Abandoned Places, Quartzsite, Arizona
Old Fort Tyson
Originally a U. S. Army fort built for protection against marauding Apache Indians in the last century. Later it became a busy stage coach station on the famous butter field route between Prescott, Arizona and Riverside, California.
The town of Quartzsite is located on the site of old Fort Tyson, a privately owned fort built in 1856 by Charles Tyson for protection against Indians. Because of the water which existed at this place, Tyson's Wells soon became a stage station on the road from Ehrenburg to Prescott. In 1875 Martha Summerhayes described this place as being the most melancholy and uninviting that she had ever seen, saying that it "reeks of everything unclean, morally and physically..."
In 1897, the development of mining in the area resulted in a small boom. It was reported that Tyson's Wells had three stores, two saloons, and a short-lived post office. Apparently when it became necessary to re-open the post office because of renewed mining activity, a new name had to be found since the post office did not permit offices to re-open the post office under formerly used names. Therefore, George Ingersoll suggested the name Quartzsite, since quartzsite is actually found in the vicinity, but quartz is not. However, the post office in error apparently added an "s" to the name. The resulting "Quartzsite" erroneously implies that quartz is found locally. Actually Quartzsite is approximately nine miles east of the old Tyson's Wells which lay nineteen miles from Ehrenberg. Therefore, a different name was doubly suited.