|Inside This Box Is ''The Thing." Dragoon, Arizona. September 28, 2011.|
|''The Thing." Dragoon, Arizona. September 28, 2011.|
|''The Thing." Dragoon, Arizona. September 28, 2011.|
The Thing." Dragoon, Arizona:
We wish to thank Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for some of the information on this page. We share information with Wikipedia.
This "Mystery of the Desert," beckons the freeway-weary from 247 billboards. What is it? We don't know!
The Thing? is an Arizona roadside attraction hyped by signs along Interstate 10 between El Paso, Texas, and Tucson, Arizona. Teaser ads, such as The Thing? What is it? and Mystery of the Desert, entice travelers along this sparse stretch of desert highway to stop, just to find out what the mysterious Thing? might be. Such billboards are similar to signage seen in the South as drivers approach the South of the Border near Dillon, South Carolina and Rock City near Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Thing? is located just off I-10 at Exit 322 on a hilltop between Benson and Willcox, near Texas Canyon, at 2631 North Johnson Road, Dragoon, Arizona. On the south side of the highway, the attraction is part of a large filling station and gift shop complex painted red, yellow and blue. Amid the bows and arrows, moccasins, baseball caps, velvet paintings and turquoise jewelry, the gift shop also sells The Thing? shot glasses and T-shirts.
The Thing? rated an entry in Doug Kirby's Roadside America (1992), and it once was featured in a Jane Pauley television special on NBC. For a $1 fee, paid at the shop's cash register, one can enter a small outside courtyard leading to three prefabricated corrugated steel sheds. Inside are a variety of exhibits, including odd wood carvings of tortured souls (by "Ralph Gallagher, artist"), the "wooden fantasy" of painted driftwood (from an Alamogordo collector), framed lithographs, saddles, rifles, a covered wagon and several vintage automobiles. A sign by a 1937 Rolls-Royce makes the claim that it once belonged to Adolf Hitler. Winding corridors and exhibit halls eventually lead to The Thing?, a mummified mother-and-child tableau encased in a glass-covered coffin.
The roadside area was the creation of attorney Thomas Binkley Prince, who was born in Texas in 1913. He grew up in California, studied at Arizona State University and the University of Arizona College of Law, entered law practice in Phoenix and briefly served as a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. During World War II, while he was working for a Seattle law firm, Prince also ran a billiard hall. In the 1950s, Prince and his wife Janet opened their first Thing? roadside attraction and curio shop on Highway 91 between Barstow and Baker, until the expansion of the road into an Interstate highway brought about the loss of the building. In 1965 the Prince family packed up The Thing? and moved to the current location in Arizona. A heart condition and several strokes led to Prince's death in 1969 at the age of 56.
Syndicated columnist Stan Delaplane traced The Thing? back to 1950. Janet Prince, who later moved to Baltimore, Maryland, was interviewed by Delaplane in 1956 and told him, "[A] man came through here about six years ago. He had three of them he got somewhere. He was selling them for $50." Today, the attraction is operated by an Albuquerque-based company, Bowlins, Inc., which owns several roadside trading posts throughout the Southwest.
Author David Hatcher Childress speculates in his book Lost Cities & Ancient Mysteries of the Southwest on The Thing? He writes, "I started hearing stories that this curious double mummy had come from catacombs inside the Grand Canyon ..." He was referring to controversial legends about ruins being found in the Grand Canyon as reported in the April 5, 1909 issue of the Phoenix Gazette. The article described the ruins being found in underground catacombs cut out of stone and "possibly from Egypt." Childress reproduced the rare article in his book.
How To Get There:
Between Tucson, Arizona and Willcox, Arizona; is where you will see "The Thing." Don't Worry, There Are Endless Billboards along the road, telling you where it is! If you really want directions, Look At The Map, at the top of this page!
If you are planning to visit . And if you are coming from outside of Arizona, you could fly into Tucson International Airport and then rent a car.
Tucson International Airport (IATA: TUS, ICAO: KTUS, FAA LID: TUS) is a joint civil-military public airport located six miles (10 km) south of the central business district of Tucson, in Pima County, Arizona, United States, and is the second largest and busiest airport in Arizona.
We actually found it easier to stay in nearby Tucson, Arizona at the Holiday Inn Express.
There are many hotels and motels in Arizona, and if you need a place to stay; Priceline.com can arrange that for you.
We have personally, booked flights, hotels, and vacations; through Priceline.com and we can highly recommend them. Their website is also easy to use!
We have some links to Priceline.com on this page since they can arrange all of your air flights, hotels and car.
We of course, appreciate your use of the advertising on our pages, since it helps us to keep our pages active.
Whenever you make a purchase from a link on our page we get credit for that transaction. Again, Thanks!
"The Thing," is not worth a special trip to the area, just to see it, but if you are going very close to the area, It Is A Must See! We actually have driven past it, on numerous occasions, over several years, before actually deciding to spend the $1.00 to see it!
If nothing else, it's a good place to "streatch your legs," they have rest rooms, and they even have a Dairy Queen! Oh Yes, they also have lots of tourist stuff, to buy!
|Entrance To See,"The Thing."|
Dragoon, Arizona. Photo Taken September 28, 2011.
|"The Thing." Dragoon, Arizona. Photo Taken September 28, 2011.|