writers and historians of the period who wrote about all these sheriffs and personalities did not have access to what we do because there was no microfilm library. They didn't know what was going on in Prescott, Santa Fe, and other places critical to the developments here in Round Valley," he said.

     In the 1960s the government and historical societies, through grants, began microfilming records.

     "Let me tell you how happy I was when I first found out about the project years ago," Becker said.  "It's a lot easier to scan microfilm than to actually dig through the real thing."

     "What I say about historical writing is that if it isn't substantiated by a creditable source, don't even bother writing about it," Becker said.  And he should know.  His extensive research work and investigation has attracted the interest of the Arizona Historical Society, which is encouraging him to collaborate on a venture to publish much of his work.

     His research clearly shows the great majority of the original settlers came here from New Mexico or had resided there prior to entering this area and most were Hispanic, he said.  So for a lot of his research Becker goes back to New Mexico and legal documents and newspaper articles there.  I have to go back to the 1860s there in order to trace developments which led to Western movement here."

     New Mexico was fairly well established and Becker estimates that it had something like eight times the population of Arizona Territory in those days.     

     "The Round Valley area was Apache land and there weren't any settlers around prior to 1870.  Despite some tree-ring dating work done by a few researchers, the facts are that only transient movement occurred in Round Valley before 1870.  "When some of the first dendrochronology (tree ring dating) work came out, there was a lot of excitement because the results showed wood in structures around here that was a lot older than that particular time frame," he said.

"There's no question but that the dating of the construction material is correct," Becker said. "However, if you check the records over in New Mexico, you can find that the individual concerned who owned the structure was still over in Santa Fe or Albuquerque or wherever."

"The truth is that these people when they moved this way from New Mexico dismantled a lot of their structures and brought the wood here to reuse," he said.

     Until Fort Apache was established, this was heavy Indian country.  There is a very complete history of Fort Apache through Army records which are still completely intact. It was first known as Camp Ord, then Camp Mogollon, Camp Thomas, and finally, Camp Apache before becoming Fort Apache in 1879.

      "Fort Apache is what propelled everything in this area.  It was the economic basis and driving factor." Becker said.   "Sure this was a beautiful valley, but nobody could settle here on account of the insecurity of the Apache wars."

     The first settler consisted of the families of W.R. Milligan, O.W. McCoullough and Anthony Long. Contrary to many misplaced rumors, the area was not settled by sheep men.

     The fort was the driving force of economic reality that created the influx of settlers to this area."

     "With a large force of men here in the area, you had protection and also certain needs which acted as a magnet to attract people," he said.

     The presence of an Army post meant huge grain contracts, the need for beef, charcoal, wood and all sorts of materials.

     "The idea that this area was founded by outlaws is ridiculous. Who and what were they going to rob?" Becker said.  "We ended up with a lot of them, but they aren't what built this place."    

     "The Round Valley is a really rich multi-cultural mosaic of many elements, each of which has played a very important role in bringing us where we are today," said the historian. 

     Becker feels the most fascinating aspect of the "manifest destiny" era in the colonization of the Round Valley and Little Colorado area was the extreme cultural diversity in the various ethnic groups and how they adapted to one another.  "You had New Mexican sheep men, Anglo Texan cattlemen, Civil War veterans from both sides, friendly White Mountain Apaches, men on the run, farmers, prospectors, European immigrants and finally the Mormon colonists who came to stay," he said.

     These various groups vied for political power and economic dominance in local and county affairs, coming to a head during most of the 1880s with a minimum amount of violence and no range wars. "They simply learned to live with each other," Becker said.   He feels very strongly that what we do today becomes history tomorrow.  What makes it "exciting" history to some is its remoteness from us.

     "Today everything is documented and recorded in computer banks," he said. "What I search for is the thread that binds us to the past, when records weren't so complete and life was very different."

4/20/22

You never know what you may find in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.

04-07-2022

R LAZY J WILDLIFE RANCH

Sometimes the story behind the business is as interesting as the business itself. Take the R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch in Eagar. How does one become the operations manager, then owner of multiple wildlife ranches? Vanessa and Jacob Roer are the owners of R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch here, and the Roer Zoofari in Vienna, Virginia.

