Weaver’s Needle: The Perils of Pauline

Rambling down old Highway 62, near the Coxcomb Mountains, tends to churns up images from the past. Not in a psychological or psychedelic way, of course. Just the history of this great land, and the people who came before us. About where this road is today was the route taken by a little known mountain man by the name of Pauline Weaver in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Pauline, who started out with the first name of Powell, was of Cherokee and, most likely, Scottish heritage. When he married a Mexican citizen in 1832, Powell became “Paulino.” Finally, when the Europeans moved into the southwest, he became “Pauline.”

Weaver left his mark all over this land. In Arizona, in the Superstition Mountains, “Weaver’s Needle” is named after him. If you’re a Lost Dutchman Goldmine fan you know what that means. Pauline was one of the original settlers of what is now Prescott, Arizona, too. Being 1/2 Cherokee helped Weaver parlay with the local Native Americans, and he became a scout for both General Kearney and the Mormon Battalion. Pauline Weaver settled for a time at the foot of Mount San Gorgonio, near Banning, after being granted the land by the Mexican Governor of California, Pio Pico. He stayed for 10 years. Like any good mountain man, he was on the trail quite a bit during that time. In 1862, Weaver was chief of scouts for the Union forces who engaged Confederate troops in the Battle of Picacho Pass, near today’s Tucson, Arizona. Pauline Weaver was about 65 years old at the time. Just a few tidbits for your day.

Citations and Recommended Resources

Top Photo Courtesy of Chris C. Jones, Creative Commons License, 22 October 2006. Weavers Needle, Superstition Wilderness, Arizona, USA. Original, no changes.

Thumbnail of Pauline Weaver: Public Domain, Illustration Created before 1925.

Bottom Photo Courtesy of John Earl for The Desert Way, 2020.

A Peculiar Piece of Desert, the Story of California’s Morongo Basin by Lulu Rasmussen O’Neal, 1957; Published by Sagebrush Press, Reprint 1981.

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