Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Elk's theater and opera house opening in 1905, was built by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. The three story structure cost $65,000. I think the top floor served the Elks Lodge with offices on the second, and the theater of course, on the ground level.
Inside, seats that could be easily removed to make room for ballroom dancing provided seating for around 900 people.
The fancy decor was green and gold with Elk's head logos highlighting each of the box seats on the sides of the stage. This theater was a hub for community life where graduation ceremonies and school plays were held.
There were also professional plays and acts. Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink the lauded German diva performed there. Parker Anderson has written a very fun account of her visit to Prescott.
According to Parker Anderson, in 1910 the Elks recognized that Charles Howard's Electric Theater housed in the Head Hotel, had been drawing the majority of the entertainment business by featuring Vaudeville acts and short movie clips.
Since the Opera house had proved to be less "of a financial boon" than they'd expected, the Elks hired Charles Howard to manage their less successful Theater. He promptly closed the Electric Theater and Vaudeville acts and movies were then shown at the Elks theater seven nights a week.
When we moved to Prescott in 1947, the Elks theater was the place to see movies like Gone With the Wind, Leave Her to Heaven and All the King's Men while the Studio Theater, once standing on the corner of Cortez and Union, was the place Prescott kids congregated every Saturday afternoon to watch westerns staring Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Audie Murphy. We were also spellbound by Johnny Weismuller in Tarzan of the Apes and my personal tropical favorite Kay Aldridge as Nyoka the Jungle Girl.
I thought this would be a good time to include this picture of the Yavapai Club. The interesting thing is that this building looks quite different than the building across Marina Street from the Carnegie Library in the top photo. I don't know when this building was built, but it was a "gentleman's club" built by Frank Murphy that included a restaurant, games room, library, sleeping accommodations, and even a bowling alley. It had a ballroom and a library. Yavapai club members were local businessmen.
I think this is the oldest picture and the building in the top photo is a remodel although this one looks like it has more room....Hmmmm What do you think??
The building shown peeking out on the east of the Yavapai Club, between it and the old Capitol Building, was the Drake Opera House formerly S.E. Patton's Opera House. I don't think I've seen a picture of it in the whole.
Friday, April 10, 2009
They're especially great as they give us a perspective lacking in the other pictures so now we have an almost 180 degree view of the lake.
This one of her Mom was taken from about the site of the old Leave Her to Heaven set. It was probably around 11 a.m. or so because you can see the afternoon's thunderheads, reliable as clockwork then, just peeking above the boulders.
The picture below is of her children and looks across from the rocks toward the old movie set. (I recently watched the movie again and this time, in the beginning of the movie, I saw this set and pool. )
There were a number of communities, like this one in Pine Crest, throughout Prescott, catering to TB patients and some of our best known citizens came here suffering from that disease.
The house below was home to Richard Nixon when his Mother brought his tubercular brother to Prescott.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
According to the above add, the Post Office was once housed there. Later, the lower portion housed the New State Star moving picture theater before movies were seen at the Elk's Theater and J.C. Penney's was located there prior to moving to the Bashford building.
Friday, March 27, 2009
You can just get a glimpse of the Academy on the left side of this picture when it's enlarged.
The Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was the culmination of the hard work of French born Rev. F. Albert Quetu who arrived in Prescott and served the church here until 1908.
The building was designed by Architect Frank Parker in true "sober Gothic style" featuring decorative brick work and pointed arches. It's thought to be one of the finest examples of architecture in the State.
The small building to the north of the church was the little wood rectory that was replaced in 1915 by the brick rectory building that is still there today.
The church building now houses the Prescott Fine Arts Association theater and art gallery. The church steeple was removed after repeated lightning strikes.
The larger building to the north of the rectory must be the old hospital started by the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1881. (Here I speculate that the nursing was turned over to the Sisters of Mercy in 1885 when the Sisters of St. Joseph began to devote their efforts entirely to teaching.) According to Melissa Rufner, "In 1898 the hospital was moved to Grove Avenue and the name changed to Mercy Hospital."
Here's a photo taken about from the same angle in daylight. In the later moonlit picture there's a sort of two story, much windowed tower rising above the old hospital. An addition or another building behind the hospital? This is a mystery that cries out for a great detective...
The Congregational Church below was built on the corner of Alarcon and East Gurley streets in 1905. This is a lovely building built in the Romanesque Revival style.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
these will all click to enlarge
I had been going through old photos trying determine their fate, when I found these shots of my Grandparents, my Mom, and me taken at the old swimming pool in 1948.
