Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Elks Theater & The Yavapai Club

pictures will enlarge when clicked

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

Bathing Lake Update

Azlaydey sent me these pictures of her family swimming in the Granite Dells pool/lake.
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. )
It looks like all three of these children were having a wonderful time, even the little dabbler with the broken arm who was probably under instructions not to get her cast wet!
That's most likely one of those huge inner tubes, not a boat in front of the looks-like-a-house move set.

Azlaydey and I both raised our children here in the sixties and seventies. We didn't know each other, but we could easily have stood side by side at the Fourth of July parade.. we share a nostalgia for those beautifully simple times and neither of us would trade them for today's mad paced, and restrictive society.
I'm going to leave these pictures here for awhile because I don't want anyone to miss them. Later I'll move them down to the bathing lake series.
Thanks Azlaydey! And thanks for your comments telling about ranching life in Skull Valley when you were raising your children.


PAMSETGAAF Pure Air Maximum Sunshine Equitable Temperature Good Accommodations Ample Food.
From 1903 to 1945, Dr. John Flinn and his wife Margaret operated a sanitarium in Prescott for patients with tuberculosis. Dr. Flinn, who had once suffered from tuberculosis himself, was a native of Nova Scotia who was recognized nationally as an authority on the illness.
Some well known people were among Dr. Finn's patients including the film star Lila Lee, Walter Winchell, and Cleveland Amory who, according to Melissa Ruffner, edited the Courier while he was here.
These rentals on South Willow are the site of Dr. Flinn's sanatorium.

In the community below, the street is in the the shape of a horse shoe with this charming cottage at the center and high point of the bend, and top of the hill.

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 my Grandmother's from 1958 until her death in 1970. We knew that it had been part of the community of homes for patients with tuberculosis and that it had been much added on to and remodeled over the years. The many windowed room on the right side, Gram's kitchen, had been a bedroom, easy to fill with fresh air and sunshine.

The house below was home to Richard Nixon when his Mother brought his tubercular brother to Prescott.

Granny J. has reserved the ramada at Finn Park for a blogger picnic on April 19. I was wondering why I didn't remember the name there and was reminded that it used to be Acker Park.
For a look at a brochure from Pamsetgaff, you can go to the UofA library. It has pictures of the bungalows.

Katherine J. Gernand Nicolay wrote an article giving lots of information on the subject of Prescott citizens who first came here suffering from TB. You can read it here.
I'm having all kinds of trouble with blogger on paragraph spacing and switching around. I'm going to stop now. Don't forget you can click the pictures for an enlarged view.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Head Hotel

In 1947, when my Mom, my Aunt, and I disembarked from the train one hot August day, we walked the short distance to the Head Hotel to take some rooms where we stayed until we got our bearings and rented a little cottage from, I believe, the Dandee court over on Goodwin and Granite Streets.
I remember walking to the Pigley Wigley where we bought some lovely peachy tasting peaches. The kind you simply can't buy in stores any more.
We asked about the prominent landmark seen at the end of Gurley Street and were told it was called Thumb Butte. "Oh," and "Ahhh.." said the three round eyed tourists.
I'm not sure when the Head Hotel was built. Obviously before the automobile became the prefer ed mode of transportation. If you're given to conjecture as Ee and I are, you might want to see what you think of this image in the Arizona Memory project. After much scrutiny and back and forth viewing of the various images, we think the "Head House' was the center portion of the Head Hotel and the rest built off either end.

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.

There was a spur of the Mt. Union Electric Streetcar line running down Cortez to the train depot and here's a shot of the hotel compiler with streetcar.

_And a shot of the hotel in 1938 with lots of old cars in front. Clearly, Western Auto was located there at that time. It stayed in that location for quite a number of years, at least into the early fifties.

