William ‘Boss’ Head, a sutler at Fort Verde from the early 1870s to 1890s, built the south wing of this adobe brick stage stop and boarding house circa 1875. The south wing has high tongue-and-groove ceilings, plaster walls, and wide plank floors. The north wing of the building, along with the structure's minor Spanish Colonial Revival touches, were added in the 1970s
As a sutler, 'Boss' was a civilian merchant who sold goods and provisions to the military and its personnel. Knowing that the new Copper Canyon Road, completed in 1875, would bring more people to the Valley, Head constructed this small building to house long-haul travelers, visiting military employees, and others coming and going by stage and wagon.
After the road's completion, stagecoaches connected the settlement of Camp Verde and Dewey via Cienega Stage Station, near today's intersection of Interstate 17 and Arizona State Route 169. Weekly mail came and went between Camp Verde and Sunset Crossing (today's Winslow) via Stoneman and Mormon lakes through Beaverhead Station, located near the Village of Oak Creek and where, today, a monument commemorates the stage station site.
Two agonizing hours after he was shot in a robbery, entrepreneur and local store owner Clint Wingfield died by the fireplace in the front room of this building. Visit Stop 6 for more information about the Wingfield Store.
LOOK FOR a plaque on a large nearby boulder that commemorates the lives of Wales and 'Aunty' Arnold. The Arnolds grew the Verde Valley's first successful alfalfa crop in 1868 at a homestead near Montezuma Well, using water drawn from ancient irrigation ditches. Wales became the owner of the Sutler's Store after his business partner died in a skirmish with Yavapai-Apaches near the top of Grief Hill.