Our neighborhood, he (Bill Collier) wanted us to know, was Oracle’s first platted and zoned subdivision - Oracle State Tracts. Our house, he said, was built in part by Henry and Nell Nichols adding to a preexisting structure erected by a hard scrabble miner using 6 inch concrete block.
The holes in all the screen frames he explained were cut outs that enabled a firearm - shotgun, hand gun, rifle - wielded by Nell Nichols to pass through and blast away at predators endangering her beloved quail. She was, he said, a good shot.
The large, sloping, cracked slab next door was constructed as an attempt to trap water before the Arizona Water Company arrived in town. Trap water it did which promptly drained through a fracture in the hand dug well and replenished a neighbors windmill driven hand dug well next door.
Mr. Collier went on to introduce us to Mother Magma - Magma Copper Company, ten miles distant - which had employed him before his retirement. “They pretty much run everything around here.”
He explained that Pinal County boss Jay Bateman retaliated against his opposition typical of the political boss he was. Collier’s own resistance to one Bateman initiative was met by county public works slashing a road through his property and cutting down one of his huge, prized oaks in the process.
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Kaz and I moved to Oracle in 1979. The house we bought dated to the late 1940s. With little advance knowledge of the place, we set out to build a new life together, intending to settle in and raise a family.