You can see the slide across from the bath house here.
This shot of me clinging determinedly to my beloved Grandmother, includes the bridge to the island in the background. Not very clearly, I'm afraid.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
click to enlarge
This pool was created by enhancing a natural lake that was frequented by campers and people picnicing as early as 1884. By the early 1900's, people were able to take a special train that would drop them for the day and also provided a return trip to town.
The original homesteaders were the Wings, ancestors of the Payne family and I believe they are the ones who built a flourishing resort here in the early 1900s. That building burned down, and the buildings you see here were built by the Payne grandsons after World I. There was also a two story resort hotel. I have no memory of that building in the forties or fifties. Does anyone else remember it or any ruins of it?
According to Melissa Ruffner in Prescott: A Pictorial History, "Over the years, Granite Dells Resort boasted the first lawn bowling alley in the territory,a roller skating rink and dancing to the "big band" sounds of groups like the Prescott Playboys.From the 1920's through the 1950's, more than 20,000 people visited the Dells annually. The Red cross held a training camp for it's instructors each year in May, and the area was also used by the Arizona Girl Reserves and the YMCA for summer encampments."
The movie Leave Her to Heaven, staring Cornel Wilde, Gene Tierney, and Jeanne Crain was filmed here in 1945. I've rented that movie and tried to recognize any landmark in it to no avail.
In the early days the Dells provided both excellent cover and abundant water for elusive hostile Indians. They would sweep out from this safe haven to attack early settlers passing by on their way into town.
Jarat of the Prescott Area Daily Photo has a picture of the way things look now.
Monday, March 9, 2009
I like the one below. It's to the point and written, I've decided, by a caring, but taciturn man to his wife just to let her know he was alright. The back of the card is blank, and I think a woman wouldn't have been able to resist offering some communication there. Of course, you can make up your own story.
click to enlarge picture
This is a nice shot of two banks on the corner of Gurley and Cortez streets. The building to the right was the Bank of Arizona, built in 1901. You can see it as it looks today here at Walking Prescott.
The red brick building was completed in 1902 and originally housed the Prescott National Bank that had been organized in 1893 by William Bashford and Morris Goldwater. I can't help wondering if it was competitive spirit that set the height of the Prescott National Bank just a bit higher than the Arizona Bank across the street! This building housed the Valley National Bank from 1923 to 1957.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Prescott's first railroad, The Prescott and Central Arizona Railroad was built by Thomas Seaman Bullock who pledged to lay the rails by January 1, 1887. The project was plagued by various troubles and Bullock barely fulfilled his contract, driving the last spike just before midnight on the eve of the big day. With a great deal of fanfare, the first train steamed into the station on the appointed date. The line ran from Prescott Junction (Seligman) and since there was no turntable in Prescott, the hissing engines had to push the cars backward on the return trip.
This trestle spans Canyon Diablo Northeast of Superior.
Although, it was not taken in the Prescott area, I love this shot. The thought of the engineering and back breaking work that went in to building these deceptively fragile looking trestles across wide canyons, in isolated and rugged terrain, never ceases to fill me with awe.
Here, a train steams over a similar trestle across Johnson Canyon on the Santa Fe line Northwest of Williams Arizona. Awhile back, I posted this picture on my other blog, and received a comment saying the tunnel was still in good repair but the trestle no longer exists.
The Santa Fe Prescott and Phoenix Railroad officially arrived in Prescott April 26, 1893. Bullock's Railroad failed soon after and was sold for taxes.
The Santa Fe Depot was sold to private enterprise after the Santa Fe Railroad ceased servicing Prescott in 1962 Many Yavapai County residents made the trip from Wickenburg, Hillside, or Skull Valley on the last train to Prescott as it chugged up from Phoenix.
A friend drove my family to Wickenburg where we heard the "all aboards" for one last time, and were able to give our children a little taste of train travel that included lunch in the dining car.
The little wooden Depot that had served the Prescott and Arizona Central Railroad was converted to a residence that later burned to the ground. I can't help wondering if it was the building just glimpsed in the right hand side of the first picture.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
When the new High School was built on Granite Creek, this building held the Junior High School Ee and I attended in the fifties.
The back half of the Capitol block was sold off, Union street extended, and stately Victorian homes built by prominent Prescott citizens soon marched in a row up the hill. It became known as" Nob Hill" by some and "Snob Hill" by others.
