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About this City Journal

Wild Culture. Wild Commerce. Wild West.

Entries in this City Journal










how shall I tease my next CJ you ask? how about a riddle...

what is so large, and so infinite, that anything you imagine about it likely exists?



Man time flies...it seems like it was just May when I started this journal. But here it is December, and I've done everything I wanted to accomplish w/ this CJ. It's time to bring it to a close, and I want Arrowhead to go out on a bang. I want to finish with something epic. I'm thinking some crazy huge mosaics of each city and area that was covered in this CJ. Some parts of the mosaics will be familiar, and some might be new. The mosaics are so big that I will have to divide the finale into parts for each city/area.

Creating Arrowhead and the rest of Marsdon County has been some of the most fun I've ever had. I've been playing SimCity since the 3000 days, but I never realized it could transform from a game to an art canvas until I saw the amazing custom content and CJs on here. So with that as inspiration, and my fascination with the American West, Arrowhead was born. I hope all of you have enjoyed this CJ as much as I have in creating it. This is only the beginning. I've already begun work on my CJ for 2011, and it will be up in early January. I'm tempted to say what it will be, but I'm gonna keep it a surprise. It will be entirely different from this. Thanks to everyone who has followed this journal, commented, and rated over the months (and yes, shame on those of you who gave me a lot of 1s when my journal could first be rated to bring it down...evil people!). Cheers!




Grey Rock


Grey Rock is a small rural community on the other side of Hombre's Peak, just east of Arrowhead. The town gets its name from the abundance of large grey boulders left over from when the Shoshone River flooded the land some millenia ago. Visitors enjoy touring the historic downtown area, hiking the "Old Maid," and getting goosebumps at the Shoshone Graveyard.

(In 1931, area rancher Cody Weston used a small portion of his cattle money to build a mid-rise office building in downtown Grey Rock. He hoped it would spark the kind of commercial growth Arrowhead was experiencing, but instead the striking contrast of a giant brick building and the original Wild West town made it seem more of a joke than a serious commercial future. At completion, the building was named "The Lone Ranger," and is still called that today. It now houses the sheriff's department, a post office, a medical clinic, and apartments on the upper floors.)


(The "Old Maid" gets its name from locals who liked to poke fun at the fact that it's, for the most part, barren. Still, it makes for a nice hike and has spectacular views from the top.)


(Here lies dead injuns. Or does it? See, people think the abandoned teepees next to the graveyard means it contains the bones of Shoshone remnants from the late 1800s. All the tombstones are unmarked, supposedly because the cowboys didn't know the names of the indians. But maybe it's the other way around. Maybe the graves contain the bones of the cowboys, and the indians didn't know how to write...)







When Big Joe Marsdon first saw the Yessum Mountain range, he said to his wife, "those sure are purty aren't they?" And she replied, "yessum." So that's how it got its name, but its endless beauty is far older than sweet Sue, bless her soul.

*This concludes Fort Silver National Park
(U.S. 193 tunnels through the mountains)








The Fort Silver Grounds area of FSNP is truly an enchanting experience with many beautiful and fun-filled sights. Like the Lake Silver area, this part of the park also features primitive hiking trails and campsites, along with a small campground on top of Silver Peak (the non-active remnant of an ancient volcano that erupted millions of years ago forming Lake Silver). Fort Silver itself is sure to send you back in time, and offers free guided tours inside the fort along with historical artifacts and pieces of silver from more than a century ago, and a horse petting area as well.





(Fort Silver)


(Park entrance @ U.S. 193)







At the end of the Civil War, the United States Army established an outpost on the route from Montana to California. Known as Fort Sanderson, it served as a base of operations for Indian fighting in the nearby areas up until the mid 1870s when Indian rebellions sharply declined. The U.S. Government did not abandon the post however, instead they used it as a silver mint and it was thereafter known as Fort Silver. At the turn of the century, the fort was finally abandoned, as cities became more populated and were seen as more ideal locations for mints. The U.S. government maintained ownership of the fort and surrounding land, where it became a National Historic Site. And to celebrate the fort's centennial birthday, the U.S. Department of the Interior purchased the neighboring Lake Silver ranch, which included Lake Silver and stretched northward into the Yessum Mountain range. The fort, combined with the land from the purchase, was then established as a U.S. National Park. Today, FSNP is a popular destination as travelers can enjoy the best of both worlds - the untouched beauty of the park and the urban conveniences and attractions of nearby Arrowhead.

Fort Silver is notable for its lush forests of towering Red Cedars and brush, with minimal Live Oaks as the vegetation changes the nearer one gets to the Yessum Range from Arrowhead.

The park will be presented in three parts: Lake Silver, Fort Silver Grounds, and Yessum Ranch.

