Arizona’s official State Historian, Marshall Trimble, has released a new book, “Arizona Oddities: Land of Anomalies & Tamales” ($23.99, paperback, Arcadia Publishing).

Arizona has stories as peculiar as its stunning landscape. The Lost Dutchman’s rumored cache of gold sparked a legendary feud. Kidnapping victim Larcena Pennington Page survived two weeks alone in the wilderness, and her first request upon rescue was a chaw of tobacco.

Trimble, an author, singer, storyteller and former community college professor, shares these and other historical “oddities,” such is how the town of Why got its name, how the government built a lake that needed mowing, and how wild camels ended up in North America.

Trimble published his first book in 1977, and since then he has written more than 20 books and has been inducted into several Halls of Fame.

Susan Tatterson, a professor of Digital Media at Central Arizona College, began photographing America’s abandoned landscape in 2008 as part of her MFA thesis at the University of Baltimore. She reveals a side of Arizona rarely seen in “Abandoned Arizona: Ghost Towns and Legends” ($24.99, paperback, Arcadia Publishing).

From dusty ghost towns to eerily silent concrete masterpieces, what has been discarded in the settling of this young state is revealed. From Arizona’s once thriving mining communities, to long-abandoned trading posts along Route 66, Tatterson captures haunting images of what once was.

Her photographic journey encompasses the entire state, including its largest city, where the legendary Phoenix Trotting Park stood isolated and forsaken for half a century.

“Arizona Oddities” is available at Changing Hands-Phoenix, 300 W. Camelback Road. Call 602-274-0067 to check on availability. “Abandoned Arizona” is available via special order at Changing Hands. For more information or to purchase online, visit




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