Why is the area called Beaver Creek?
Beaver Creek, presumably named by early hunters and settlers due to the prolific numbers of beavers, flows year-round through the unincorporated communities of Rimrock, Lake Montezuma, and McGuireville. The Creek originates 12 miles east of the Beaver Creek Ranger Station at an elevation of about 6,200 feet and enters the Verde River near 3,000 feet. In 1984 Congress designated the Wet Beaver Wilderness area that now totals 6,178 acres and is managed by the Forest Service.
How did Lake Montezuma get its name?
The land originally was homesteaded by William Schroeder and his family in the early 1900s. Known as the Schroeder Place and the Home Ranch, it changed hands many times. In 1938, Justin Whitlock Dart, Sr., an executive with the Walgreens Drugstore chain, purchased 3000 acres, including the main ranch house, and set the stage for further development. In the late 1950s, one of the new owners, Lew King, changed the name to Lake Montezuma because of the proximity to Montezuma Well and Montezuma Castle National Monuments.
How did Rimrock get its name?
The surrounding hills, rims of rock, influenced the naming of the historic guest (dude) ranch, Rimrock Ranch in 1928. About the same time the U.S. postal department needed a name for mail delivery. Virginia Finnie Lowdermilk, one of the owners of Rimrock Ranch, wrote and suggested the name Rimrock which was accepted and has been used ever since.
How did McGuireville get its name?
Eugene McGuire Sr. bought the homestead relinquishment from John Taylor in the early 1900s and the area became known as McGuireville. He was known as a generous and hospitable person who granted home sites to anyone who would build a home on them. His home and Midge Pigman’s grocery store are still standing and are currently antique shops. He also built a gas station. The Black Canyon Freeway (Interstate 17) was designed to pass through some of McGuire’s property and the land he sold went for a premium price.
What is Montezuma Well?
Montezuma Well’s name is a complete misnomer. Montezuma never left Mexico City. The Well is located in a travertine spring mound, 135’ deep and 470’ across. Warm springs in the bottom of the pond maintain a near-constant temperature of 76 degrees. A small 150-foot cave at pond level allows the water to drain out into Beaver Creek but the pond retains a constant depth of 55 feet. To many Native Americans the water is sacred and therefore used for ceremonies. The steady outflow has been used for irrigation since the 8th century. Part of a prehistoric canal is preserved near the picnic grounds on the site and portions of the canal’s original route are still in use today. “The Well is a unique place of never-changing and ever-changing beauty, and a spiritual home.” (Jack Beckman)
Off I-17, Exit 293, go about 4 miles east on Beaver Creek Road
Pigman's Store Candy's Creekside Cottage - Formerly Pigman's Store Eugene McGuire's gas station in McGuireville Montezuma Well with Ruins
Candy's Creekside Cottage - Formerly Pigman's Store
Eugene McGuire's gas station in McGuireville
Montezuma Well with Ruins