*Fort Silver National Park, winner of Park of the Year 1989, 1993, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2007



Lake Silver is the most visited area of the park. It features several large and marked hiking trails and scenic overlooks, along with numerous primitive trails for the serious hikers and horse riders. The area also features a large campground on the west shore of Lake Silver, with spaces for tents and RVs with full hook-up, and a swimming pool for the kiddos and a convenience store and souvenir shop for you. You can also find rentable cabins and even more tent sites spread out in the surrounding forests. The west shore and north shore of Lake Silver also feature a naturally hard and flat surface, making for the perfect natural boat ramp. So bring your tent, your boat, your horse, and a spirit of adventure and enjoy the scenic and peaceful waters of Lake Silver. And if you come at the right time of year, you might just spot former President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura, who are frequent visitors.











North Arrowhead


Ah, Arrowhead v. North Arrowhead, a classic tale of the classic Wild West shootout. It all began back in the late 1870s, when Tyson Grey was making glances at Big Joe Marsdon's wife in the Old Town Arrowhead Saloon.

("Big Joe" Marsdon, circa 1880)               (Tyson Grey, circa 1881)

John-Wayne-pb01.jpg     Anonymous-Clint-Eastwood-207031.jpg

You see, good ol' Tyson Grey was looking to buy a piece of land off Big Joe's ranch to build himself a new blacksmith shop on. But the deal was off, and that was when Big Joe first uttered the now famous (or infamous) line, "get the hell out of my town, pilgrim."

So Tyson Grey did just that. He packed up and moved a few miles north, where he won a large portion of the Bud Davis ranch by beating him in three rounds of Texas Hold 'Em. Not only did Tyson Grey build himself a new blacksmith shop, but he opened the doors for a new town built on industry.

Good ol' Tyson was a sly man. He imagined a town that would rival Big Joe and Arrowhead. But ol' Ty didn't have nearly the amount of money that Big Joe and Arrowhead did. While Arrowhead progressed through time as a booming commercial center, Tyson and North Arrowhead remained blue-collar, just like it is today. Good ol' Ty might've never got his wish, but the feud between him and Big Joe still lives on. Just ask a resident of North Arrowhead what they think about their neighbor city next time you're in town.

"Those people over in Arrowhead just play all the time with all their money and big buildings. This here is where the real hard workers are. We bustin' our ass all day just to come home to an old apartment in some half run-down old brick building. Yeah that's right, we bustin' our ass so the people over in Arrowhead can go home to their home up in the sky like they were birds 'r somethin. I just can't stand 'em. I mean I'm nice to 'em if any of 'em ever pop in the store, but that don't mean I gotta like 'em." - Maggie Sue Smith, checker at Save on Foods Grocery in downtown North Arrowhead

If Arrowhead was once the "New York of the West," then North Arrowhead would be Brooklyn or the Bronx. Today, the town has stretched out in the valley between the Bud Davis hills, but remains a strong industrial center. The only notable commercial enterprise in town would be the regional headquarters and operations center of AT&T, who built their new offices here instead of Arrowhead because the land downtown was so much cheaper. But most of the other office buildings in downtown have long since been converted into apartments. There are very few single-family homes in the city, as most of the population lives in apartment buildings from decades ago. And unlike Arrowhead, there are very few schools. To save on money, the city opted for large, consolidated schools. But the town does have a few things going for it. For one, its strong industrial center keeps the town economically stable, even if that means it stays stuck in a time warp. And also, it's the county seat of Marsdon County...something good ol' Tyson Grey would never have forseen. And if you're into historic architecture, the downtown area won't disappoint. Oh, and did we mention the beautiful giant Redwoods along U.S. 193? Imported from California in the '30s as one final draw between the two towns, they stand as living testaments of two larger-than-life characters.

(Marsdon County Courthouse, center)









(U.S. 193 @ Downtown)


(Cliff's Cliff)



(...the only Class-A office space in North Arrowhead, along U.S. 193 at the Arrowhead/North Arrowhead city limits)




Arrow Hills


Well guys, this concludes the City of Arrowhead. A big THANKS 19.gif to everyone who has supported this CJ up to this point!! But don't worry, it's not over! The rest of Marsdon County is still to come!

In the 1950s, a new fad took root in Arrowhead as it was doing in so many other big cities at the time. And I'm not talking about the jitterbug, I'm talking about suburbia. Residents, who could afford to do so, fled the urban scene and headed for the largely undeveloped northeast side of Arrowhead. In the early '60s, the area had grown to nearly 5,000 residents, and it became an officially recognized neighborhood known as Arrow Hills. Over the next forty years, Arrow Hills experienced unprecedented growth, as did both Arrowhead and surrounding Marsdon County. In 1971, city leaders decided the time was financially right for Arrowhead to tee up. The city, along with donations from Arrow Hills residents, built Arrowhead Country Club & Resort on the site of an abandoned rock quarry, and it became the first golf course not only in Arrowhead but in Marsdon County as well.

