August 2020     Title   Past Issues

In this Issue:

  >Society News   Boyce-Thompson Arboretum
  President's Letter   Caskwerks
  The London Bridge   Snippets from Scotland
  Scotland's Hidden Gems   Clan Representatives
  Research Your Scottish Ancestry   A Word from our Advertisers  

Society News

With no sign of the Covid-19 situation abating, the chances of the Society getting together for our regular meetings seem remote, at least until the latter part of the year. But hopefully the situation will ease sufficiently in the coming months for us to get back together again.

Arizona has become a virus hotspot over the past month and many of us have had to cancel vacations within the US and further afield, including Scotland.

We were fortunate in being able to stage our Phoenix Games in March. One further event took place the week after that, then no more in the U.S. through July. And just as of August 1, both the Ventura CA Seaside Games and the Long's Peak (Estes Park) Games have announced cancellations.

The calendar shows fewer then 20 events still hopeful as of now. And according to Scotland Welcomes You all events in Scotland have been canceled.

President's Letter
David McBee, President

David McBee

At our on-line virtual Board meeting on June 8, the current Board agreed to serve for another 12 month term. There have been no objections heard so the Board will continue another year with two changes: Former Treasurer Vicki Phegley has returned to the Board in that position. And Pat Schuller, who helped direct the games this past year has agreed to serve as a Board Trustee replacing Robert Wilbanks.

Pat is also looking at some fun outings this year too, maybe raise some funds, but at least have an outing or two. For those that do not wish to venture forth into a pub when we get a chance to conduct an outing, maybe we can Zoom you in as a virtual happy hour. It will be so great to hear your voices again.

Vicki Phegley Pat Schuller

The position of Secretary is still open. If you are interested, please send your resume and a brief synopsis of your involvement with the Scottish community to David McBee at:

Holding our next Games in 2021 is still a mystery. Even the Rose Parade next year has been cancelled. If there is not an economic recovery soon, there is little chance of financially pulling off a successful games event, with even higher expected costs. One idea is to host smaller pieces of Games events at little or no cost; and use them to gather donations towards the next Games, keeping our various participants in this venue afloat. We will see what develops.

Stay safe at your own pace and be as happy as you can be. Whisky and pastries may just be the answer. . .


The London Bridge

One of the most bizarre attractions in Arizona is London Bridge in Lake Havasu City – the bridge that was taken apart in the UK, flown to the United States, and then reassembled brick-by-brick in the Arizona desert.

London Bridge

Lake Havasu City – complete with a canal built so the bridge would fit neatly across it – was the brainchild in 1964 of businessman Robert McCulloch, chairman of the McCulloch Oil Corporation. Not surprisingly, with a name like McCulloch, he was of good Scottish stock. His great-great-great grandfather, Rev Roderick McCulloch, was a Scotsman who moved to Virginia in the early 1700s.

But before the saga of London Bridge ever found its way to Arizona, it already had, like all good stories, several Scottish connections. There have been several London Bridges, and many other bridges, that have crossed the River Thames down the centuries. A good number of them might not have fallen down completely, as the nursery rhyme states, but they were prone to partial collapse now and again.

Scottish patriot William Wallace featured in gruesome fashion on old London Bridge. He became the first so-called ‘traitor’ to have his severed head tarred, boiled, then impaled on a spike at the bridge’s gatehouse.

By 1799 the old bridge was beginning to fall apart, and a design competition was opened for a new replacement. The honor of winning came down to two prominent engineers of the time, both Scotsmen. One was the great Thomas Telford, from a farm in the hamlet of Westerkirk, Dumfriesshire. He was so famous for his bridge, canal, and highway building work that he had been named the ‘Colossus of Roads’.

This time Telford lost the battle but at least the victor was a fellow countryman, John Rennie, also from a farm near East Linton, south of Edinburgh. Judges preferred his traditional design of five stone arches, and the new bridge was opened in 1831.

Bridge plaqueWhen London Bridge was dismantled, every brick was meticulously numbered, shipped via the Panama Canal to Long Beach, California, then by truck to Arizona.

So next time you’re standing in the ‘English Village’ of Lake Havasu City, remember the place is a lot less English and a lot more Scottish than many people realize.

Scotland's Hidden Gems - Dundee’s Victoria & Albert Museum
Iain Lundy, Editor

For many years, Scotland’s fourth largest city, Dundee, has struggled to shake off a rather rough and ready reputation. The city known for Jute, Jam and Journalism could in recent decades have added another J – for jaded.

Unless you are a Dundonian, the city has tended to lag far behind Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Inverness and elsewhere in terms of visitor attractions. It retained a proud working-class feel but never really took off as a tourist destination.

