Desert Magazine started with a test run in 1936 by Randall Henderson and J. Wilson McKenney and - under a number of different owners - managed to stay in print until 1985.
In 1985 I suppose that I could have named the US states in the desert southwest and correctly identified them on the map (perhaps the capitals also), but I had no real idea/image/conception of the desert (it would be over a decade before I would first see Tucson). Tucson is now my home and I love the desert - so it was a real treat to find the amazing Desert Magazine Archives!
The archives makes it easy to access issues all the way back to the beginning of the magazine - while I have not looked inside every issue here are some of my favorite details so far:
- November 1937 - "The Desert Under A Microscope" - An article about Dr. Forrest Shreve and the Desert Laboratory (well known today in Tucson in part because of it's location on Tumamoc Hill)
- April 1940 - "First to the Top of Monument Peak" - A team of Sierra Club climbers led by John Mendenhall make a first ascent involving pitons, hammering off loose rock, 7/16th yacht rope and 5/16 manila rope.
- November 1943 - "Fort Lowell Ruins" - great picture of the Santa Catalina Mountains and the ruins. "Lee's Ferry on the Colorado" - fascinating article about Lee's Ferry - " few travelers know about it and few ever visit the historic spot".
- January 1946 - A cover shot of water flowing over Sabino Canyon with Thimble Peak in the background! "Craftsman of the Cactus Desert" - an article about Herb Wood making furniture in Tucson from Cholla and Saguaro, the picture of him cutting down Saguaro Ribs was a little strange to see.
- July 1963 - "A Lake is Born" about the Lake Powell - "Watch for floating driftwood which may be prevalent while the lake rises".
Rating: 4 of 5 First Read Date: June 2013