Don't forget to click to enter these pictures. The structure in the right bottom corner of the first picture is the old Yavapai Club. In the last, you can see a corner of one of the Nob Hill Victorians in the upper right side.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
mineral fountain to be built in Central Park in 1867 at the cost of $80.00. I know that mineral water was thought to be healthy to drink and to bathe in, although I doubt people bathed on the Plaza!
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
They discontinued their nursing duties in 1885 to focus on teaching and in 1901 built this academy on a 10 acre plot of land called Murphy Hill that was donated by a prominent Prescott land investor, Frank Murphy.
The new school, St. Joseph's Academy was designed and the construction supervised by Sister Aurelia Mary Doyle. It cost $45,000, with the doors opening in 1904.
By 1910, students from outlying ranches and mining towns were boarding at the Academy at a cost of $20.oo monthly. All were welcome regardless of denomination.
These stairs were commonly used by townspeople as well as students attending the the academy. When I was in Jr. High, I lived on Grove St. and my best friend lived on Alarcon, so the stairs really cut down on the distance we had to walk when visiting back and forth.
There's a great photo taken in 1966, from approximately the same place as the photo above, looking along Willis street. You can Go here to read more about St. Joseph's or just scroll down to the photo. 1966 was the year of the last graduating class at the Academy.
The photo below is fairly old, but I don't know what year it was taken. The tree beside the building in the above photo is no longer there.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This view of Thumb Butte looking up Granite Creek must be what those first intrepid mountain men and trappers saw when they first tracked Arizona waterways in search of beaver pelts. Although I doubt that Ewing Young and Kit Carson trapped Granite Creek, they are reputed to have trapped the Verde and to have stocked up on water and jerked antelope (pronghorn) meat at Del Rio Springs in Chino Valley, before tackling the arduous trip to the Grand Canyon.
It's just another sad tale of history that the beaver trapping in the Southwestern United States began around 1825 and only twenty-five years later, beaver were pretty much eradicated from Southwestern rivers. In Larry McMurtry's book, Buffalo Gals, two old trappers realize the error of their ways, and when they have an opportunity to buy a pair of beavers while in England they do so, hauling them up into the Colorado (I think) mountains to release them in a stream. Okay, it's fiction, but a lovely idea just the same.
And, while we're on the subject of trappers... perhaps the first party of trappers to enter the New Mexico territory was led by Sylvester Pattie and his son James . While the men of the Pattie party were away from their camp, a band of Apache raided it, stealing their belongings. Among the items taken were Sylvester Pattie's red, long john" underwear. Pattie's lost red shirt became a fierce Apache Chief's trademark. He wore the red shirt so constantly, the feared Apache Chief was called Mangas Coloradas, Spanish for red sleeves.
click this for a better view, you can see a number of containers, one clearly labeled Obispo. Does anyone know what that is?
Friday, February 6, 2009
click to enlarge pictures
Monday, February 2, 2009
You can click to enlarge the photo.
Here's another view of Prescott looking West on Gurley St, probably 1905-06. The city planners who staked out streets wide enough to accommodate a good deal of traffic, showed remarkable foresight, although it would have been virtually impossible for them to imagine the amount of traffic those streets must bear today.
In 1863, when it became apparent that the Confederacy had it's eye on the wild land east of California that was reputed to be rich with gold, silver and other natural resources, Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to divide the New Mexico territory approximately in half, and to establish the Western half as the Arizona territory. He appointed John A. Gurley of Ohio as Governor. Governor Gurley died on August 19, 1863 before he could began his Gubernatorial duties and John Noble Goodwin was appointed to take his place. Gurley Street was named in honor of John A. Gurley.
A trolley system was established for Prescott, run by the Mount Union Railway Company. The two cars, one for a downtown route, and one to service Fort Whipple (now known as Bob Stump V. A., the name change being one of my pet peeves), held twenty-eight passengers apiece and were both heated and lighted. Why "ride shank's mare " when for a nickel, you could ride in style?
It's unknown exactly when the lines started their official run, but on May 27, 1904 Prescott's city dignitaries were treated to a ride. You can read more about the establishment of the street car lines here at Sharlot Hall Museum, Days Past.
Friday, January 30, 2009
I had planned to use this old post card of Gurley Street looking up towards Elk's hill as my header. This morning I ran across Jarat's pictures on Prescott Daily Photo featuring much the same view taken at two different times.
It's too much of an opportunity to pass up, so to see the view from today and the sixties and then compare it to somewhere around 1900 is rather fun.