Zane Grey (1872-1939) is probably America’s best-known author of Westerns, which may seem unusual given that he was a dentist from New York before becoming a popular writer. Read about him here: zgws.org.
The Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff
At least two of his writing haunts are in Arizona. The one we visited is in Flagstaff, a pioneering Route 66 midsize city, now a college town, that remains a fun place to stop, shop, and savor the Old West-flavor.
Zane Grey worked on a couple of books at The Weatherford Hotel in Flagstaff, around 1908, and one of them is his best-known, Riders of the Purple Sage, which can be found for free at https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks. From our observation, the Weatherford is continuing its long tradition as a thriving business.
We did not see Zane Grey’s room, where he wrote several books, but we did sample fried alligator at Charly’s, the Southwestern restaurant on the ground floor. The Weatherford remains a class act, loaded with unusual antiques and rustic charm. When you dine at Charly’s, ask about the connection between Zane Grey and the fireplace. Learn more at https://weatherfordhotel.com.
According to the Weatherford’s website, William Randolph Hearst had also been a guest. Read about Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, here: https://authoradventures.org/trails/by-state/california/hearst-castle,
The Zane Grey Cabin in Payson
Zane Grey’s rebuilt cabin in the small town of Payson, Arizona, is also popular with Zane Grey fans. He swore he would never return there when a hunting policy did not go in his favor, but the people of Arizona still hold him in high regard, keeping the cabin open to tourists. He resided later in Catalina Island, off the coast of California.
Find information at: https://paysonrimcountrymuseum.org. (If driving from the Phoenix area, stop there before Flagstaff.)
Zane Grey’s room and cabin are the third and fourth stops on our Arizona Author Adventures Trail.