The Jail Tree.

The Jail Tree

Field review by the editors.

Wickenburg, Arizona

Wickenburg's early years were rough. The town had run-ins with gold-mad miners, vengeful Indians, and the usual Wild West gunslingers and outlaws -- which makes the backstory of The Jail Tree a little suspect. According to a sign next to the Tree, the lawless town, which sure could have used a jail, didn't have one until 1890. Criminals were simply chained to The Jail Tree until the sheriff from Phoenix could ride down and collect them.

Didn't the bad guys in Wickenburg have any friends with saws?

Agreeable tourists have never questioned the pedigree of The Jail Tree. It's been a popular attraction for Wickenburg since the 1930s, if not longer. For most of those years it was just the tree, the sign, and an old safe sitting on the ground as a symbol of... well, we're not sure. But in 2009 the Tree's value as a photo-op was elevated considerably when Seward Johnson (best known for his giant statues) made a life-size sculpture of a prisoner for The Jail Tree. The sad cowboy, wearing convict stripes, sits dejectedly on the ground, his toes poking through his socks, with one ankle chained to the tree.

The Jail Tree

Address:
N. Tegner St., Wickenburg, AZ
Directions:
Downtown. On the east side of N. Tegner St., just north of its intersection with US Hwy 60/E. Wickenburg Way.
Admission:
Free
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Bolo Tie MuseumBolo Tie Museum, Wickenburg, AZ - < 1 mi.
Giant SpursGiant Spurs, Wickenburg, AZ - 5 mi.
Frog RockFrog Rock, Congress, AZ - 15 mi.
In the region:
World's Tallest Kachina Doll, Carefree, AZ - 52 mi.

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May 28, 2017

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