This is the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church. It was built in 1912.
Prisoners at the time this building was built, built these benches that are still in the church.
Or. . . .
Or. . . .
How many ways can you use the word 'build' in one sentence?
I don't know why, but the way they built things out of adobe in this state totally fascinates me.
So if you don't know, and I shouldn't know because this was wayyy before my time, this is a memorial to Tom Mix - the silent movie 'King of the Cowboys'. In fact, it's mostly a memorial to his horse named Tony. It's said that the horse got more fan mail than he did.
This is his car. A 1937 Cord 812, Tom Mix was killed in an accident in 1940 in this car about twenty miles south of Florence. This website tells about the restoration. He apparently was going 80 mph which was mighty fast in those days.
It's a 1937 Cord.
And I want one.
On the way home, we went through Coolidge which really - it's not that great of a town. But, it's the home of the Casa Grande Ruins which are really interesting. Phyllis had already seen them before and I had been there about a hundred times, so we didn't intend to stop there. We just went through town which really isn't much and hit the highway again.
And then when we got into Sacaton, I slammed on the brakes for this photo op.
Sacaton is a Pima Native American town for the most part. It was established as a mail stop on the Gila River (pronounced with an H) in the 1800's. It's 97 percent Pima Indian, .6 percent Asian and 1 percent White.
So as I said, I stopped at this church for the top photo. It just looked interesting. However, when I went to search up the history this morning, I found a site that makes me wish we had walked around it a while. Lots of history there. If you're interested, hit the link. If not, that's okay, too. Not everybody is into anything historic as I am.
Sacaton is known for the lives of two Pima Native American men who served in two wars - World War I and World War II. WWI was a man named Matthew B. Juan who was killed in that war in France on May 21, 1918, and WWII was a man named Ira Hayes who was one of the men who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima.
This is the monument to Ira H. Hayes. And nearly everything in Sacaton is named after him. The Library, cafe, laundry, VFW post, you name it.
Ira had a sad life. He was a very shy, timid person in nature and yet when the war came he enlisted into the Marines. Then the incident on Iwo Jima happened which propelled all of the ones who held the flag into hero worship all over this country. They were held up to such a high extreme that many of them couldn't handle it. Ira was one of these. He eventually ended up back in Sacaton where things didn't go well there and put that all together with alcohol and he was found dead in January of 1955 out in a muddy corral beside an adobe hut in Sacaton. Read the book 'Flags of our Fathers'. It brings out what Ira went through.
He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A tremendous high honor.
I kept trying to get a shot of this POW flag but the wind wouldn't allow it.
When we were there, there were five older men all huddled around the memorial talking and exchanging war stories. One was Air Force, one was Army, one was Navy, and one was Marine. I think the fifth was was a cousin of one of them. They were so cute. We talked with them and as you can see above had some jovial moments.
It was fun meeting them.