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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Superior in Pinal County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

What is the Story Behind the Picketpost House?

... a wealthy man built a house and planted a vision

 
 
What is the Story Behind the Picketpost House? Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 11, 2014
1. What is the Story Behind the Picketpost House? Marker
Inscription.
Colonel William Boyce Thompson was a mining promoter, financial magnate, and Red Cross officer. He fell in love with the Picketpost Mountain area when he first visited his Magma Copper Mine near Superior and chose this spot for his winter home. Before the Picketpost House was completed, the Colonel had already begun to plan the Arboretum.

Why did Colonel Thompson Start an Arboretum?
to create a place where desert plants could be studied and appreciated


Colonel Thompson's Red Cross mission to an impoverished Russia in 1917 convinced him that growing and using plants wisely could help solve our global food problems. In addition, he greatly regretted the damage to the local area caused by mining, timbering, and overgrazing. His concern for the land, combined with his keen interest in plants, inspired him to establish "the most beautiful and useful garden of its kind in the world."

Planning and planting a desert arboretum
Support for the Arboretum came from many people in the scientific and business community.
Plants were brought in from many deserts of the earth.
Greenhouses and study centers were carefully planned and built to blend into the area and provide for the needs of research staff.
Work on the Arboretum was done by hard-working
Marker detail: Picketpost House construction image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Picketpost House construction
Begun in 1923, the house was designed by Colonel Thompson to blend into its surrounding:
The southern portion of the house (at right in photo) burned down in 1953.
A concealed elevator, no longer in service, carried people from the mansion to the bottom of Queen Creek Canyon 200 feet below.
Yugoslavian mason "Dobey Tom" built the rock walls by hand, using locally quarried stone.
gardeners. The care and attention they put into their work shows in the Arboretum today.
Roads and pathways were carefully placed so as not to interfere with established native plants.
 
Location. 33° 16.703′ N, 111° 9.119′ W. Marker is near Superior, Arizona, in Pinal County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of U.S. 60 at milepost 223 and Boyce Thompson Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located within the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, about 1/2 mile from the visitor center along the trail that circumnavigates the park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 37615 East US Highway 60, Superior AZ 85173, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Picket Post Mountain (approx. mile away); Historic Pinal Cemetery (approx. 1.3 miles away); US 60 History Trail (approx. 2.7 miles away); Robert Taylor 'Bob' Jones (approx. 3.3 miles away); Sonora, Arizona (approx. 11.6 miles away); Dons's Camp (approx. 14.1 miles away).
 
More about this marker. Marker is a large, wood-framed "poster-style" plaque, mounted at eye-level, in an shade-kiosk overlooking the Picketpost House from Queen Creek Canyon below.
 
Related markers.
What is the Story Behind the Picketpost House? Marker (<i>wide view; marker visible in kiosk</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 11, 2014
3. What is the Story Behind the Picketpost House? Marker (wide view; marker visible in kiosk)
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. William Boyce Thompson
 
Also see . . .  A Brief Biography of Col. William Boyce Thompson.
Colonel William Boyce Thompson was born May 13, 1869 in Alder Gulch, Montana. By 1906, through other investing in Nevada, Arizona and Utah he had made his first million. He continued to pursue Wall Street mining ventures. In 1907, he purchased the Magma Mine, in Superior, Arizona. Meanwhile, he built a grand estate in Yonkers, New York. In 1909 he was forty, a millionaire and art collector. At this period he also began his far reaching philanthropic endeavors, endowing industrial plants, scholarships, fellowships, research establishments, etc. He soon picked Franklin J. Crider, University of Arizona, to establish the Boyce Thompson Southwest Arboretum on a portion of the 400 acres. (Submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryNotable PersonsNotable PlacesParks & Recreational Areas
 
Picketpost House (<i>view from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 11, 2014
4. Picketpost House (view from near marker)
Picketpost House (<i>view from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 11, 2014
5. Picketpost House (view from marker)
Boyce Thompson Arboretum (<i>entrance near US Highway 60</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 11, 2014
6. Boyce Thompson Arboretum (entrance near US Highway 60)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 7, 2018. This page originally submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 52 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 5, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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