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Isadore Christopher and “the hog log”

Isadore Christopher was a French cartographer, army scout and explorer who first settled Christopher Creek, Arizona in the 1880’s.  His first attempt to procure a mail order bride failed as the lady took one look at Isadore and his surroundings and immediately headed back East.  The second attempt was a success and Mary Hope stayed with Isadore at Christopher Creek on the 160 acre CI Ranch until her death in 1903. 

Isadore raised hogs and brine cured his pork in a log he hollowed out for this purpose. Brine is saltwater that was traditionally “strong enough to float an egg”.  Preserved in this way, homesteaders could keep meats for weeks and months at a time.  The meat was then sold to Fort McDowell and also in Winslow.  Isadore Christopher’s “hog log” is on display at the Rim Country Museum.

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Isadore Christopher is also credited by Mrs. Ashby (whose family purchased his land in 1938) with opening the first BBQ restaurant in Christopher Creek.

Isadore Christopher hog log

According to a story in The Whorehouse Bells Were Ringing Isadore was away from his ranch during an Apache raid.  The Apaches burned two of his log cabins.  The day before the raid “Christopher had killed a bear and had hung the carcass in or on one of the cabins.  The military force in pursuit of the Indians included the legendary scouts Tom Horn and Al Sieber.  They, along with the troops and other scouts decided that the burned bear carcass was Christopher and gave it a decent, solemn Christian burial.  They became the objects of laughter and jokes when Christopher later appeared and identified the body.”  

Christopher's "hog log" arrives at the museum.

Christopher’s “hog log” arrives at the museum.

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