Michael Sandford has been a history buff since age 17 when he noticed how many old buildings in Phoenix were being torn down, and how some were restored. He researched several of the historic buildings and submitted articles for local newspapers.
Sandford's latest book - he calls it a "light, easy read" - is a history of Rock Springs chock full of photographs dating from 1915 to present day. He collected much of the material from family members of Ben Warner who settled in the area in the 1920s.
Sandford is now working on a second volume that will provide more details about Warner as a businessman. He said Warner often stuttered, which created some hardships, especially when making business deals.
Warner started out with 40 acres and grew his ranch and property to 400 acres.
"He had such a little empire there for his family. It broke down over the years with two divorces, he sold some land, and then the freeway came through in 1967," Sandford said. Today, the property encompasses about 63 acres.
Sandford sells his book, now in its fourth edition, in 16 locations, including Sharlot Hall gift store and the Peregrine Bookstore in Prescott, Games and Gifts in Humboldt and the Dewey-Humboldt Historical Museum, and the Big Bug Station in Mayer, as well as in Rock Springs and Black Canyon City.
The fourth edition, also paperback, is the same as the third edition; however, the photos are reproduced in black and white. This makes it more affordable at $12.95 retail as opposed to the color version at $29.95.
Sandford said he's working on a seven-volume compilation of Yavapai County.
"I'm staying away from the politics and mechanics that made Prescott. It's more about the ranchers, families and miners that helped contribute to building the county," he said. "I'm interviewing the grandchildren of the early settlers and finding firsthand information from the families and photos you don't see anywhere else."
For more information, call LeeAnn Sharpe at Crazy Cowgirl Publishing, 602-565-5785.
Posted: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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I have come to know Mr. Sandford from The Black Canyon City Chamber of Commerce meetings. I have read his book and find it very informative and interesting. I look forward to the rest of the books about Yavapia County. Very good book, good luck Mike.