Jarat has a nice photo of the way the building looks today. After many years of providing rooms available on a monthly basis that served as permanent residences for many of Prescott's elderly citizens, I think it's been turned into more modern apartments. What say you, Granny J.? I think you addressed the subject, but can't find it in your blog.....
Update: I spoke with a representative of a local property management company who told me the old Head hotel, although changed on the outside and bearing the new name the Prescott Inn, he believes is still pretty much the same on the inside, and is still operating in much the same way. He gave me the name of the current owner, so I'll try to contact him to ask about future plans for the hotel.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sacred Heart Church

This picture card of Sacred Heart Catholic Church shot by moon glow, is among my favorites. Services were held here, on the corner of Marina and Willis from 1896 until 1969 when services were moved to the larger church built on the site that had housed St. Joseph's Academy on "Academy Hill."

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

A Little Romance!

This card is interesting because it gives another perspective of the bridge to the island at the old Granite Dells bathing pool. The card is dated 1906 so it's during the period the special train ran from Prescott. That looks like boats at the far end, so this lake must have been used for both bathing and boating in those early years.
click for a closer look
I love this card too, for the elegant penmanship and lavender ink used by a young man to tell his girl, he misses her "eyes of brown," and to wonder if she'd , "turn me down."
No house numbers needed although there is added delivery information on the lower left corner. I wonder if Eouah said yes to Will. Somehow I hope so!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bathing Lake Post Script

This is really a post script to the Bathing Lake at Granite Dells. I meant to post the colorized version of this card as well as the sepia toned card, but Blogger tricked me and that's enough said about that except it's not very hard to do.
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.

I have no idea what that is on my feet! Looks rather like the Winnie the Pooh slippers I'm wearing right now.
For a Look at the old place as it appears today, see Prescott Area Daily Photo.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Granite Dells Bathing Lake

This shot of the swimming pool at Granite Dells has to be as nostalgic for any one else who grew up in, or around Prescott in the forties or fifties as it is for me! This shot shows the bath house and further back on the left, the dance hall. There was a big slide right across from the bath house at this shallow end of the pool. Out of the picture in the lower left corner was a bridge that led to an island that featured the diving boards. A big cotton rope dangled from a tree along the walk so you could swing out to drop into the water.
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

Bank Buildings 1901

One of the intriguing things about sorting through old post cards is reading, or in some cases, trying to read the lines written on the back and wondering at the story of the writers and receivers of these missives.
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

Trains in Prescott 1887-1962

This Santa Fe train depot was built c.1893 with the advent of the Santa Fe Prescott and Phoenix Railroad.

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

Old Capitol Building-High School

The building above was built to house the Territorial Capitol building.

Prior to locating in this building, the legislative offices occupied a two story building located, by different accounts, either next to the Catholic church on Marina St. or on East Gurley St. in the "Capitol Block. " The top floor was used as offices for the legislature and the ground floor for Prescott's first "graded" school run by the sister's of St. Joseph.
I tend to think it was at the Marina location and that the building above was the first built on the "Capitol Block," a full block, the size of the plaza, that was designated to house the State Capitol by the City planners.. The street running between the Plaza and the Capitol Block was appropriately called Union Street
When the Capitol was moved to Phoenix in 1889, the building became Prescott's first High School.
In 1914, the old building was torn down and and this structure was built in it's place. In the 1930's the building was enlarged and the sixth and seventh grades from Washington School were added.

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

Prescott Court House 1878

don't forget to click to pop right inside these pictures
These pictures of the charming pink brick courthouse built 1in 1878 to meet the needs of Prescott's growing population, may be my favorites of Ee's collection. With it's modest portico and that interesting little windowed cupola, this building has a charm that our present imposing structure lacks.
One of the hazards of posting these cards is the time I fritter away trying to better research them. I could find nothing about the purpose of this mineral fountain, but I do think they were all the rage at time. I did run across the mention of a 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!
They did however, have watermelon parties on warm summer evenings. The Plaza was fenced to keep out wandering livestock, and watermelons were planted to be enjoyed by Prescott Citizens. I think that may be a watermelon patch pictured in the foreground on this card!
It's fun to look at the buildings in the backgrounds of these pictures.
The old firehouse and jail show up nicely in the last one, so the photo was taken sometime after 1895 when that building was built.
There was a little chapel too, and I strongly suspect that it was the little building with it's back to the camera and the spire on top.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Snow! 1967

click to enlarge
I had several pictures of "The Big Snow" of 1967, but I could find only this one. It's of the collapsed roof of the Western Auto store located about the middle of Whiskey Row.

