Thursday, December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009
As you may or may not know, The True West Preservation Society has been attempting to salvage and honor the gravesite of Mattie Earp, Wyatt's second significant other. After being abandoned by Wyatt in 1882 Mattie ended up "on the line" near Superior, Arizona in a small mining town named Pinal. She died there from an overdose of laudinum and was buried without much fanfare (or, a known headstone).

Our good friend Vince Murray (of Arizona Historical Research fame, see What History Has Taught Me, TW, July 2009) has been pursuing a solution for us. Here is an update from our production manager:

"Yesterday Vince Murray and I drove out to the Old Pinal Cemetery to discuss putting a fence around this site with three Forest Service officials. Everyone is in agreement that this is a good idea and the City of Superior will also be involved.

"We surveyed the site, identifying several dog graves in the process (two of the forest Service guys are archeologists) and walked the perimeter to identify the boundary of the proposed fence.

"It was determined that the fence would be triangular with two pedestrian entrances. The fence will be constructed of barbed wire and Vince is working up a proposal showing exactly what materials will be needed.

"There is currently a turnaround on the trail leading to the cemetery right were the Mattie Earp shrine was. It was decided that we should move this turnaround back up the trail and leave a space for parking so as to limit traffic close to the cemetery. One of the pedestrian openings will be facing this turnaround area.

"The other pedestrian opening will be adjacent to the historical hiking and equestrian trail being built by the City of Superior. This trail will join up with the Arizona Trail.

"Vince is looking into what materials will be need while the Forest Service guys are getting all the permits and approvals required. When these things have been accomplished, I believe there will be another meeting with TWPS the Forest Service and the City of Superior.

"Finally we will need to gather volunteers to erect the fence (estimated as two days work). We already have some geocachers express an interest in helping."
—Robert Ray

When it was mentioned that someone has been poking makeshift rebar crosses into the ground around Mattie's gravesite, one of the forest rangers, replied:

"We need to get this fence up because, Lord knows, Mattie has been poked enough."
—A Forest Ranger who wishes to remain anonymous

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