Oatman, Arizona – A Day Trip Back in Time
For a throwback in time to Arizona’s Wild West, take a day trip from Lake Havasu City to the “living ghost town” of Oatman. This historic Arizona town, only 54 miles up the road from Lake Havasu City on old Route 66, rose to fame during the gold mining era of the early 1900s. Unlike other ghost towns with their deserted streets and empty buildings, Oatman is inhabited year-round by its 75 residents proud of its burros and local ghosts wandering through the varied shops and hotels. The paved road running through Oatman’s eight city blocks is actually a section of Route 66. Both sides of the road are lined with saloons, museums, restaurants and quaint shops stocked with a wide variety of local items. What’s In a Name?During the height of the gold mining era at the turn of the century, over 10,000 miners, women and a few bandits called it home. When Oatman’s population reached a point where a Post Office was needed, the locals decided to use the last name of a settler family that had been massacred by the Apache Indian tribe. The parents and four children were killed, but two daughters, Olive and Mary Ann, were taken captive. One brother managed to escape. While in captivity, the girls were traded to the Mohave Indian tribe. During this time, Mary Ann died. The surviving brother never gave up searching for his sisters and four years later, working with a Yuma Indian, he was able to make a trade consisting of a horse, blankets and beads in exchange for Olive. Olive spent many years lecturing around the country on her experiences. As you walk around Oatman you’ll see a variety of pictures of Olive, whose face is heavily tattooed identifying her as a subject of the Mohave tribe.