The story begins when Vanessa was a 14-year-old babysitter for the zoo director at the Bear Country USA in South Dakota. Her work ethics and trustworthiness impressed the director so much that when she was 16 years old, he hired her at the zoo. She started at the very bottom doing all the nasty jobs and was soon promoted to taking care of the newborns. After high school, she worked at the ranch seasonally through college. In the fall of 2009, she began running Bearazona near Williams, Arizona. They left Williams in 2016 to go east and took over the Roer Zoofari in Virginia. They soon realized that Virginia weather was not suitable for some of the animals they raised. That’s when they remembered their love for Arizona. During 2017 they purchased the land they are currently are located on. Remember, when opportunity knocks, open the door.

The R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch is located at 649 E. Central Ave. in Eagar. They are open 7 days a week year- round and the hours are 8am – 4:30pm. The guided open tram Safari Tours are at 10am, noon and 2pm. During the tour, many of the larger animals come up to the tram where you can hand feed them. After the Safari, is the guided walk around tour where you can get up-close and personal with some of the animals. The ranch has over 500 animals to view and interact with.

General admission is $25 for those 3 years and older. Seniors and military admissions are $20. School rates are $10 per student. Season passes are $75 for individuals and $250 for 6 member families or groups. Children under 3 are free. The tram can carry up to 40 passengers, so bring a crowd and cameras for more fun. You will love their gift shop.

For reservations, call 928-551-1824, or stop in at one of their tour times and we are sure you will be accommodated.

 
Springerville-Eagar Regional Chamber of Commerce CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD
By Bill Farbstein, Membership Chair
 
At a recent Foundation for Little Colorado Revitalization (FFLCR) meeting, Karalea Cox was presented the CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD by Chamber Director Becki Christensen and Board Members Tony Contrares and John Wilfong.
 
Karalea Cox, the President of the FFLCR, has been instrumental in procuring many loans and grants that will be of extreme value to our communities.
In 2021, the FFLCR received 2.2 million dollars in loans and grants from the USDA to assist in building a USDA meat processing plant. The new company that was formed is called Little Colorado Meats (LCM) and will be up and running within a month or two. LCM also received a Workforce Grant of $10,000 to assist with workforce hiring bonuses for staff.
 
Another plan in formation is an Aquatic Center. She and other foundation members surveyed the community and found overwhelming support from our citizens. This endeavor is still in the planning stages.
 
The FFLCR received a grant in 2019 to form a Business Expansion and Retention Program. This program pursued studies to help our communities understand the economic issues affecting our area.
 
A Small Business Revolving Loan Program was established. The Foundation received a USDA grant for $70,000 along with donations from Springerville, Eagar and St. Johns of $2500. The Industrial Development Authority of Apache County assisted with a donation of an additional $20,000. This money has been loaned to many small businesses in our communities.
 
The Foundation is working on a Retail Training Program to train and develop trained employees for our local retail businesses.
 
It is this dedication that earned Karalea the Citizen of the Year Award. The Chamber of Commerce is grateful to have such a hard-working community leader. She is a person we should all emulate.
 
 

3/26/2022

Radical Off-Road Raffle Drawing Winner!

The Radical Off-Road Raffle Drawing took place at the Chamber of Commerce on March 19, at 7:00pm. The winner is Jennifer of Gilbert, Arizona. Congratulations Jennifer!

Below is a video link to the Radical Off-Road Raffle drawing event.
 
 
 

3/23/2022

Spring is in the Air

The White Mountains of Eastern Arizona are waking up for spring. The temperatures are rising. The trees are starting to bud. The snow is melting, and the streams are rising. There is so much to do to keep you busy and entertained. April 15th is the anticipated date for the main roads into the forest to open. Until then we have much to see and do.

R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch in Eagar is open year- round, with tram safari’s rides to the larger animals and a walk - through area for the smaller ones. They also have a well - stocked gift shop for your perusal. Call 928-551-1824 for more info and prices.

The Springerville Heritage Center is open 6 days a week, with 4 free museums (the Renee Cushman Museum has a real Rembrandt etching). The Casa Malpais Ruins Tour is starting up again, weather permitting.