Today, the area remains the nice middle-class neighborhood it began as, and is the largest neighborhood in the city in terms of both population and land area. In fact, it has grown so much that the neighborhood is further defined as either North or South Arrow Hills.



Arrow Hills begins just east of Uptown




North and South Arrow Hills



Preview 4


Two pictures from North Arrowhead, a large blue-collar town...the county seat and second-largest city in Marsdon County.



The Residences at Bear Crick Pool & Bear Crick Natural Area




In 1993, prominent rancher J. John Johnson passed away and left his large acreage to the City of Arrowhead for "the purposes of putting into good public usage while completely preserving the untouched vegetation and wildlife of the land; or preserving the nature while in some fashion manipulating the land in order to stimulate the economy of the City of Arrowhead in the form of a public or private venue." Upon his passing, city leaders envisioned the land as Arrowhead's would-be largest park, giving residents on the east side of Arrowhead and Marsdon County an alternative to Welcome Park on the city's west side.

However, some on the city council were opposed to the idea, calling it too early to decide the reuse of Triple J Ranch. A decade long stalemate ensued among council members, and it wasn't until 2003 that the council finally agreed on something: a world-class golf resort. Satisfying the second clause of the reusage restrictions in J. John Johnson's will, the city marketed the idea to the PGA and several luxury hotel brands, and in late 2003 a deal was struck between the city, the PGA, and Ritz-Carlton to develop a TPC golf course and resort on the site of the former Triple J Ranch, tucked away in picturesque Hombre's Cove on the banks of the Shoshone River.

In 2006, construction was completed, and the city celebrated what they called a milestone ten years in the making: TPC Arrowhead & The Ritz-Carlton Hombre's Cove Resort & Spa. Since then, several tournaments have been held at the course, along with the annual Wells Fargo TPC Pro Invitational. In fact, rumor has it that the TPC Arrowhead/Ritz-Carlton venue is the only venue Tiger Woods hasn't had sex at. Maybe it's because the surrounding views were beautiful enough.

Combined with Hombre's Overlook, a scenic platform near the top of Hombre's Peak that provides the best view in the entire city of the Shoshone Lagoon, this area is the crown jewel of scenic Arrowhead.









West Jackson


Hey guys, I'm back after a month-long break! And I'm back not with more scenic and touristy areas; I'm back with the seedy side of Arrowhead: West Jackson. Seeing a chance to capitalize on the growing tourist popularity of Old Town Arrowhead in the early 1940's, city planners knew that if the historic district was ever to have a worthwhile future something would have to be done about the low-wealth and underprivileged residents living around the neighborhood. In partnership with a prominent local contractor, the city set aside five square miles of land next to the industrial area west of Old Town to construct low-cost highrise tenements in an effort to move the poor out of Old Town. At the time, West Jackson St. was a dirt road running right through the heart of the set-aside land, but city leaders took action. To better facilitate traffic on nearby feeder streets, West Jackson St. went from being a dirt road to a sunken street with entrances to underground parking for several of the area highrises. Today, the land is 100% built out, and comes complete with the highest population density in the city (over 80,000 residents reside in the neighborhood), and the highest crime rate. There's only three type of people West Jackson's for: the poor, the police, and the politician.

Join the Arrowhead Police Department's COPter5 as it searches the West Jackson area for a man wanted for robbery and battery of a clerk at a nearby convenience store.

heavy rain falls over West Jackson...











Preview 3


Here's a preview of what I'm shooting for w/ some of Arrowhead's suburbs........rural-type small towns w/ few commercial services....other big services needed can be had with a quick drive into Arrowhead, which neighbors all of these small towns. This picture is from a just-started Grey Rock




When you reach the other side of the Shoshone Lagoon heading south across the Buffalo Bill Bridge, a right takes you west to Six Flags Boulder Canyon and the airport, and a left takes you up the hill to Arrowhead's southern-most neighborhood. Known for its quaint little brick church on top of the hill, South Head is the top choice for people looking to build a home in the Arrowhead city limits. South Head borders the suburb town of Ranger's Creek, and is integrated into the Ranger's Creek Independent School District instead of Arrowhead's because of the longer distances to Arrowhead schools. There is an old, established private Christian school in South Head however, located near the bank of the lagoon. But, kids will still be kids regardless of any school's influences. That's why South Head currently has a toilet-papering problem. Many of the neighborhood kids get home from school way before their parents do from working downtown, and instead of doing homework they spend their time being mischevious and naughty. In fact, the mayor developed an ingenious plan to combat this problem. He decided that his aides and himself would take a jaunt through the neighborhood in his limo, and throw money out the window as a bribe to get the kids to stop. (Although the mayor denies it, this act was not an attempt to boost support for his re-election campaign). The mayor and his crew were, unknown to them, being filmed from above by NEWS 9 HeliCam. And what was caught on tape at the end of his money parade is sure to make headline news.


