Old Trails Museum offers Winter History Highlight: Hi Jolly and Mystery of the US Army Camel Corps

The Beale Wagon Road. (Photo/Winslow artist Joseph Cruz Rodriquez)

The Beale Wagon Road. (Photo/Winslow artist Joseph Cruz Rodriquez)

WINSLOW, Ariz. — The Old Trails Museum offers its 2019 Winter History Highlight Feb. 9, at 2 p.m. at the Winslow Visitors Center/Hubbell Trading Post, 523 West Second Street.

Educator Casey Davis will explore the US Army’s failed experiment using camels in the Southwest in his free presentation of Hi Jolly and Mystery of the US Army Camel Corps.

In 1857, Lieutenant Edward F. Beale established the Beale Wagon Road, a popular pioneer trail during the 1860s and 1870s that passed through the future town site of Winslow.

Hi Jolly trekked across the Southwest with the Beale Expedition from Camp Verde in present-day Indianola, Texas, to the Drum Barracks in San Pedro, California. The camels ate indigenous grasses and were faster and stronger than horses in the desert. Even though US Secretary of War Jefferson Davis desperately wanted the Camel Corps to be successful, the experiment was a failure. This presentation will look at the exploits of Hi Jolly within the larger context of the West, and at how the camel experiment added to the region’s unique history and continuing mystique.

Information provided by Old Trails Museum


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