Two Guns, Arizona
By Gladwell Richardson


The zoo was discontinued before Two Guns was sold to S. I. Richardson in 1950. For the next decade the property was leased to several operators, until purchased by Two Guns Inc., Benjamin F. Dreher, general manager.

Under his management new buildings have been constructed on Interstate 40 in keeping with western atmosphere and tradition. Two Guns consists of a new motel, coffee shop and restaurant, gift and curio shop, western tavern and lounge and an up-to-date service station and garage. U. S. Postal facilities have been restored to the area and Justice Court has reopened for that precinct of Coconino County. Two Guns has also organized its own Chamber of Commerce with members throughout the entire county. Hesch's zoo on the canyon wall was rebuilt, and a reptile exhibit has been added.

All the old ruins of Cundiff's and Miller's stone buildings are being restored. Trails have been made through the old sites and guided tours are conducted daily.

While leveling off a car parking lot with a bulldozer before the Hopi house over the cave, several graves were cut into. Mrs. Hesch does not recall any burials there during her time, unless Miller buried two or three Indians. However, the skull of at least one burial is that of a middle-aged white man.

The Apache death cave was explored between three and four miles underground at an early date. Miller inspected it underground in the belief that he might discover another Carlsbad Cavern.

The series of caverns never widen out or enlarge beyond the size of the first two. Two Winslow men explored them to an estimated seven and a half miles. Subsequently amateur speleologists reached that point, apparently at the end. However, a stone obstruction fallen from overhead was broken through into the next cavern. They then explored the series of caves for a distance of nine miles altogether.

In recent years a rock slide from the ceiling blocked entrance from the fifth cavern to the sixth, about 500 feet from the cave entrance.

How were the caverns created? Two popular explanations are most often given. One is that when the great meteor struck it ruptured horizontal stratas of stone, creating many cracks and fissures across the plateau. In several cases the overlying structures were not fractured.

The second theory, and one that holds considerable plausibility, is that they came into being during earth upheavals of the volcanic period which created the San Francisco Mountains. Many such open fissures are visible, north towards Cameron from U. S. Highway 89. In appearance they resemble deep, black-colored arroyos.

Other great, open cracks in the earth's crust reach to the Little Colorado. Some contain water where Indian flocks can be trailed down to it. Blind fish have been found in these underground streams.

Two Guns, Arizona, still in existence, still a trading post, still located in one of the most historic and interesting areas of the great American Southwest, is one of those places where what went before meets with what is now. For the traveler, it is an oasis for rest and refreshment; for the historian, it is a symbol of the past; for everyone, it is of interest.

Two Guns, Arizona, richly deserves its proud place on the map.

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