Home for “1 wagon & 2 horses and 1 double sets harness, 4 cows & 2 pigs 25 chickens” by J. J. Lamb

Solomon Lick, a Civil War veteran, acquired interest in the Mountain Springs Ranch in July 1879 from Mrs. Lizzie Smith, for 1 wagon & 2 horses and 1 double set harness, 4 cows & 2 pigs 25 chickens.  Soon after Solomon expanded on the Mountain Springs Station, a stop on the National Mail and Transportation Company Route, built of adobe by Hank Bridwell. Solomon and his business partner Samuel Lee planned to grow the station into a seasonal resort for Tucson residents seeking respite from the heat and hustle, bustle of city life. After Solomon’s discovery of the Mountain Springs Caves (Colossal Cave) about half a mile northwest from the station this must have seemed like a very good idea.

In 1879, the Arizona Weekly Star reported that the, “Mountain Springs Hotel (was) The finest summer resort for families and winter resort for hunters and sportsmen in southern Arizona. Is situated twenty-two miles east of Tucson on the mail road…  Mineral springs are nearby and there being six excellent rooms, well furnished. The table is supplied from the farm with fresh butter, milk, eggs and poultry. A beautiful grove nearby is an attractive feature. Deer, bear, quail, and turkey abound in the immediate neighborhood.”

In 2016 no trace of the Mountain Springs Hotel and Stage Stop remains. But, respite can still be found in the beautiful landscape at Colossal Cave Mountain Park where a picnic or hike can transport one away from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Buttermilk Fudge was on the menu at the Mountain Springs Hotel. Why not make some for the holidays!

Mountain Springs Hotel & Stage Stop Buttermilk Fudge

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh buttermilk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

Mix soda into the buttermilk and let stand for 3 minutes. Cook all ingredients together to the soft ball stage. Cool slightly, beat until it loses its gloss and thickens (it is very easy to beat it too long!) add nuts and pour into a dish or pan that has been buttered. Cool, cut into squares, invite friends and enjoy.

The COBB Team, 2016 title sponsor of the 2nd Annual Corn Hole Showdown, is very much appreciated! The Showdown was great fun and we are already looking forward to Showdown 2017!

Leave a Legacy-purchase a Legacy Brick that will be installed along Colossal Cave Road to be enjoyed for years. Like an open time capsule they will be our message to Vail’s future. Purchase only until December 2016 at www.vailpreservationsociety.org or call 520-419-4428.

Thank you to Long’s Cares Foundation for funding adobe making equipment the VPS will use to restore the 1908 Old Vail Post Office and train student adobe makers!

Santa brings holiday cheer to Vail on December 3rd! See you at Hacienda del Lago at 4:00 for music, free children’s crafts, tree lighting, Tamales & food, living Nativity, Santa and much more! Bring a non-perishable food donation, or gift card that can be given to a family in need.

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