Part of the shrine.

Eternally Lit Shrine

Field review by the editors.

Patagonia, Arizona

In the 1940s, just off of Highway 82, at the site of the historical John Ward Ranch, Juanita and Juan Telles built a religious shrine into a hillside grotto. They lit a candle inside, and always kept a candle lit, to ensure that their son -- or, in some versions of the story, five sons -- would survive World War II (or the Korean War, or possibly both).

The son(s) survived and the war(s) ended, but for some reason the Telles family kept lighting candles, every day. They're all dead or moved away now, but the Arizona Department of Transportation built a parking area and concrete steps with handrails to the shrine, and the townspeople of Patagonia have taken it on themselves to keep the candles lit.

Eternally Lit Shrine

Telles Shrine

Hwy 82, Patagonia, AZ
3 mi. south of town on Hwy 82, a northbound side pull-off with a blue historical marker sign. Concrete steps and metal handrails lead up the rock face to the shrine.
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