The Story of Show Low
On the Mogollon Rim in east central Arizona, at 6,345 feet, is a town with an unusual name—Show Low, which was established in 1870.
Living among the lush, green Ponderosa forestland, early settlers Corydon E. Cooley and Marion Clark were equal partners in a 100,000-acre ranch. For reasons lost to history, the partners one day determined there was not enough room for both of them on their massive ranch, so they agreed to settle the issue with a gentlemanly game of poker rather than gunplay. They agreed on a game of “Seven Up” (also known as “Manila”, a popular game in the days of the Old West), with the winner taking the ranch and the loser leaving forever.
After hours of play, the game seemed to have no clear winner in sight. Desperate for a resolution, Clark said, "If you can show low, you win." In response, Cooley turned up the deuce of clubs (the lowest possible card) and replied, "Show low it is." Marion Clark lost his share of the land, his buildings and his cattle and moved far away. Cooley named the settlement that grew up near his ranch, Show Low, in honor of the now-famous card game. The main street in thriving Show Low today is called the Deuce of Clubs. And to this day, whenever there is a runoff for mayor, the issue is settled by the two political opponents sitting down with a deck of cards. The first to draw the deuce of clubs is mayor for the next term.
Restaurants include Mexican, Japanese, Thai, steak houses and plenty of good ol’ classic American fare.
The scenic White Mountains and Mogollon Rim are also nearby for campers and fishermen. Arizona's only covered bridge is located in Pinedale, 15 miles west of Show Low. Navajo, Hopi, Apache, and Zuni Indian Reservations are close by. The city has a indoor aquatic center, and five 18hole golf courses. Boating and fishing and other water sports are available at near- by Rainbow Lake, Show Low Lake, White Mountain Lake, and Fools Hollow Lake. Snow skiing is available at Sunrise Park Resort on the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation.
Show Low is famous for more than it’s name. Actor Dan Deublein from the television series Beverly Hills, 90210 was born in Show Low, as was Travis Walton, the alleged UFO abductee and main character of the movie “Fire in the Sky”. George Takei, the actor made famous by the classic TV series Star Trek owns a vacation home in Show Low. ◊●◊