How Did Mummy Mountain Get its Name?

Did you know?

Charlie Mieg, a Swiss by birth, prospered in banking and real estate in New York City and later in Florida, before moving to Arizona in the 1930s. He prospected for gold and other minerals through the Bradshaw Mountains, and spent much time at the Bagdad mines.

In the early 1940s he relocated to the area that later became Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. He was profoundly impressed by the beauty and serenity of what was then called Windy Gulch, a mountain in the midst of what would become the Town of Paradise Valley. He was so captivated by the area that he borrowed $8000 of the $12,000 purchase price from his mother-in-law, and acquired the Van Benscoten Ranch which included most of the property on and adjacent to Windy Gulch on the north and east sides.

Charlie was an experienced businessman. He recognized the value of property on his mountain; the views of the valley were exceptional. He discarded his miner’s gear and went back into the real estate business to sell parcels of land from his mountain property.

Charlie also was a good salesman. He recognized that a mountain named Windy Gulch did not have the desired marketing appeal. He began to reflect on another name to use in selling his properties.

One early morning he was riding along the dirt road which later would become Shea Boulevard admiring his mountain framed in the early morning sunlight. He was struck by how much the mountain resembled an Egyptian mummy lying down. It occurred to him that the name Mummy Mountain would be far more appealing than Windy Gulch. That morning he resolved henceforth his mountain would be called Mummy Mountain and he would market his land under that label.

Thereby a man born in Switzerland, and an early pioneer in Arizona, gave us the distinctive name we use to this day: Mummy Mountain. All thanks to Charlie Mieg, his marketing talent, and his early appreciation of a natural and unique geographic landmark in the Town of Paradise Valley.