In partnership with the Winslow Windmill Project and the Winslow Chamber of Commerce, the Old Trails Museum continues its “History Highlight” program series on May 23 and 24 with Winslow Branding Days. The two-day event kicks off with a free presentation of The Hash Knife Around Holbrook on Friday, May 23, at 7 pm at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post, located at 523 West Second Street. On Saturday, May 24, from 2 to 5 pm in the Eagles Pavilion behind the Visitors Center, the new Winslow Windmill will be celebrated with a dedication, chuck wagon, and branding stories from area ranchers.
On Friday night, author Jan MacKell Collins will relate the diverse history of the Hash Knife brand in Texas, Montana, and Arizona with stories of cowboys and historic images. The latter include family photographs from her ancestors George Hennessey and Frank Wallace, two of the last Hash Knife cowboys to work for the brand before its sale to the Babbitt Brothers at the turn of the last century. The brand left its mark on Holbrook, Joseph City, and Winslow, and its legacy is kept alive through the Hash Knife Pony Express Ride that starts from the Historic Navajo County Courthouse each January. Collins will sell and sign copies of her new book, The Hash Knife Around Holbrook, after her presentation.
At 2:30 pm the following day, Mayor Robin Boyd will dedicate the new Winslow Windmill, which was recently constructed at the west end of the First Street Heritage Park near the Winslow Visitors Center. After area ranchers burn their brands onto the windmill tower, everyone will the move to the Eagles Pavilion to hear stories of their individual brands. A team of Dutch oven chefs will be on hand to serve free biscuits and coffee prepared from the chuck wagon. The ranch names and brands will be on permanent display in a special book at the visitors center.
The Winslow Windmill is the brainchild of David and Ann Hartman, owners of Cross U Management Company. They offered to build an American West ornamental windmill at the public park in order to recognize the historical significance and ongoing impact of the area’s ranching industry. They then received funds to install the six-foot windmill on its nineteen-foot ornamental redwood tower from several companies that support the project: Gicon Pumps & Equipment and American West Windmill & Solar donated the windmill and delivered it to Winslow; Gene Hancock and RT Rentals donated the excavation for the concrete slab base; Winslow Ready Mix and McCauley Construction donated cement and labor; and Cross U Well Service donated additional labor and equipment.
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