Lyman Lake State Park is just up the road and is open for camping, fishing, hiking, boating and petroglyph tours. Check out their website for more info. AZstateparks.com.

Other lakes in the area are:
Becker Lake, a catch and release fishery with trophy size trout.
Nelson Reservoir, south of Eagar, with boat ramps and shoreline fishing.
Luna Lake, just east of Alpine, has boat ramps, boat rentals, and store and camping.
Greer has three beautiful lakes with nearby camping and hiking and great restaurants.

Make sure you bring fishing rods, hiking boots, and day packs. What ever you forget can be purchased at Western Drug and General Store. Kayaks, bikes and E-Bikes can be purchased or rented at God’s Country Powersports in Eagar and Greer.

Here are a few other things going on this year:
The “Chrome in the Dome” Car show will be held at the end of April in the first domed high school football stadium in the world.

In June we will be hosting 4 days of “Buses by the Lake” on the shore of Lyman Lake State Park. Anything Volkswagen related is welcome to attend. Check out, busesbythelake.com.

The 4th of July in the White Mountains is the place to be. The parade starts in Eagar at 10am, then the Rodeo at 1pm, followed by fireworks at dusk. BBQ’s, Dances and fun all day.

Another local favorite is the “Springerville Rib Throwdown” starting on September 1st thru 3rd. All kinds of great tasting food available each day. Kids “Q” competition also.

Springerville-Eagar is a great place to vacation. Stop by the Chamber of Commerce for maps, day trip guides and information on everything mentioned above. We are located at 7 W. Main St. in Springerville. We are known as Round Valley because the only way out is up!

3/16/2022
SPRINGERVILLE-EAGAR REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AWARDS BANQUET

The Springerville-Eagar Chamber hosted its Annual Awards Banquet on March 12th at Avery’s BBQ in Springerville. It was a festive occasion for all that attended and a packed house as well. The menu was Smoked BBQ Ribs, Smoked Chicken and for veggie lovers, Smoked Jackfruit was available. The Chamber drew many door prizes for guests and there was a well-received silent auction.

Chamber Board of Directors President Greg Moter gave the opening remarks and then introduced all the Board Members. Chamber Director Becki Christensen introduced her staff and explained the steps the chamber is taking this year to increase our value to our members.

To start off the awards presentations, Membership Chair Bill Farbstein presented the First Annual Dave Pulsifer Award to Board Member and President Elect, Anthony Contreras. This annual award will be presented to a board member who best emulates Dave Pulsifer. Dave was an active and dedicated Board Member for many years and was a beloved leader to the Round Valley Community. He was a White Mountain Regional Medical Center Board Member for 17 years, served on the Apache County Sheriffs Search and Rescue Team for many years and ran the Round Valley Rodeo for 45 years. He also founded the Annual Friends and Family Picnic.

Tony Contreras is also an active Board Member who is held in the highest esteem by the Chamber Staff for all the work he has performed for us whenever he was needed. Tony is a professional Draftsman, a highly skilled photographer and a licensed Drone Pilot. He is an active member of the Foundation for the Little Colorado Revitalization and is the right-hand man for the Annual Springerville Rib Throwdown.

Awards were also presented to Volunteers of the Year Terry Shove and Danielle Hommel. Terry is currently President of the Round Valley School Board, a founding member and Secretary of the Foundation for the little Colorado River Revitalization, and she is involved with the Youth Basketball for Round Valley and St. Johns among many other interests. Danielle Hommel is currently the Manager of the Springerville RV Park, she is the right -hand women for the Springerville Rib Throwdown and is always there when and wherever she is needed. She is beloved by everyone who meets her.

God’s Country Powersports was presented with the Rookie Business of the Year Award. Tony and Jenny Harris opened God’s Country Powersports in the beginning of 2021. They sell motorcycles, sell and rent E-Bikes, bicycles and recently incorporated the inventory and service of the former Sweat Shop in Eagar. They now rent skis, snow boards, tubes and all the accessories that go with it.

