The twelfth stop is the Apache Powder Historic District which consists of eight residences and a park. The Apache Powder District was built in 1925 by the Apache Powder Company a nitroglycerine plant, for its management personnel. The entire district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A typical bungalow style house built in the district is the one located at 189 W 6th Street.
The eleventh stop is the Oasis Court, located at 363 W 4th Street, another auto court style building and was built around 1928. This auto court also featured added amenities such as carports located adjacent to the sleeping areas, shops, and a separate laundry room. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tenth stop is the Benson Motel which was built around 1930 and is located at 185 W 4th Street. This motel is built in the style that emerged across the nation as the automobile increased in importance as a form of transportation.
The eighth stop on the route is the former Walker Drug Store, located at 274 E 4th Street. It is another example of the false front commercial building, and was built in the 1890 during the height of Benson's Railroad era.
The next stop is the Hotel Arnold located at 253 E 3rd Street. Th hotel was built in 1879 by retired engineer and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Arnold A. McGinnis, to house railroad employees, passengers, commercial travelers, and salespeople. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The fourth stop is the Benson Railroad Historic District which is located just north of the Southern Pacific Railroad tracks on 3rd Street. The district consists of ten residences and one hotel, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The third stop was the Hi Wo Company Grocery, located at 398 E 4th Street. The grocery was owned in 1896 by Hi Wo a Chinese man who came to Benson in support of the Chinese population working for the railroad. Hi Wo made lots of money and became a respected member of Benson society.
The second stop was the Zearing's Mercantile Building located at 305 E 4th Street, and was built before the turn of the century, during Benson's railroad era. It was used to supply area miners with meat. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The walking tour begins at the museum. You can obtain a map showing the route and explaining the various sites at the museum too. The first stop is the Goetz/C & W Building which is located at 301 E 4th Street. It was built sometime before 1909 as a general store. It is a false front commercial building.
There are also several displays outside the museum. Photo 1 shows a miniature Conestoga style wagon; Photo two shows a fireless engine that ran on a narrow gauge railroad at the Apache Powder Company Plant; Photo three is a communications and signal shed used by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the 1920s; Photo 4 shows an ore car used in a large mine around 1900; Photo five shows a collection of old tools.
The museum is housed in the former W. D. Martinez General Merchandise Store Building which was built in 1921. The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places. Photo one Grinding and Mill Stones: These grinding and mill stones were found in the local area; Photo two General Store: This is a reproduction of the first general store opened in Benson; Photo three shows various artifacts; Photo four shows tools from an optometrist a dentist and a doctor; and photo five shows a reproduction of a horse drawn school bus.
One my favorite things to do anyplace I go is to meet the locals. Here are Arelia (a waitress), Socorro (from the museum) and Andrea (a ranger at Kartchner Caverns).
These outcroppings of bedrock contain evidence of use by the Hohokam. Several archeological sites have been found in the area showing habitation by the Hohokam from around 4800 BC to 1300 AD.
The Mountain View Trail is a short (.5 mile) spur off the main Foothills Trail. Although it is short it is difficult because it is steep and rocky. The views are worth it for the adventurous.
This is the park in the Apache Powder area. It is a nice shady park and has picnic tables for your use.