Rancho Mañana in Cave Creek, Arizona once was home to American Indians. However, the desert foothills oasis also became an ideal stopover camp for U.S. Cavalry en route from Camp McDowell in Phoenix to Fort Whipple in Prescott. They were the first non-Indians to settle in the area and fought ferocious battles with the Tonto Apache tribe.
During that time, General Crook, a shrewd soldier who led by example, led skirmishes beginning in 1871. The Cavalry gave the Apaches no rest, using Indian guides to root out their locations. Later, the military secured the land for miners and ranchers to create a new community.
By the 1940s, tenderfoots looking to recapture what had become a romanticized notion of the cowboy-Indian past arrived at dude ranches in the area. China and Ted Loring of Chicago, Illinois and partner Romaine “Romy” Lowdermilk, a cowboy musician and author, took over the Howard Ranch in the mid-1940s and renamed it Rancho Mañana dude ranch. It became the largest and most prestigious in the state.