No.27 in the Federation of Scout Museums International


The Messenger

Edited by Joyce Coon

Monday, June 20, 2000


The following article was featured in Volume 1, No. 2 in July 1992. I think it bears reprinting for many of our newcomers.


The Museum Messenger has chosen the Scout on a Bicycle Stamp as its logo. The story behind it contains much Scout history.

When the Boer War broke out in South Africa in 1899, Colonel Baden-Powell was given the assignment to hold Mafeking (a railroad center in southern Africa) at all costs until a relief column from Capetown could reach him with reinforcements. This proved to be a Herculean task, as Baden-Powell had only 1,000 regular British troops to defend a town of about 9,000 citizens, while surrounded by 10,000 Boer army regulars.

Realizing that it would be months before the relief troops could arrive, Baden-Powell organized all the natives into various support groups. The siege started October 11, 1899 and lasted until May 17, 1900, 217 days. During this time Baden-Powell used all the strategies of his years of military service to hold out against the superior Boer forces.

To prevent spying and espionage the village was divided into four quadrants and the only communication between sections was by mail. The people were not allowed to travel from one section to another without special authorization. Communications between various military posts had to be delivered by messengers. Due to the shortage of military personnel, Baden-Powell had the boys aged 13 or older organized into a cadet corps known as the Brigade. They were outfitted in military uniforms and mounted on bicycles to deliver the military messages. These cadets were called Scouts. Captain Charles Goodyear was given command of organizing the cadets and his son was made Cadet Sergeant-Major Warner Goodyear, the first Scout. Non-military letters were to be charged for delivery in order to help pay for services by non-military personnel. This necessitated the printing of stamps for non-military letters. Mafeking had printing facilities but no photoengraving equipment to produce halftone cuts.

The Engineer Corps had photograph and drafting equipment to produce maps and necessary machine blueprints so it was possible to produce the stamps by the drafting blueprint method. These stamps were “blue printed” by the engineering unit of the military in 1900 using the picture of a cadet on a bicycle for the 1 cent stamp, and the bust of Baden-Powell on the 2 cent and 3 cent stamps. The 1 cent stamp became known as the 1 cent Scout Blue—the first Scout stamp printed. Only 9,476 stamps were produced. The Scout Museum of Southern Arizona has on display a 1 cent Scout Blue stamp with a 1900 cancellation date. (By Otis H. Chidester, Curator)

Charles and Warner Goodyear, the first Scoutmaster and Scout

In keeping with bicycling the following was written by Dr. James B. Klein, June 21, 1997:

Although the sight of bicyclists wending their way up and down the Mt. Lemmon Highway is now commonplace, the first known bicycle trip to the top of Mt. Lemmon took place on June 18, 1916, at a time when there were no motor vehicle roads into the high country.

F.E.A. Kimball, a well-known Tucson printer and secretary of the newly incorporated Summerhaven Land and Improvement Co., conceived of the bicycle expedition as a means of accurately measuring distances from point to point on the then most commonly used south slope trail network to Soldier Camp and Summerhaven. Accompanying the 52-year old Kimball, and helping him signpost the mileage with red paint at selected points was Russell Jacobus, son of former Tucson mayor Preston N. Jacobus and a May 1916 honor graduate from Tucson High School.

The pair started in downtown Tucson and rode 14.1 miles to the Lowell Ranger Station, located about where the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center is situated today. From the Lowell Ranger Station, they took the Phoneline and Palisade Trails 14.2 miles to the junction with the Soldier Trail, where the Palisade Ranger Station is currently located. They then took the Soldier Trail 2.3 miles to the Soldier Camp Ranger Station, which is no longer in existence. From there, they went to Summerhaven and on to the top of Mt. Lemmon where a fire lookout tower was then located. The total distance from downtown Tucson to the Mt. Lemmon fire lookout tower, as recorded on a bicycle odometer, was 35.2 miles. The trip to the top must have been taxing since Kimball and Jacobus did not return to Tucson until two days later.

What’s New

*The first Boy Scout troop in Tucson was established on April 20, 1911, with Harold Steele serving as the first Scoutmaster. Because Mr. Steele was very busy as principal of Tucson High School and of the 7th and 8th grades, he stepped down as Scoutmaster during the first week of December 1911 and became the commissioner for the first Council organi-zed in Tucson that same week in December. Mr. Steele received his official commission as Council Commissioner from the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America on April 9, 1912. The second Scoutmaster in Tucson was William J. Galbraith who later moved to Phoenix and became Attorney General for the State of Arizona in the early 1920’s.

*From the earliest days of the scouting program in Tucson, the Santa Catalina Mountains have served as the primary area for hiking, camping and outdoor adventure. Before the Control Road from the Oracle side of the Catalinas was put through to Summerhaven and Soldier Camp in the summer of 1920, Scouts got to the high country by hiking up the Phoneline, Palisade and Soldier Trails. Scouts from Tucson camped in Bear Wallow in 1912, 1913 and 1914. In 1915, they camped at Frank Weber’s homestead, which acquired the name Summerhaven in 1916.

