PHOENIX — For months, Cave Creek and Scottsdale feuded over the title “The West’s Most Western Town” that Scottsdale has claimed since 1947.
Threats of legal action were made. The idea of a quick-draw shooting contest between mayors was suggested to settle the matter.
After the kerfuffle, Cave Creek backed down from the fight and came up with its own title. The Cave Creek Council is going with the new town motto “Where The Wild West Lives.”
State Historian Marshall Trimble backed Scotts-dale’s hand during the feud and calls Cave Creek “claim jumpers” for trying to declare itself the “West’s Most Western Town.”
“(Cave Creek) needed to make up their own motto,” he said. “Both sides should be happy now. Cave Creek is a neat little place but not what you would call cowboy western except during Wild West Days.”
Trimble admitted he may be a bit partial.
“My grandparents came to Scottsdale in the 1920s and I came here in the 1960s.”
Scottsdale trademarked its 66-year-old motto with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2007.
But over the last couple of months, Cave Creek — where former Tucson City Councilman Rodney Glassman is town manager — tried to goad Scottsdale into participating in a collection of Western challenges over ownership of the motto.
Cave Creek’s Town Council made fun on Scottsdale’s decidedly more urban and upscale atmosphere.
Scottsdale officials, in turn, threatened to have their city-slicker attorneys take the whole wrangle into court.
Standing behind Scottsdale’s Western heritage, they cited the Parada del Sol parade and rodeo, the Hashknife Pony Express and more than 100 annual horse events held at WestWorld.
Cave Creek officials touted their annual Wild West Days, and said the challenge of a showdown was an opportunity for both communities to garner some publicity in the spirit of the Old West.
“If Scottsdale would stop whining and think, they’d see nothing but upside here, and a chance to have some fun,” said Cave Creek Councilman Mike Durkin.
In the end, there’s no need to decide the issue with six-shooters at high noon.
And the last word goes to Trimble, the historian.
Trimble said it likely isn’t Cave Creek or Scottsdale that is the most Western town.
It’s probably not even in Arizona.
“It’s probably someplace in Montana where horses outnumber motorcycles.”