Saturday, July 6, 2013

Dude Fire memorial and Zane Grey cabin in Payson

I recently stopped by the Dude Fire statue outside of the Rim Country Museum and next to the Zane Grey Cabin and Museum in Payson. It honors the six firefighters killed in the Dude Fire of 1990, as well as three people killed in three other wildfires. The next day, another tragedy occurred: 19 firefighters were killed in Yarnell. It's a reminder of the danger wildland firefighters constantly face.

The original Zane Grey cabin was destroyed in the 1990 Dude Fire. A replica was built in Green Valley Park and opened in 2005. The Northern Gila County Historical Society describes Western author Grey's influence on his "beloved Arizona":  "From 1918-1929, Grey regularly spent time in Arizona, owning numerous pieces of land and helping immortalize Rim Country through books such as 'Under the Tonto Rim,' 'Code of the West,' and 'To the Last Man.'"

The Zane Grey cabin is adjacent to a man-made lake at Green Valley Park.