Once the Control Road made it possible to drive to Summerhaven and Soldier Camp, it became feasible to establish a permanent Council camp. Over the Memorial Day weekend of 1921, the Coronado National Forest Supervisor offered a delegation of Tucson, Arizona Council (it did not become Catalina District Council until 1922) leaders its choice for a camp location from among three possibilities. The three choices included a site above Summerhaven (about where the ski area is now), a site above Soldier Camp (probably about where a University of Arizona observatory is now located), and a site close to Burnt Cabin (where the Palisade Ranger Station is now located).

The Council delegation, headed by then president James M. Lawton and vice-president and immediate past president Joel I. Butler, M.D., chose the Burnt Cabin site for three principal reasons:

1. Ample water was available from springs, which still supply water to Camp Lawton.

2. The location was at the junction of two established trails—the Palisade Trail and the Soldier Trail; the latter trail connected directly with Soldier Camp, about 3 1/2 miles away.

3. The location was easily served by the telephone line connecting Lowell Ranger Station at lower Sabino Canyon with the Soldier Camp Ranger Station. This allowed the camp director to contact the outside world in the event of an emergency.

Shortly after the Burnt Cabin site was chosen by the council delegation, it was decided to name the new camp for James M. Lawton. Mr. Lawton, who was born in 1877, was an accountant who had come to Tucson in 1914 from his previous job with a prominent copper mining company in Cananea, Sonora. He was prompted to leave Cananea because of the turmoil associated with the Mexican Revolution. He died in Tucson in 1958. Besides his one year as Council president, he served a number of years on the Council executive board.

*Shower’s Point, which is a massive granitic bluff close to Camp Lawton, is named after Hazen Shower, who was Council Executive from 1927-1934. During his tenure, Mr. Shower initiated the practice of having Camp Lawton Scouts hike over to and climb to the top of Shower’s Point in order to see the Tucson valley below and to conduct an evening campfire ceremony.

*Barnum Rock, which is close to San Pedro vista on the Mt. Lemmon Highway, is named after Willis E. Barnum, who became a scout leader in Tucson in 1916 and who was Council Commissioner in 1921 when Camp Lawton was established. During the early 1920’s, it was customary for honor Scouts at Camp Lawton to be stationed on top of Barnum Rock to assist the Forest Service as fire lookouts. It is possible, although not yet proven, that a telephone line was strung to Barnum Rock so that Scouts could quickly notify Forest Service officials in the event of a fire. If such a telephone line existed, it would have been a spur from the line extending from the Soldier Camp Ranger Station to the Brush Corral Ranger Station and which passed along the base of Barnum Rock.

*The foregoing information (April 18, 1998) was compiled by James Klein, M.D. as part of the ongoing historical research work of the Museum.

1936 First Council-owned Scout Truck

Secured from Frank O’Rielly in February 1936, at which time Frank gave us his check for $1000 to apply on the purchase. This truck was used to transport scouts, haul scouting supplies and for scout trips generally for many years. It was finally sold about 1955 to one of the Smallhouse boys who, in turn, used it for several years hauling wood and other supplies from his father’s ranch to Tucson. Shown in the picture is Walter Sims, then Scout Executive of Catalina Council, accepting title from Frank O’Rielly.

(This truck was also driven by Col Alan B. Thomas as referenced in the March 2000 Messenger.)


The Museum is now open on a limited basis:

Tuesday 6 pm—9 pm
Thursday 9 am —12 noon
Saturday 9 am —12 noon

At such a time when the demand is greater, the open hours will expand.

However, private tours are available and we welcome everyone. Please come see us during our open hours, or schedule a tour for your group or organization.

To schedule a tour for your Den, Troop or Post, or to arrange a private visit,

Call (520)326-7669

The Museum is located at:

1937 E. Blacklidge
Tucson, AZ 85719

New Collector’s Badge: A new Museum collector’s badge is being created depicting the “One Penny Bicycle Stamp” which is part of the logo of our Messenger. As reprinted in this issue, there is a great deal of history behind the stamp. We will advise you when it will be available for purchase.

Scouting Is:—–
Not just a boy in a khaki suit
to catch the eyes of men—
But something which is more than display.
It teaches morality—it shows the way.
It’s not just a meeting once a week,
At which the smart teach the weak;
But something tingling, something real,
That tells of love—and you can feel
That wonderful friendship that all need
To be a real man—today—indeed.
It is not just a hike or extended trip,
But the developing of real friendship.
The Oath and Laws are something to love
As coming down from heaven above.
It is not just something that can be bought.
What little watchward can be compared
But that which is finer than by senses sought
To that of the motto—BE PREPARED”
It’s not just a motto framed for the wall—
A bit of hallowed sentiment—that’s all,
But something graven deep into the heart
Until it becomes a soul and self apart.

Wm. H. Watson, Scout Executive ca. 1932

Museum Messenger 6.2 -- June, 2000

This is the quarterly publication of the Chidester Scout Museum, a non-profit organization founded in 1984 and incorporated under the laws of the state of Arizona. Articles may be submitted by e-mail to Joyce Coon, editor, at BJCoonTuc@aol.com or to the Museum’s address: Otis H. Chidester Scout Museum of Southern Arizona, Inc., 1937 E. Blacklidge, Tucson AZ 85719.

We preserve the memories of Scouting