Victoria & Albert Museum

All that has changed with the opening in 2018 of what is effectively a spectacular ‘Scottish branch office’ of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum – known as the V&A. It has transformed the city’s fortunes beyond all expectations, attracting half a million visitors in its first year.

People heading to Dundee from the south across the Firth of Tay, either by road or rail, are struck by the architecture of the new building which sits in Dundee’s docklands area, beside Captain Scott’s Antarctic exploration ship Discovery.

The design of the V&A was inspired by the steep, rugged sea cliffs on Scotland’s east coast, and it was constructed using hundreds of tonnes of grey concrete slabs. It really is quite a sight and has proved a major shot in the arm for what had been a somewhat run-down city.

Inside the museum there is a permanent display of the work of Scottish designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Other exhibitions have included ocean liners, and the design of video games. The building cost £80m and was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma.

The first Victoria and Albert building outside of London has rocketed Dundee up the world-s must-visit places. It has become ‘Dynamic Dundee’. In 2018 the Lonely Planet travel guide named the city the eighth best tourist destination in Europe.

Research Your Scottish Ancestry

Robert WilbanksSociety Membership Benefits

by Robert M. Wilbanks IV, B.A.
Chief Genealogist & Historian, C.S.A.

I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that one-hour of free genealogy research consultation, with the Chief Genealogist, is one of the benefits of membership in the Caledonian Society of Arizona. Normally, the consultation would happen at a library or coffee house with a laptop computer connected to the wi-fi. Together we would discuss your specific genealogy problem and explore best potential online genealogy resources specifically related to your case. Unfortunately, we are currently experiencing difficult times, making this person-to-person one-on-one assistance difficult. However, I’d like to present some ideas for options to attempt to renew this benefit in these difficult times.

One option is by e-mail. Contact me and let me know who you are, that you are a C.S.A. member, and send me a brief and clear overview of your particular genealogy lineage that you need help with. I can review the case, explore the internet and send you some ideas. Or, if you have an Ancestry account, or MyHeritage account, or various other genealogy web subscription account, send me your username and password to that account, and I can review the lineage you want help with, conduct research for about an hour and add to your lineage in your genealogy account. I can also follow-up with any ideas and thoughts by e-mail.

Another option, the current new normal for meetings, is a live online meeting through Zoom or Skype, or other online meeting method. I’m still trying to learn the technology, but I can set up a one-hour online meeting with any interested members. We can discuss your case, and I can share my screen exploring the various websites and informing you of the possibilities.

Meanwhile, as the “Chief Genealogist & Historian” of The Caledonian Society of Arizona, I will provide the following benefits and services strictly to C.S.A. members:

  1. a key member benefit will be the more in-depth one-on-one special one-hour consultation provided to each member annually, during the membership year, with each renewal
  2. answer quick questions and provide some assistance to members during meetings
  3. annual genealogy presentation at a monthly C.S.A. meeting
  4. possibly provide irregular short (10, 15, 20 minute) presentations on occasion at various meetings, whenever a computer presentation is already being set up for a guest speaker
  5. genealogy column in the C.S.A. newsletter
  6. assist with a webpage with genealogy research information and links and more

Lastly, and additionally, through my business Ancestral Pride : Professional Genealogy Services, I will provide a discounted fee schedule, only available to C.S.A. members, who may wish to hire my professional services for a more extensive genealogy research project.

Remember that this only applies to any family names with Scottish roots, including in the United States, Canada. Some English and Irish connections may also be applicable.

Please know that I am most happy to help you to the best of my ability and when I am able. I am volunteering my time for this benefit for you, but I am still working a full-time job, from home, that has become more difficult because of the current times, and I am overwhelmed by other life matters. There may be delays in my reply to your e-mail, and scheduling could be difficult. Your patience is greatly appreciated. If I am unable to deal with your consultation for whatever reason, I can direct you to fellow genealogist Iain Lundy, also a member of the Arizona Council of Professional Genealogists.

This is another of a series of articles in which I show you the basics of searching for your family history, discussing the use of family records, public records, and online resources nationally and internationally, etc. The previous articles are now available on the Genealogy Section of this website.   See “Genealogy” in the menu options at the top of the web page.

At Boyce-Thompson Arboretum
Iain Lundy

Agnes Faul plaqueMany Society members have no doubt enjoyed escaping to the Arizona countryside, specifically to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park near Superior. But how many have noticed this plaque, on the wall of a ramshackle old building they call the Drover’s Wool Shed? It commemorates a Scottish woman Agnes Faul who spent her final years with her family in Arizona.

The plaque reads: “Erected in loving memory of Agnes More Faul, a Scottish lass who grew up in Australia and raised her family in rural Pinal County Arizona”. Agnes was undoubtedly a true western pioneer, living as she did in the wilds of Arizona in the early part of last century.

