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 is a dynamic speaker who engages audiences by including the humanities in the topics of landscape development and Arizona history. A resident of Arizona since 1975, Wayne lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for three years before attaining degrees in geology from Northern Arizona University. He has traveled to nearly 90 countries worldwide and has lectured on all seven continents. His programs are insightful, participatory, and thought provoking. He has extensive experience in the geological sciences but brings the human element into his topics, showing how new ideas are conceived, developed, challenged or accepted. He is also an award-winning author of numerous books.