VALENTINE, AZ ~ May 13, 2007
The old town of Valentine is located about four miles beyond Hackberry, in scenic Truxton Canyon where Route 66 and the Santa Fe railroad tracks run side by side. The town was named in 1910 in honor of Robert G. Valentine, Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1908-1910. The large brick Indian School that had been established there for the Hualapai children in 1900 is now closed but the site is still the headquarters for the Truxton Canyon Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
A couple of miles down the road, there is a little red one-room schoolhouse that was used by the town’s white children. The corner entrance looks like it had been remodeled at one time. If you walk up the steps and peek in the front door, you can see that most of the wooden floor boards have rotted away leaving wide gaps where you can peer down into the basement. At the rear entrance there is a set of steps that leads downstairs, and what looks like a coat closet. Most of the old tin ceiling tiles remain intact. Two outhouses (perhaps boys and girls?) stand on one side of the schoolyard, still with their wooden seat. However, nothing remains of the Valentine post office, grocery store, or gas station.
A few more miles down the road from Truxton Canyon is the actual town of Truxton. Edward Beale’s famous camel expedition stopped at the spring here in 1857. Lieutenant Beale (1822-1893) must have named the town for his one-year-old son Truxton (1856-1936), his older brother Truxton (1820-1870), and/or his mother, Emily Truxton Beale (1832-1880). In the 1950’s, Truxton was the site of a busy Route 66 gas station and café.