Column No. 79

The End of the Road

Bob Ring, Al Ring, Tallia Pfrimmer Cahoon

All good things must come to an end. This is the final stop along the Ruby Road for this column. Before going, we wanted to tell you that we have thoroughly enjoyed the last three “plus” years sharing our research on the mining history of south-central Arizona. Because of you, we got a lot out of the experience. Thank you for your interest and constant support.

Since October 2003, the Green Valley News & Sun has published 79 of our columns, with special emphasis on the history of the Montana mine and the ghost town of Ruby, and the fascinating memoir of Ines Fraser, whose husband was brutally murdered in 1920 in the Ruby general store.

We originally offered our column to the Green Valley News & Sun because many of you readers live in or near the places we write about and have an avid interest in the area's history. We thank the Green Valley News & Sun, and especially former Managing Editor, Kathy Engle, for recognizing the value of the column and for supporting us for so long.

Over this period, we previewed parts of our first book, Ruby, Arizona - Mining, Mayhem, and Murder, published in May 2005. Then, in March 2006, we began sharing material for our second book, Frontier Lady of Letters - the Heroic Love Story of Ines Fraser, that we are getting ready to publish this spring. Writing the column gave us the opportunity and forum to "advertise" our books and become known in the Green Valley community. This of course helped sales of our Ruby book, so we are certainly grateful for that!

Our most important motivation for writing the column, however, was to reach you readers with an appeal to provide additional historical data on the subjects we wrote about. Here too, we were successful. In several instances, via letter, email, or telephone, you gave us new information or leads to explore. Some of this data came from feedback in occasional lectures that we gave in the Green Valley area. We have always been warmly received by audiences in southern Arizona and are especially proud of the very positive feedback on this column. Thank you so much to those of you who took the time to contact us.

One of us co-authors, Tallia Pfrimmer Cahoon, who grew up in Ruby during the 1930s, has continued to host Pima Community College’s tours of the Ruby ghost town. If you can believe it, Tallia has been doing this since 1994. We’d like to think that this column influenced some of you to sign up on one of Tallia’s tours. We do know that the tours are very popular these days and that many of you have told Tallia how much you have enjoyed this column. Thank you for enthusiastically participating in the history of Arizona!

Sparked by family genealogy research, all three of us co-authors are long-time investigators of the history of mining in Arizona’s south-central borderland area. Bob and Al’s paternal grandfather was a mining engineer and he lived and worked in the Ruby area in 1905 and 1906. Tallia’s father was chief engineer of the Montana mine’s operation in the late 1930s. So we have literally spent years digging for historical facts. This column gave us a place to document our findings and share what we discovered.

Some of our favorite columns detoured from the historical Ruby Road to cover related, special interest or topical subjects. You may remember Bob and Al’s exhilaration as we described how we used old family photos to locate the exact spots that our grandfather stood on 100 years ago. We spent two columns relating our struggle to write and self-publish the Ruby book, ultimately succeeding, but picking up many scars along the way. Many of you enjoyed Tallia’s account of climbing Montana Peak as a young 73-year old. Bob and Al appreciated the opportunity to write about our father, Clinton Ring, following his sudden death in late 2005. And all three of us were honored to recognize the wonderful life and contributions to our research of Connie Fraser Kiely, the last child of Ines Fraser, who died in early 2006.

This is our final column, but we are not going to disappear. On this coming April 28th, we will be presenting the paper, “In Their Own Words: The Fraser Letters Highlight the Challenge of Early Mining in Borderland Arizona,” at the Arizona-New Mexico Joint History Convention at the Hon-Dah Resort in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona.

Last December we debuted our own web site, The purpose of the website is to keep sharing our research on the mining history of south-central Arizona, family genealogy, and the “projects” that have resulted from our work. These projects include books, history papers, newspaper columns, and an extensive collection of historical materials, including thousands of old photographs. Our research and writing will continue, and we will update the web site on a regular basis.

We will also continue to need your support, feedback, and help finding additional data. Please visit our new web site and let’s stay in touch. We will be looking for each of you along the Ruby Road.

From left to right: Bob, Al and Tallia. We thank you for your continued interest and enthusiastic support. (Photo provided by Bob Ring, 2005)

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