Martha Summerhayes was a refined New England woman who entered the Arizona Territory in 1874 as the young bride of an Army Lieutenant. Traveling in horrific conditions and dreadful heat, she soon despised the wild and untamed land. She gave birth to the first anglo child born at Fort Apache where the native women took her under their care. Gradually, Martha’s attitude towards the desert changed and she soon came to love the starry nights, the clear air, and the simplicity of its inhabitants. She wrote about her experiences in the classic book, “Vanished Arizona”, still in print since 1908. Ranney has a personal connection to the Summerhayes family, which he shares in the lecture.
Wayne Ranney has lectured on all seven of the Earth’s continents. With a lifelong interest in the natural and earth sciences, he specializes in making the fascinating story of our planet come alive for audience members. He is a retired professor of geology but still teaches an occasional course at Northern Arizona University. He is passionate about sharing his vast knowledge of earth history with others in an easy and informal style, and is a well-respected author of numerous award-winning books and articles. He enjoys anything that allows him to to get outdoors with others to enjoy the varied and interesting landscapes of this beautiful world.