Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Drinking whiskey with Jack Swilling in 1867

Let's go drink some whiskey with Jack Swilling. If the name sounds familiar, you've probably heard of the Swilling Canal Company, which is working on a canal in the Salt River Valley. Yes, it was on the front page of the Arizona Miner yesterday. No, it's not Suilling, that's a misprint, it's Swilling. No, it's not Shilling, either. I hear that he's in town here in Prescott, and I think we'll find him over on Whiskey Row. Come on, we can tie up the horses and walk from here.

Jack Swilling in 1867, the founder of Phoenix, Arizona.

There he is, at the table back there, let's go introduce ourselves. I'll grab a bottle from the bar, and here are a couple of glasses.

I've heard a lot about this guy, and not all of it is good, so don't ask too many questions. He's ex-Confederate, and I'm Union, but the war's been over for years, and I'm a believer in what Lincoln said about "malice towards none".

There you go. See? I told you that he would be polite enough. I think he wants us to invest in his irrigation canal idea. What do you think? Would anyone ever want to live out in the middle of an empty desert? Hard to imagine, but it could happen. Last I heard he wanted to call the settlement "Pumpkinville" or "Mill City". I've also heard the name "Phoenix" being tossed around, and I like that.

Thank you, I'll have two fingers neat. Same for you?

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