We decided to drive out to see the Petrified Forest and the town of Winslow. Because we felt the need to get a photo on the corner, right?
But just west of Winslow, we took a detour when we noticed some amazing looking ruins along side of the interstate. And I’m so glad we did. We stumbled upon the ghost town of Two Guns; a town with a sad and terrible past.
We were not aware of the history behind this place as we were exploring, but I managed to do some research and found out some very interesting things!
The Death Cave
The area that became Two Guns was originally Navajo and Apache territory. In the late 1800’s, a total of forty-two Apaches lost their lives in a show down with the Navajos. The Apaches were burned to death in a cave in the canyon located on this property.
After this terrible incident, the Apaches and the Navajos never returned to this area. To this day, the Navajo believe the Two Guns area is possessed by Chindiis, their term for “ghosts of the dead”.
And the history of the area after the massacre is curiously dark. Enough so that I was glad we did not stumble upon the Death cave or go anywhere near it.
Two Guns and Route 66
In the early 1900’s, taking advantage of the traffic along the newly named Route 66, a local resident named Henry Miller created the town of Two Guns.
He added a gas station, over night accommodations, a cafe, souvenir shop and even a zoo.
The zoo housed mountain lions, panthers, bobcats, gila monsters and more.
13 thoughts on “Two Guns; A Ghost Town with a haunted past…”
very interesting Susy but definitely not a place to settle in.
You certainly are right about that! We didn’t know the history until we got back home and I did the research. Very glad I didn’t pick
up a souvenir or two. LOL!
Oh my goodness Suzy this gave me the shivers. Very interesting but quite scary. Thanks for being brave enough to go, and for sharing.
We were glad that we didn’t run into any snakes or drifters. But it certainly was fun to learn a bit about the history of the area!
Without all your research, this wouldn’t have been of much interest, but you really brought it to life …. good job. You must have time on your hands 🙂
Hi Neil and Yoly!
I’ve always loved history and this place was fun to research. There is a lot of history in this part of the country that I just touch on. Too much to cover. But we have learned so much on this trip alone!
Oh and this place was awesome to photograph! We’ve covered lots more territory that I haven’t written about yet, but hope to soon.
thanks for reading! Hope you are both doing well!
I want to go there .you brought it to life for me . I love your pictures and stories about the places you two go.
Thanks so much! We are having a lot of fun sharing our journeys! Thanks for reading!
I remember passing through Two Guns on our visits to the South West. I did not realized that there is a history to the place. I remember that farther down on the Interstate 40 we passed another abandoned town called Twin Arrows. The kids thought it was funny to see first Two Guns and then Twin Arrows.
I hope that when you went to Winslow you went where the painting on the side of the building was! In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, it was from the Eagles song: “I’m standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see. There’s a woman coming down in a half bed Ford slowing down to take a look at me.” I think that’s how it went.
Yes, we did go to Winslow and took the required photos! LOL! It was a great photo op! Winslow itself is not really much to see. The Eagles totally put them on the map. Will show photos soon. Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!
The newest pictures of Two Guns, paintings are still changing
Back in the early 2000s, when friends and I explored the unrestricted bits, we found leftover receipt books (in the little wooden building adjacent to the Shell station) that indicated the KOA was in operation at least through 1995. Also, the mobile behind the station, while abandoned, was then in relatively good repair. I believe that’s where Solinger killed himself. There’s only the nearly collapsed skeleton of the structure left. In the past year, people have defaced the interior of the faux ruins at the Apache Cave with graffiti, and sometime after 2009 the wooden bridge that leads along the paved path down into the western cave entrance was destroyed. Before that, it was still strong enough to hold people.