ReUnion Camp
and
Juniperwood Ranch Winery

Creating History and ReLie-ing on the Truth
Whenever we Can.


Juniperwood Ranch Winery

History                                                                

ReUnion Camp & Juniperwood Ranch Winery
"Creating" History and Re-"lie"-ing on the Truth

ReUnion Camp

West of Ash Fork and South of the I-40, is a piece of property known as ReUnion Camp.  The property contains many artifacts, both old and new, along with a unique history of Ash Fork and the surrounding area.

Historic accounts and artifacts have Ewing Young and Kit Carson marking, trapping, and camping at this location (1830) more than once. Later, Carson, Col. Ed Beale (1851) and Hadji Ali (1859) met and then camped at this location.  This campsite, located along a spur of Partridge Creek, was a popular "reunion" site for trappers and surveyors according to military journals.

The "ReUnion Camp" name became somewhat official when a stone placard for "ReUnion Cemetery ded. 1868" was placed near the memorial markers on the southwestern corner of the property.

     

Arrowheads, pottery, stone etchings, and poker markers can still be found near the ReUnion camp fire site.  Petrified camel dung, a gift from the Beale Camel Expedition, is well preserved a short distance away.

Historical Structures

Restoration of the Ash Creek Water Tower/Bath House/Gallows (circa 1880) began in 2008.  Signage recovered from the original building reads:

"Bath House and Gallows, We're helping to Clean-Up the Town."

The Bath House features two 2x4 corrugated bath tubs and two showers with thigh-to-armpit privacy walls.  The water supply will be "solar heated" and "gravity fed".  Ash Creek as well as Ash Fork were known as "jerk water" towns.  Without a well and pump house, water for the water tower was "jerked" up in buckets from nearby creeks and water holes.


The Gallows, which are located above the bath house, feature dual nooses.  According to inscriptions carved on the beam work, the raised platform may have been the site for many town weddings.  This could possibly have been one of the first "red-neck" wedding locations.  Is there a better place to "get hitched" or renew your vows than on top of the town "gallows"?

The Softball Field located on the northwest corner of the property, used by the undefeated 1912 Northern Arizona Women's Softball Champions -Ash Fork Angels- is having a new backstop installed in front of the original remaining timbers.  This should be completed by the winter of 2008.  This is also

    

the "rumored" training location for the 1914 Ash Fork Mens Slow-Pitch Team, the Arch Angels.  Joe Bob Looney had dreams of playing and later coaching at this location.

Juniperwood Ranch Winery

Juniperwood Ranch Winery (1901) was built on this site, in the style of (and with materials which the patrons "borrowed" from) the Wells Fargo Station in Ash Fork (1885).  The 8'x14' structure began restoration in 2007.





The property was re-licensed as an Arizona Winery in 2007.  The winery produces limited quantities of wines such as: 

  • Juniper
  • Prickly Pear
  • Pumpkin
  • Mesquite
  • Cherry
  • Agave
  • Honey (Mead)

In keeping with all historical accounts, the current winery does not use grapes, because, "everyone does that" according to an article written in the 1901 Ash Fork Weekly.

   "If it's "free" and ferments, we'll turn it into wine", was written in a newspaper unearthed from the nearby cistern.  "This winery specializes in fermenting the local juniper berries, and also produces, Prickly Pear Wine made from the local cactus fruit.  The Hispanics call the cactus fruits "tuna".  My wife says that calling it "Tuna Wine" might discourage sales a little.  In the fall we make our Pumpkin Wine, 'cuz what else is a Jack-o-lantern good for on November 1st?  Folks often ask me, "What does the wine go good with?"  Well as near I can tell, it goes good with all kinds of work 'round the homestead."





The article later states that, "this wine is not for the masses".  But the proprietor was quick to add, "If this wine was for the masses, Rev. Jim at Saint Anthony's would have him a full congregation."