Separating fact from fiction is no easy task when it comes to flamboyant stage coach robber Pearl Hart. A mountain of conflicting stories abound, thanks in no small part, to Pearl herself. So enamored of the Wild West, she embellished her own tale to accommodate the interest of newspapers and public fascination. This presentation will follow Pearl from her modest beginnings in Canada and discover what set her down the road that led from Canada to Ohio, Illinois, New Mexico, and finally, Arizona. The road that took her from an innocent teenager to a life of crime is littered with stories of abuse, abandonment, and poor choices. Why does a woman who committed a fairly insignificant crime still garner so much attention that a Broadway show was created to highlight her life? Reid will explore Pearl’s life as a both victim and vixen to shed some light on an Arizona figure surrounded by mystery.
H. Christine Reid is intrigued by Arizona’s diverse and rich western heritage as a writer and researcher at the Pinal County Historical Society and Community Scholar for the ASU Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She continues that deep interest while serving on many of the town of Florence’s heritage projects and agencies. Committed to sharing history in a lively manner, she presents the sometimes hidden or forgotten aspects of Arizona’s characters and history.