Coronado Mesa

Gregory E. Davis

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Cubfan64

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I do not know - I've been trying to find that out on and off for a long time
 

Matthew Roberts

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Good evening gentlemen. Does anybody know who named Coronado Mesa located south of Horse Mesa Dam? The earliest reference I have to it is on an old 1912 edition of the Roosevelt Dam, Topography Map, surveyed in 1900. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
Greg,
It had to be an early effort by the Southern Pacific Railroad to generate business on their Globe line which included their promotion of the Apache Trail Auto Route.
By 1920 the SPRR was publishing numerous maps and color posters of the Apache Trail and its many wonders. Dozens of peaks, canyons and creeks were named on these tourist maps and have endured until today.
Once Roosevelt Dam was completed (1908) the SPRR began its campaign to attract tourists to its Globe line and used the Roosevelt Dam and Apache Trail as its magnet.
 

Cubfan64

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Greg,
It had to be an early effort by the Southern Pacific Railroad to generate business on their Globe line which included their promotion of the Apache Trail Auto Route.
By 1920 the SPRR was publishing numerous maps and color posters of the Apache Trail and its many wonders. Dozens of peaks, canyons and creeks were named on these tourist maps and have endured until today.
Once Roosevelt Dam was completed (1908) the SPRR began its campaign to attract tourists to its Globe line and used the Roosevelt Dam and Apache Trail as its magnet.
Wish we could find a way to confirm that
 

Cubfan64

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Was just trying to suggest a possible explanation for the name. Didn't mean it was the only explanation.
Don't misunderstand me - It's the most probably explanation to date imho - I understood your meaning that it wasn't the only explanation - just wishing there was some way to pin it down. Like an earlier map with a different name or no name and then one after the railroad where it has that name. Or some sort of documentation where it was "given" the name by the railroad or some other body.
 

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Gregory E. Davis

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Oct 22, 2013
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Don't misunderstand me - It's the most probably explanation to date imho - I understood your meaning that it wasn't the only explanation - just wishing there was some way to pin it down. Like an earlier map with a different name or no name and then one after the railroad where it has that name. Or some sort of documentation where it was "given" the name by the railroad or some other body.
Good evening everybody. Jack Carlson sent me some pictures of the 1909 proof and the 1909 printed copy of the old USGH Topographic Map for Roosevelt Dam from a USGS site where they have copies on line of the old maps. Neither one of the maps show Coronado Mesa only Horse Mesa. 'So it appears that Coronado Mesa was added to the later versions of that Roosevelt Dam Map. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
 

Cubfan64

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Good evening everybody. Jack Carlson sent me some pictures of the 1909 proof and the 1909 printed copy of the old USGH Topographic Map for Roosevelt Dam from a USGS site where they have copies on line of the old maps. Neither one of the maps show Coronado Mesa only Horse Mesa. 'So it appears that Coronado Mesa was added to the later versions of that Roosevelt Dam Map. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
That's certainly a good clue and reinforces Kraig's idea. Thanks
 

PotBelly Jim

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Paul/Greg,

Victor (Hal Croves) may have the file you're looking for. I remember he'd identified the guy who did all the naming for the Apache Trail as a Prof. Aubrey Drury ...working for the Southern Pacific and their auto-route on the Mesa-Roosevelt road. He had a thread on here a few years back and it appeared to me at least that Victor had the Prof's files, or had contacted someone that did.

As background, all geographic place names in the USA are decided by the US Board on Geographic Names. It was named a little differently back when these place names were submitted, but essentially did the same thing. Once the board makes a decision on a place name, all US Gov't entities are obligated to comply. This is how most place names get onto USGS or other gov't maps.

It appears to me that the good Prof. submitted these SPRR place names to the Board around 1917...or at least, that's when the board appears to have first approved them...the 1917/1918 time-frame.

At some point around 1932, the USFS asked the board to vacate many of the place names we see on or near the Apache Trail. The board complied and many of these place names were vacated in 1932/1933 time-frame. Coronado Mesa was vacated as a place name as of 01/01/1933.

The funny part is that the USGS has gone back and is re-using some of these vacated place names on modern maps...such as Coronado Mesa. They are using them as "historical" place names, even though the board had vacated them in the 1930's.

This makes me wonder if at some point they are going to ask the board to re-name them with their "historical" names?

Here's a snippet of the geographical place names around the Apache Trail that were vacated:

Snip.JPG


This data came from the AZ USGS place name database that they use on their maps.

Attached as a text file is the complete set that I took from their database that I saw were vacated in that area.

From what Victor had found, it sounded like the Prof. had gotten many of these place names from the locals, such as Geronimo Head. So perhaps he has something in his files that might give a date, or source, for the naming of "Coronado Mesa".
 

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Gregory E. Davis

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Oct 22, 2013
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Paul/Greg,

Victor (Hal Croves) may have the file you're looking for. I remember he'd identified the guy who did all the naming for the Apache Trail as a Prof. Aubrey Drury ...working for the Southern Pacific and their auto-route on the Mesa-Roosevelt road. He had a thread on here a few years back and it appeared to me at least that Victor had the Prof's files, or had contacted someone that did.

