Thursday, April 28, 2016


The Western writer Zane Grey was actually a dentist from Ohio.

He came to Arizona to hunt in 1907 and became enamored of pioneer Western life.

He wrote several books which were rejected but finally broke through with Riders of the Purple Sage in 1912, which became his all-time best seller.

Grey built a cabin on the Mogollon Rim and spent several weeks a year there while on hunting trips.

He wrote in the cabin but preferred to sleep outside in a tent.

In 1929 he left Arizona, never to return, after a spat with the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

His cabin was deteriorating until a Phoenix businessman bought and restored it.

I visited it several times in the 1970's.

It was nestled among the pines in a relatively remote location.

It was always locked up when I was there but visitors could peek through the windows and view the inside as it was when Grey was there.

In 1990 a forest fire caught up with it and the cabin burned to the ground.

In the early 2000's a foundation was formed and a replica of the cabin built in Payson, where today it is a museum.

Zane Grey went on to become a millionaire writer with many books and movies made from them.

He traveled the world before dying of heart failure  at his home in Altadena, California in 1939.


L Lewis said...

Wow. That was interesting. Thanks. Love all that old history of the West.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post.


Jager said...

I love it up on the rim, best weather in AZ.

....and Grey moved to Cali and died, yikes.

Should Fish More said...

In high school I had a seasonal, part-time job as a fishing guide on the Rogue River, floating from Galice down to the lower river. We'd often pull out at Grey's cabin for a lunch break. I really enjoyed his books as a kid.

joeh said...


Stephen Hayes said...

My Dad's uncle was a good friend of Zane Grey, who used to visit Dad's uncle at the family hacienda in the foothills of San Jose back in the twenties.

Catalyst said...

It's a small world.

Catalyst said...

Did you see what I said? Honest. It's a small world!

Tom Cochrun said...

You look like a character out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Val said...

Howdy, Pardner! My dad loved Zane Grey books. In fact, those are the only books I ever saw him read. He combed the flea markets for the ones he didn't have. It would have been cheating to order them from Amazon, I suppose.