Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stepping Back in Time in Scottsdale

It's like stepping back in time.  The original settlement area, now called Old Town Scottsdale, was settled by an Army Chaplain named Winfield Scott. He bought the land and he and his brother settled there as farmers, growing figs, citrus fruit, almonds, potatoes, peanuts.  They encouraged other farmers to join the community and in 1894, the community once known as Orangedale was renamed to Scottsdale.

A statue stands  across the square from the Little Red School House.  It depicts Scott and his wife, and Scott's old Army mule Maud. 

In the Old Town section, a number of original buildings still stand.  The Little Red Schoolhouse is, today, the Scottsdale Historical Museum.

I stepped inside and spent a long while chatting with the elderly but quite sharp couple who volunteer as docents.  It didn't matter what I looked at or commented on, the elderly gentleman knew a huge depth of detail about it.  I could easily have spent all day with him, soaking in all of the minutae of each and every photo and artifact.  And he would have gladly obliged.

But I needed to move on.  I saw that the blacksmith shop still stands and is still in business so I started in that direction but was totally sidetracked by a farmers market the likes of which I'd never seen before.  As the reader may recall, I enjoyed browsing a farmers' market in Wilkes-Barre while I was there this past Labor Day weekend.  It was a farmers' market in the classic sense.  These were locals who loaded up their trunks and pickup trucks with the bounty from their own fields and gardens and brought them to market. 

But today's farmers' market in Old Town was to the Wilkes Barre market what Belgian truffles are to a Whitman Sampler.  While there was a token small amount of fresh produce here, what really dominated the market were "designer" foodstuffs:  Fancy infused oils and made-to-order fritatas.  Organic honeys and mint extract oils.  Organic oat grains and home-canned olives.   It just went on and on, aisle after canopy-covered aisle.  If there was at least one organic ingredient in the product, it was eligible to be displayed and sold at this market.

I did not get away unscathed.  I had to buy a jar of amazing olives.  Then I had to buy some peppermint oil-infused body balm.  And a bar of handmade vanilla-lime cocoa butter soap made its way into my bag, as did a small packet of dark chocolate almond toffee.  There was plenty enough food for sale, ready to eat, that I was beginning to regret having had breakfast at the hotel. 

And speaking of hotels, I'm at the Hilton Garden Inn, which has proved to be an excellent choice.  Breakfast this morning was a full sit-down affair, food prepared fresh to order.  It was more than I usually eat for breakfast, but hard to turn it down.  So now that I think about, I don't regret having breakfast at the hotel.

I finally tore myself away from the farmers' market and went in search of the blacksmith shop, still in its original location and still in business.  On the way, I stopped to chat to this horse and it's driver.  Back in the early days, this blacksmith shop, located at the corner of 2nd Street and Brown Avenue was considered to be on the outskirts of town. 

So, when I finished taking photos, I wandered back into "town" and found an interesting person selling books outside a Texas bootery on the corner of Brown and Main Street.  It was Ermal Walden Williamson, author, actor and professional John Wayne impersonator, holding a book-signing on the sidewalk.  I walked up and started to chat with him.  He was selling his Brazos River series of books and since that river passes through not too far from where I live, I couldn't just walk away without buying a book.

Now my hands were really laden with purchases, so it was time to walk back to the hotel, detouring to the hotel's underground parking garage to stow the bags in the car.  I spotted a Schlotzsky's on my way and made a note to return there later to pick up a sandwich for an early dinner.

I went up to my room, to lay out the things I'll need for tomorrow's race, put my feet up, and watch the Alabama-UGA football game.

Tomorrow:  Fiesta Bowl Half marathon and lunch with some MTF friends.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, so much history in Scottsdale.

    When I saw the statue all I could think was man side saddle must have felt weird.

    Nice haul from the farmers market, there are always so many goodies to choose form when wandering the aisles.