As background, all geographic place names in the USA are decided by the US Board on Geographic Names. It was named a little differently back when these place names were submitted, but essentially did the same thing. Once the board makes a decision on a place name, all US Gov't entities are obligated to comply. This is how most place names get onto USGS or other gov't maps.

It appears to me that the good Prof. submitted these SPRR place names to the Board around 1917...or at least, that's when the board appears to have first approved them...the 1917/1918 time-frame.

At some point around 1932, the USFS asked the board to vacate many of the place names we see on or near the Apache Trail. The board complied and many of these place names were vacated in 1932/1933 time-frame. Coronado Mesa was vacated as a place name as of 01/01/1933.

The funny part is that the USGS has gone back and is re-using some of these vacated place names on modern maps...such as Coronado Mesa. They are using them as "historical" place names, even though the board had vacated them in the 1930's.

This makes me wonder if at some point they are going to ask the board to re-name them with their "historical" names?

Here's a snippet of the geographical place names around the Apache Trail that were vacated:

View attachment 2109085

This data came from the AZ USGS place name database that they use on their maps.

Attached as a text file is the complete set that I took from their database that I saw were vacated in that area.

From what Victor had found, it sounded like the Prof. had gotten many of these place names from the locals, such as Geronimo Head. So perhaps he has something in his files that might give a date, or source, for the naming of "Coronado Mesa".
Nice work. Thank you. Gregory E. Davis
 

Clay Diggins

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Good evening everybody. Jack Carlson sent me some pictures of the 1909 proof and the 1909 printed copy of the old USGH Topographic Map for Roosevelt Dam from a USGS site where they have copies on line of the old maps. Neither one of the maps show Coronado Mesa only Horse Mesa. 'So it appears that Coronado Mesa was added to the later versions of that Roosevelt Dam Map. Cordially, Gregory E. Davis
I think everyone is chasing made up ghosts. Coronado Mesa is still on the current topo maps. I'll help you develop the research skills you need to verify this for yourself.

The 1907 Roosevelt topo shows Coronado Mesa.
The 1909 Roosevelt topo version was a reduced paper size and several features (including Coronado Mesa) were eliminated to meet the reduced printing resolution. This is common to topos of this era.
The original 1912 Roosevelt topo was also a reduced paper size and did not have all features.
In 1928 the 1912 Roosevelt topo was republished on larger paper and Coronado Mesa was added back to the map.
All subsequent versions of the Roosevelt topo had Coronado Mesa on them.
All of the above maps were 1 : 125,000 scale.

In 1964 the USGS began producing 1 : 2,400 topo maps of the area. These maps are much more detailed than the earlier topos and encompass a smaller area.
In 1964 the Roosevelt topos were discontinued and replaced with the Roosevelt Dam topo series. These Roosevelt Dam maps do not cover the area of Coronado Mesa. To see Coronado Mesa on a topo map made after 1964 you will need to go to the Horse Mesa Dam topo series. All the Horse Mesa Dam topos produced have Coronado Mesa on them.

To recap:
Coronado Mesa was spelled out on the 1907-1909 topos.
Coronado Mesa was removed from the physically smaller topos from 1909 - 1928.
All topos produced since 1928 have Coronado Mesa on them.

You can actually verify these facts for yourself and get all these different topos for free from the USGS topoView.
 

Matthew Roberts

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The question was , does anybody know who it was that named Coronado Mesa.
So far the best guess is someone at the Southern Pacific RR.
The topo map division did not make up names to put on their maps. They identified names that were already in place or being used.
It may have been either Lewis or Pranty as they were prospecting and homesteading in the area.
Also I believe the Fish Creek inn was being established about that time. Possibly someone involved there may have been responsible for the name.
 

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Clay Diggins

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According to the Arizona State Historian the historic name of "Coronado Mesa" was "Fish Creek Hill".

The ADOT still calls that feature Fish Creek Hill.

Highway 88 was originally named the Mesa Roosevelt Road and construction was begun in 1905.
Mesa Roosevelt Road was renamed the Apache Trail by Southern Pacific lines in 1914.
Highway 88 was one of the original 10 Arizona State highways created in 1927.

We know for a fact that the feature was called both "Coronado Mesa" and "Fish Creek Hill" in 1900. Since the common name at the time was considered by the Geological Survey to be "Coronado Mesa" we can reasonably assume the name was common before 1900 when the original mapping was done.

I haven't found any evidence the Southern Pacific Line controlled the naming of geographic features in that region prior to 1900. I'm guessing the GNIS (originally DNS) followed the same protocol as other place names - they used the most commonly accepted local name. In this case the cartographer was given the name "Coronado Mesa" as being in common use prior to the beginning of the map creation in 1900.

I think that does answer the original posters question. WHO named the place on the Topo Coronado Mesa. The answer, as always with Topo maps is - the naming authority used the regionally commonly accepted name.

I think the better question would be WHY prior to 1900 the very few people who lived in the fish creek region called the feature both "Fish Creek Hill" and "Coronado Mesa"?
 