But the story of her life has faded into history and, given the fact she was Scottish, it would be great if we could help put some of the pieces back together.

Some facts are known. She was born in Glasgow July 1888, the daughter of optician James More and his wife Helen. The family emigrated to Vancouver in Canada (not Australia as the plaque states) and Agnes married Englishman Robert Faul in her late teens.

By 1920 the couple, along with their children Elsie and Arthur, were in Cottonwood, Arizona. Then it was on to the small settlements of Kenilworth and Picacho, near Coolidge in Pinal County. Agnes died in on 14 February 1959.

But we don’t know the reason for the plaque in the Arboretum. Perhaps there were two Scottish women with the same name in Arizona? Can anyone help fill in the gaps? As they used to say, answers on a postcard please.

A New Arizona Scotch
Iain Lundy, Editor

Something new and exciting is brewing – or to be strictly accurate – distilling, down at one of the CSA’s favorite drinking establishments, CaskWerks.

Caskwerks whiskeyIn recent years, the bar at 1920 East University Drive, Tempe, has made its name by producing gin, cocktails, and a cheeky little apple pie liqueur.

Now the team behind CaskWerks is set to reveal its latest creation – a special CaskWerks whiskey.

And of course, being Scottish, we love a good whiskey, with or without the ‘e’.

Bar owners John and Chris said, “We’ve talked about creating a whiskey for years, and now we’re finally making it happen. To us, whiskey isn’t just a liquor, it’s an experience.” Hopefully in the not too distant future we can get together there as a society and sample their new creation.

Snippets from Scotland

Invernees-Courier logo

In the absence of tourists, the Loch Ness Monster has had a pleasant and peaceful summer. But with visitor numbers increasing, it’s time the ‘Beastie’ was back in the news.

Scottish Field logo

A new whisky distillery could soon be opening on the Hebridean island of Benbecula, the ‘Dark Island’ that lies between North and South Uist.

Scotsman logo

The National Trust for Scotland, which helps protect many historic Scottish sires and buildings, is facing a struggle to survive. Now a new tartan has been designed to aid in its emergency funding appeal.

Our Clan Respresentatives

In a new series of features, we throw a spotlight on the leaders of the Clan societies who brighten our games every year with their tartan-clad tents. We hope to feature two or three every month. To start the series, Bob Wallace recalls the enjoyment of taking his clan tent around the country.

If you would like be featured in a similar article regarding your Clan activities, please send an email to the Editor, Iain Lundy

First impressions tend to be important. None more so than my first time attending Scottish Games as a member of the Twelfth Naval District Band, that Labor Day Weekend event sponsored by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco. The Navy Band, based at Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, had been invited to perform for the audience on both days. In the early 1960s, the Caledonian Club’s annual event was held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California.

The Caledonian Club would later move on to an even larger venue at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California; I would move on to civilian life and many years passed before a return to another Scottish event. In the 1990s, my wife, Lois, and I attended a Celtic Festival in Angels Camp, California.

Wandering the grounds, we found a Clan Wallace tent hosted by a delightful couple from northern California. Learning from us that we were Wallace folks, the welcome mat was out. By that time, Clan Wallace Society, founded in 1966, was already turning 30 years old. So much history, so much to learn!

We became regular attendees at the Pleasanton Games. Caber tossers, hammer throwers, dancers, pipe bands, clans with historic connections to nearly every corner of Scotland were present each year at one of the largest annual Scottish events in the U.S.

Shortly after retiring to northern Nevada, we joined the ranks of conveners, putting up a tent at Games, in addition to attending other events convened by other members of Clan Wallace. We traveled to Pleasanton, Woodland, CA, Las Vegas and Reno. A move to Fort Worth added events in Dallas and Salado to our calendar. One more move, this one to Phoenix, added the local event early in the year in addition to Flagstaff, Prescott and Tucson. During my nine years on the Clan Wallace Society we have attended games across the US and Canada.

Clan Wallace

Why do we follow the Games calendar each year? Each event has its own personality, its own group of clans, entertainment and local flavor. This has become our community of like-minded people. The Games community has become an extended family. We all have a love of Scotland, its history and traditions. We all cheer on the athletes, pipers and dancers who are working to keep the traditions alive (I think they also have fun at it). We may not see these people often, but when we do it brings great Joy!

Membership Notice

All Memberships now run from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

Membership dues for 2020-2021 are:
- - $30.00 single and $50.00 Family (at the same address)

It's easy - just jump to the Membership Page for information.

Society Gatherings
Gatherings have been suspended due to the COVID-19 situation. Watch for information when government guidelines change.
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