Pima celebrates its heritage in style

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Nick Bingham, left, and Scott Alder flip up some pancakes and fun at the 25th annual Pima Heritage Days on Saturday.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

PIMA – It was a glorious morning Saturday as the 25th annual Pima Heritage Days took over the W.M. Carter Farm Museum.

Pima residents past and present gathered to sample the cowboy breakfast of endless pancakes and bacon thanks to cooks Nick Bingham and Scott and Joyce Alder, heaping amounts of scrambled eggs thanks to cooks Shawn Wright and Pima Councilor Dale Rogers and his family, the ever-present Tang to wash it down and homemade Dutch oven biscuits courtesy of Russell and Jonnett Woods, with assistance from their daughter, Missy Woods.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: “Tribute”, pictured here, from left, Brianna Watson, Sharon Watson, and Joe Goodman, entertains the crowd with a variety of songs while they enjoy the cowboy breakfast.

The event opened with the National Anthem, sung by the reformed group “Tribute”, featuring Sharon Watson and her daughters, Amanda Howard and Brianna Watson, and Joe Goodman. Pima Mayor C.B. Fletcher then blessed the event and the food with an opening prayer and breakfast was served.
After filling their bellies, attendees moseyed around the museum looking at the artifacts and displays and entered the raffle for a handmade quilt made and donated by Kerma Mathews, a hand-carved Aspen walking stick made and donated by Chuck Maxwell and a jewelry set of a necklace and earrings by Gael Song.

Eastern Arizona Museum Curator and event organizer Edres Barney expressed her joy of the successful event and gratitude to those in attendance and the volunteers who make it possible.

“It’s a great opportunity to get together and we’re glad for all those who come from out of town to support us as well as the locals,” Barney said. “We’re especially glad for all the cooks.”

The event actually began Friday with a quilt show and continued into the night with a barbecue pit dinner by Clint Colvin at the Clyde Davis Cafetorium.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Russell Woods checks on his Dutch-oven biscuits, which were in high demand as always.

The theme for this year’s event was “When Yesterday was Today” and Randy Hawkins brought his “Gummer’s Camp” authentic 1890s Weber chuckwagon to be displayed, complete with old dynamite boxes and whatnot what was used to keep the chuckwagon’s utensils.

“They repurposed everything,” Hawkins said. “They didn’t throw anything away. They reused rope and whatever they had. The coffee (kept in an old Hercules Blasting Caps box) has a kick to it.”

Everyone the Gila Herald spoke to commented on the significance of the event to help keep the history of the area alive and well.

“It’s important that it keeps going,” said Pima Town Manager Sean Lewis. “I think breakfasts like this are important because with the younger generation – whether it’s my generation or even the one below us – needs to learn how important keeping out history is . . . I hope they come to see it and they take pride in it and keep it going.”

The annual event commemorates the founding of Pima on April 8, 1879, and is a fundraiser for the Eastern Arizona Museum, which is housed in three historic buildings. The entrance to the museum is the former Bank of Pima, built in 1914. Adjacent to that is Cluff Hall. Built in 1882 out of tufa stone from the limestone quarry at Bear Springs Flat, the structure is the oldest building in Pima. Rounding out the facility is the former Rexall Drug Store, which was originally built around 1900.

For more pictures of the event click here to view the photo album.

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