Six Flags Boulder Canyon





You could say Arrowhead International Airport (AHT) is a tourist attraction itself, if not for any other reason than the fact that it has almost as many visitors as any other attraction in the city. But that's because the airport is how most tourists get to Arrowhead. Yet there's no denying that the airport is a stunning welcome into the city. Situated by its lonesome on top of a large mesa on the city's southwest edge, AHT as it is today was constructed in the early '90s and replaced the smaller, limited-capacity airport that had been around since the mid-'50s. The airport is unique in that it is one of the few international airports in America to preserve its surrounding nature. Another unique characteristic is the airport's underground parking and terminal entrances. Arrowhead International Airport is located near the neighborhood South Head, and can be reached via Buffalo Bill Bridge south to Shoshone Drive, then west past Six Flags Boulder Canyon.

*Please ignore the strange lighting on some of the pictures. I was trying to take them when it was dusk or dawn in the game, but the game's lighting kept changing so quickly I couldn't get all four screenshots in each picture before the lighting would change!






"The Flat"


"The Flat," as locals call it, was once the undeveloped flat terrain between Arrowhead and the town of Over the Hills...which was, aptly, over the hills. Back then, it was known as Western Flat. And back then, it was developed into a nice neighborhood. But then something happened. Something called suburbs. Soon, the nice middle-class residents packed up and sold their "Flat" homes for the seclusion of the small nearby suburbian towns. This caused the land value in the area to plummet, and the homes resultingly became affordable to residents of the nearby low-wealth high-rise neighborhood known as West Jackson. Now, "The Flat" is a collection of aging homes and a higher crime rate than other areas in the city. However, the homes are fairly well kept as is the neighborhood overall. And, there's still some undeveloped land too. But, chances are you won't look to build your dream home here. If there is one thing going for this neigborhood though, it would be its proximity to Welcome Park. Donated to the city in 1987 by Steve and Shurlee Welcome, the nearly 3 square miles of land became the largest park in the city, and is heavily visited by locals as well as tourists.

(Cattleman's Loop @ city limits, east downhill through "The Flat" toward West Jackson and Old Town)



Welcome Park

- 2.66 square miles of untouched natural beauty w/ great views of surrounding Arrowhead

- 1/5 mile long paved hiking trail

- 17 picnic tables

- 2 playgrounds

- 2 gazebos and 1 large plaza w/ fountain...great for events like reunions and outdoor weddings

- "Welcome" flower garden

- on-site Park Security Station



Boulder Hills


Thinking about relocating to Arrowhead? You're in luck, because the big neighborhood of Boulder Hills has only been around since the early '90s, which means you can still find an empty piece of land to build your dream home on...that is, if you can afford the price of a hilltop lot. But there are some cheaper ones as you move downhill closer toward the core of the city. And, the established part of Boulder Hills even comes with a complimentary neighborhood Target.






Ah, Uptown. The ritziest part of Arrowhead. The ritziest people in Arrowhead. And the ritziest shopping in Arrowhead, Uptown Mall. Here the city forgoes the Wild West and tackles cosmopolitan. Oh, and to hive you a taste of Uptown life, a Ferrari was caught on NEWS 9 Helicam exploding after a driver crashed into a boulder while test driving in wet weather...so never test drive cars in the rain, especially Ferraris.





(Uptown Mall)





Old Town Historic District, where everything began. But just because it's old doesn't mean it's old. In fact, it's quite youthful thanks to the huge amount of dollars that have been poured into it over the years making it the top tourist area in the city. Old Town is like a time-machine. Many cities have old Wild West towns, but they're movie sets. Not here. In Old Town, it's the real thing. It's the original Arrowhead, and every store is still a store, and you can still get a beer or bluff your way through a game of poker in the saloon. And, the city even hires people to dress up like cowboys and ride through the dirt streets on horseback, and mosey their way into the stores every now and then...all to give you the complete experience. But don't forget Arrowhead is still a modern city. In fact, that's why the historic building across from the saloon is now a Starbucks. Don't want a beer? How about a frappucino?

Like Arrowhead itself, you can continue progressing through time by meandering your way through the beautiful brick streets and historic architecture found in the area. And, if you finally decide it's time to come back to the present day, just about every modern chain restaurant and store you can think of is on the north end of Old Town, along Cattleman's Loop. Power to the tourists! (National Register of Historical Places, 1972)



(Buffalo Grill...an Old Town staple since 1952)


(Cattleman's Loop @ Old Town)



(Arroil Arena...home of the NBA's Arrowhead Boulders)


(Historic Rio Theater)



(Arrowhead Central Emergency Services)






(The Old Mill & Lookout Tower)







(Old Town Memorial Cemetery)


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