MIAMI — “Butterfield Overland Trail, Treacherous Travel from New Mexico to Arizona” will be presented by local historian and author Rick Powers for the February First Friday lecture series sponsored by the Gila County Historical Society and the Bullion Plaza Museum. The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, at the Bullion Plaza Museum with the doors opening at 6 p.m.
The emphasis of the talk will be on the Apache Pass: Crossroad to Clash of Cultures. Considered by travelers as the most dangerous portion of the Butterfield trail, the treacherous journey through Apache Pass also known by its earlier Spanish name Puerto del Dado, "Door or Pass of the Die", meaning "pass of chance", which described the risky venture of crossing the pass to a game of Russian Roulette. This area is now a peaceful historic site nestled in a mountain pass in Arizona between the Dos Cabezas Mountains and Chiricahua Mountains at an elevation of 5,110 feet.
The history of Apache Pass begins with Apache Spring, as the only reliable water source for many miles, the spring served as a critical resupply point. A way station was built out of stone on the eastern side of Apache Pass, where travelers could rest their horses and utilize the water from the spring.
The need for protection of the spring and the stage station from the marauding Apaches led to the establishment of Fort Bowie.
There is no charge for the talk, but donations are always welcome. Gila County Historical Museum and Bullion Plaza Museum are recipients of funds from the United Fund Globe-Miami.