Our Business of the Year Award went to Jacob and Vanessa Roer who are the owners of R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch in Eagar. They opened the ranch in the fall of 2018 and have been an exciting, educational and entertaining venue for all Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico. They have a guided open tram ride that takes you on a safari through the ranch where you can hand feed many of the animals. There is also a guided walk through the smaller animal enclosures. Mementoes are available in their gift shop.

The Citizen of the Year Award went to Karalea Cox, owner of Common Sense Consulting and Facilitation in Eagar. Karalea was instrumental in forming the Foundation for the Little Colorado Revitalization, Little Colorado Meats and Round Valley Cares. She has written many grants that have increased the standard of living in all our local communities.

3/9/2022
MORE THAN JUST A CHAMBER

One of the many benefits of membership in the chamber is that you are always invited to stop in to visit with us during any given business day. We are here to chat, change business info, give business info, take applications, refer you to business owners that may be of help to you. Here are just a few of the other benefits you may want to discuss with us: 50 free black and white copies a month, color copies for just $.10 each, a bulk mail stamp, placement of your information for locals and tourists to see, development of color flyers for distribution or advertising and many more.

Some of our members are artists and are classified as vendors. We display their talents throughout the chamber.  Here is a list of who they are and what they offer:

Celtic Raven Leather – Custom Leather Work
Busy B Ranch – Scented Candles, over 60 Fragrances
Pat’s Treasure Box – Jewelry
Udderly Country – Homemade Fudge & Caramels
Call Verda- Relationship Coach and Author
Chana’s Hair Design – Hair & Skin Care Products
Childress.com – Nature Photography
Designs by DJ – Arts & Crafts
Artistic Illusions by Nikki – Wall Art and Crafts
Kim Trickey Art – Art
Roxanne Knight/K5 Gallery – Art & Jewelry
M&I Photo & Art – Wood Turned Bowls
Trotter Art – Art
Photography by JRT – Photo Art
White Mountain Chocolates & Blissful Publications – Home Made Candy & Books
White Mountain Dinosaur Center – Dinosaur Display, Tours and Toys
X Diamond Ranch – Books
Z’s Photography – Nature Photography

Come on by and see if there is anything we can do for you, and while you’re here see what else we have to offer.  We are located at 7 W. Main St. in Springerville. 928-333-2123.

3/2/2022
SUNSRISE PARK RESORT 

Sunrise Park Resort is planning to stay open to at least March 20th this year. If you would like to get a few runs in before the end of the season, now is the time. Rentals this year include Skis, Snowboards, Ski Bikes and Inner Tubes. Sunrise will be having season ending events starting March 1st. The resort has a hotel on the premises and the casino/hotel near Pinetop-Lakeside.

If you're interested in staying in laid back, beautiful Springerville-Eagar, you’ll find great hotels, restaurants and shopping. We also have a movie theater, ski and snow board rentals, e-bike rentals and the R Lazy J Wildlife Ranch, as well as fishing, hiking, and local museums. We are 27 miles or 34 minutes from the slopes.

For more information, you can find everything we have to offer on our Chamber website: springervilleeagarchamber.com. Take a few minutes to see what a great place the Springerville-Eagar areas are to move to or vacation in. While in town, stop in at the Chamber of Commerce to say hello and for more information about our area.

2/16/2022
COMING SOON!

Your Springerville-Eagar Regional Chamber of Commerce is honored to partner with ARIZONA@WORK to bring back the community opportunity for people wanting help with job hunting. In years past there was an office beside Blue Hills office in Eagar where displaced workers, youth who did not graduate, job seekers in need of training in a new industry and businesses in need of employees could go for help. That office has been closed for the last few years. Coming soon to the Chamber parking lot is the "ARIZONA@WORK Northeastern Arizona Mobile Job Center - a modified 15-passenger van designed to bring services that can be found in an ARIZONA@WORK job center to the job seekers of Apache County. The computers aboard the units have Internet access so job seekers can search for jobs and complete online applications and will be staffed with Career Specialists from a variety of ARIZONA@WORK programs that can provide assistance to job seekers with job searching, resumes, interviewing, as well as providing information about training/education." Your Chamber loves supporting our communities.

 

 

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