The history of 4th street begins as you turn south off 2nd street onto 4th street. The first evidence of history is a large body of water. It looks like a cattle tank but it’s a dam built by Thomas Gibson Barlow-Massicks in the 1890s.
A pipe in the middle of the water controls the water. Barlow-Massicks named the dam that created the lake, the “Mesa Dam.” On Prescott Forests maps it’s called the Mesa Reservation (look near the Doodle Bug Diggings on the map.)
As you are coming down 4th Street off of 2nd Street you will see two large gates on the north side of the lake and one small gate on the left. The left one lets water through to Orchard Ranch (now a trailer park.) The history of these water gates began in 1960. At that time Norman Fain owned the water rights to Lynx Creek and these gates were a part of the plan to build Lynx Lake. Note the major ditch to the dam. Follow this to a little dam that diverts the water to the Mesa Dam. This was built by Barlow-Massick for his placer mining in the 1890’s. He named it the Mesa Ditch. Fitzmaurice has his name on the dam because it needed to repair it for his placer operations in the 1930’s.
When the Fish and Wildlife Service wanted to build Lynx Lake, Norman Fain had the water rights to Lynx Creek. They had to get the rights from Norman so they had to repair the ditch and the dam. The ditch has been used (by Barlow-Massick in the 1890’s, Fitzmaurice in the 1930’s and by a local gravel operation today.)
Evidence of Fitzmaurice use of placer mining is farther down 4th Street near the creek in piles of rocks. On Forest Service maps this and the entire creek is called the “Doodle Bug Diggings.”
A beautiful site is the Barlow-Massick house known as “the Castle.” A lot has been written about this building. It was built by Barlow-Massick in 1893. I (Jerry Munderloh) first saw it in 1960, it was in terrible shape. Most of the shingles were off the sides of the house and the plaster was off most of the ceiling. The floors were trashed and the building was unlivable. I took several loads of trash to the dump. Norman Fain owned the building so I asked him if I could fix it up. He said yes and that he would pay for the materials if we (my wife and I) would do the work. We accepted his offer.
An interesting structure near the Castle is a chimney with a fireplace. This was a stagecoach stop, Post Office and a mercantile shop. All were built by Barlow-Massick in the 1890’s. The buildings were located just off the old Toll Road from Fort Whipple to Dewey. The stage coach stop used prior to this (1860 - 1890) was discontinued after Barlow-Massick built this one near the Castle. I located the remains of the earlier stage stop. It was located between Prescott and the Massick stage stop. It was built by a person known as Virgin Mary. The name was give to her because she was so kind. The stage stop was known as the Burn Dogs stage stop. I tell this story because I am probably the only one that knows of it. I found about it through an old cowboy friend of Barlow-Massick who passed it on to me. The stage stop was eventually sold to some Chinese people who lived there for seven years.
The cowboy friend was a very old person I befriended and brought home for a visit on occasion from the Pioneer Home. He told another story about how Barlow-Massick got fresh meat. He said that Barlow would stand in one of the tower windows of the Castle and have one of his cowboys run some cattle by his house and then he would shoot one.
The very top of the tower of the house was affixed a very beautiful wind vane. We had to climb up there and fasten it to the roof because it was very unsteady. When the roof was redone a few years ago they (probably the town) took it down. It would be great to try and replace it or find the original because it was a very imposing piece of the house and it’s history.