Cubfan64

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According to the Arizona State Historian the historic name of "Coronado Mesa" was "Fish Creek Hill".

The ADOT still calls that feature Fish Creek Hill.

Highway 88 was originally named the Mesa Roosevelt Road and construction was begun in 1905.
Mesa Roosevelt Road was renamed the Apache Trail by Southern Pacific lines in 1914.
Highway 88 was one of the original 10 Arizona State highways created in 1927.

We know for a fact that the feature was called both "Coronado Mesa" and "Fish Creek Hill" in 1900. Since the common name at the time was considered by the Geological Survey to be "Coronado Mesa" we can reasonably assume the name was common before 1900 when the original mapping was done.

I haven't found any evidence the Southern Pacific Line controlled the naming of geographic features in that region prior to 1900. I'm guessing the GNIS (originally DNS) followed the same protocol as other place names - they used the most commonly accepted local name. In this case the cartographer was given the name "Coronado Mesa" as being in common use prior to the beginning of the map creation in 1900.

I think that does answer the original posters question. WHO named the place on the Topo Coronado Mesa. The answer, as always with Topo maps is - the naming authority used the regionally commonly accepted name.

I think the better question would be WHY prior to 1900 the very few people who lived in the fish creek region called the feature both "Fish Creek Hill" and "Coronado Mesa"?

Good information - since it's going to be tough if not impossible to discover exactly WHEN anyone started calling it Coronado Mesa, I can't help but ask the next logical question.... WHY was it called Coronado Mesa?

Is it just a case of naming something after a historical figure who explored portions of AZ, similar to naming a street Coronado Blvd with no real meaning other than as a remembrance? Or is there a chance Coronado actually came through that area and perhaps stories have passed down from Native American's through the years and someone named it after him for that reason?

Deni Seymour within the last several years has been excavating a site alongside the San Pedro River and has found items that prove to her that Coronado passed that way. Her findings along with her desire to continue trying to follow his route beyond has Coronado at least 40 miles east of where past historians believe his group travelled.

 

sdcfia

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Good information - since it's going to be tough if not impossible to discover exactly WHEN anyone started calling it Coronado Mesa, I can't help but ask the next logical question.... WHY was it called Coronado Mesa?

Is it just a case of naming something after a historical figure who explored portions of AZ, similar to naming a street Coronado Blvd with no real meaning other than as a remembrance? Or is there a chance Coronado actually came through that area and perhaps stories have passed down from Native American's through the years and someone named it after him for that reason?

Deni Seymour within the last several years has been excavating a site alongside the San Pedro River and has found items that prove to her that Coronado passed that way. Her findings along with her desire to continue trying to follow his route beyond has Coronado at least 40 miles east of where past historians believe his group travelled.

Researching place names can be an eye-opening exercise on several levels, most particularly in the broad category of "treasure" lore. However, that's a surprising rabbit hole that doesn't belong in this particular thread.

Regarding Coronado Mesa, many would like to believe that the place name must somehow be linked to the famous Spanish explorer (gold!), who led an ill-fated expedition into today's American Southwest 1540-1542. I agree with your consideration that the mesa's name could merely be a tribute to the historical figure who once passed through Cochise County. Coronado's story is an anchor to SW treasure aficionados, but to me, Marcos de Niza is a far more worthy mystery to ponder. After all, it was Marcos, in 1538, who left the dawdling Coronado behind in Mexico and first explored the northern region on his own. The reports of that journey are highly controversial.

By the way, for those interested in Seymour's work, it can only be measured against her incredible forerunner Nugent Brasher. Brasher, a petroleum geologist, taught himself 16th Century Spanish and metallurgy technology before embarking on fifteen years of painstaking field work to verify Coronado's route through SW Arizona, then western New Mexico north of I-10 to Zuni. It's an extremely comprehensive presentation of evidence.

http://www.chichilticale.com/index.htm
 

Zoo2

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Jul 25, 2022
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The thread on Professor Drury is certainly interesting and informative.
 

Sentinel

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Jan 5, 2007
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It should be noted that around the turn of the century Superstition mountain was renamed Coronado mountain for a brief period of time until Arizona historian James McClintock became involved and the name reverted to Superstition Mountain again. So the possibility exists that Coronado was a place name that they tried to find a home for. I am pretty sure that somewhere in Tom Kollenborns research he had the answer. His knowledge and input is sorely missed
 

Zoo2

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Jul 25, 2022
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Interestingly, there is also a Coronado *Summit* in the National Map Record. This is located as historically being the same peak as Fish Creek Peak, at the southern end of Horse Mesa, adjacent to the 'other' Black Cross Butte and overlooking Lewis and Pranty/Fish Creek confluence.
It was officially declared on 1 January 2017 and then vacated on 1 January 1932
Feature ID 45640

There are no decision cards for Fish Creek Peak, Feature ID 29023, although its alternative historic names are Coronado Summit and The Summit.

I understand that this does not help with *who* named Coronado Mesa, but interesting nonetheless that another feature in the same range also had Coronado's name assigned to it.

 

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