Born in the year 1831, Linda Parker was destined to etch her mark in the dust of the western frontier. A stunning lady with ice blue eyes, she knew at a young age that she was a desirable commodity amongst the men of the west. At age 15, she married Franklin J. Lewis, a prominent yet abusive business man who relocated from the east bringing with him his taste for the finer things in life. Marriage was not pleasant for the young beauty and after only four years of matrimony, she decided to stake her claim to fortune and fame by surviving a mysterious fire that engulfed the Lewis homestead which claimed the life of Frank Lewis. When the smoked cleared, Linda inherited the mass Lewis fortune and became known as the “Queen of Hearts.”
She hitched her wagon shortly after and moved into the Cave Creek territory, where she was the first lady of business, opening a modest and prosperous parlor house which she named “Hearts Landing.” With the discovery of precious metals throughout the territory, the “Queen of Hearts” became extremely wealthy entertaining the many men who fell prey to her beauty and charm, yet she did not trust the bankers of the town and therefore legend has it that Linda would bury her Hearts Landing earnings under the floorboards of the parlor house. She was known to strut through the crowds of adoring men while singing a seductive ballad with the chorus line of “I am walking on notes that once was yours.”
On Saturday evening in 1885, a monsoon storm ripped its way through the little Town of Cave Creek as the “Hearts Landing” was filled with amorous men. Lightning struck the building on its south side patio igniting the wooden building into an inferno within seconds. Witnesses say they watched the patrons leap from the top floor balconies and crash through windows to escape the blaze but amidst the flames there stood a charred woman standing in the middle of the burning room with her arms outstretched on fire screaming...“Six feet under ground but more under the floor.”
Today sits Frontier Town on the corners of Cave Creek Road and Linda Road as a reminder of years long passed. On certain nights during the monsoon season you will see the “Queen of Hearts” standing on the patio.