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Arizona Snake Oil Salesmen, Scams, and Hoaxes with Christine Reid

October 15 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm



Entrepreneurs offering assorted “get rich quick” schemes and “cure-alls” have visited Arizona since the early days. Benefitting from tales of abundant resources in the territory, limited law enforcement and communication, a scoundrel could create enticing promises of wealth and health without much external oversight. Newspapers often fanned the hysteria only to later denounce and expose the same schemes. People from across America came west to seek a better life. When that better life proved too slow in materializing, they often fell prey to quick and easy alternatives being offered by schemers. Sometimes even the well-educated and worldly could not resist the lure, despite later admitting they should have known better. This program illustrates through newspaper articles, quotes, photographs and ephemera, some of the most famous, and some of the lesser-known, embarrassing scams and hoaxes that have found gullible Arizonans.

This program is cohosted by Maricopa County Public Library – Fairway Branch.


Christine Reid’s interest in Arizona’s diverse and rich western heritage developed and grew as a writer and researcher with the Pinal County Historical Museum and later as Community Scholar for the Anthem at Merrill Ranch continuing education program. Reid is committed to sharing the sometimes hidden or forgotten aspects of Arizona’s characters and history. Reid shares Arizona’s history in a relatable and engaging manner.


October 15
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Fairway Branch Library
10600 W. Peoria Ave.
Sun City, AZ 85351 United States
View Venue Website

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