I was inspired to post this now because Jarat at Prescott Daily Photo has posted some nice snow photos including one taken of that snow.
In 1967, we were living in Groom Creek at an altitude of approximately 6000 feet, and the day it started snowing I was in town doing my once a week shopping. Snow wasn't that unusual in those days, but this time I noticed that the snow was falling in clumps rather than flakes, threatening to pile up in a hurry. I called the three other Moms in our neighborhood to see if they wanted me to bring their children from school when I picked up my older two who were in third and fourth grades. At that time, Groom Creek still had a school district, but there were so few children, they paid tuition to Washington School.
With my three year old son in tow, I made the rounds of elementary classrooms, taking the kids out about an hour early, bundling them up, and herding them to the truck.

Then I was carefully steering our old pickup packed with nine kids, the youngest in front and oldest in back, up the steep, curved, already snow covered road toward home. (that would be illegal today of course, perhaps rightly so) As I dropped the last of my charges, I noticed the chunks falling from the sky had reached huge proportions, and I was relieved when we made it around the bend and up the steep hill of our driveway where the truck then sat immobilized for about a week.

We were snowed in for eleven days, getting out one time to get into town for groceries and a little Christmas shopping. There was propane in the tank, but it was far from full, so we set the thermostat at sixty degrees and used the fireplace for extra heat. The electricity went off early on and without the electric stove, I cooked in a dutch oven in the fireplace. We melted snow in pans set around the fireplace for drinking water. While many people lost phone service, we were fortunate to have ours most of the time.

At that time, Groom Creek was still primarily a community of summer homes and we got calls from concerned neighbors. One offered a huge woodpile (gratefully accepted) another, the location of their spare key and the contents of their freezer (gratefully declined), and one permanent neighbor who happened to be vacationing in Florida called to say, "If you need booze, break a window!" (gratefully, kept in mind.)

It happened that Disney was filming a movie, something about Ostriches, in Mayer or Dewey. The film crew was renting a lovely old house that had once been an old stage stop, but one cameraman, with his family, rented a house fairly close to us. He was an intrepid athlete who happened to have his skis with him. It was a blessing for a permanent resident, the eighty- three year old author Walt Coburn a diabetic, as the cameraman who skied to town daily, brought back insulin as well as food to keep his film crew buddies going.

One of my worries was our Shetland pony, Cupcake. Although she was covered with thick woolly coat I fretted because she refused to go into her stall to stay dry. At some point during the storm, the snow turned wet and slushy. I worried that Cupcake would turn into an icicle. Out we went to shovel out three or so feet of corral gate, feed room, and shop so that we could put the feed into the shop and Cupcake into the tiny feed room. There was a partition between the feed room and the stall with a manger on the stall side. The next morning, we found a bone dry Cupcake in the corral. She had clambered up over the three or four foot partition, through the manger into her stall. I still think we saved her, as that morning, all the trees were uncased in ice and limbs were crashing down everywhere.
We had cut our Christmas tree a week or so before the snow started, so we brought it in and decorated it in it's usual front window setting. The day we got out to shop the electricity was still off, but when we rounded the bend just at dusk the tree was shining out from it's place in the front window, lights reflected off the snow, with all the radient beauty of Christmas.
When the second storm hit we were snowed in again for about another week, but the roads were cleared by Christmas day.
Here's a photo of a snowy Pioneer Home taken in 1967.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

St. Joseph's Academy 1885-1966

Mother John Berchmans Hartrich, along with sisters Mary Martha Dunne and Mary rose Doran made the harrowing stagecoach journey through hostile territory from Tuscon to Prescott in 1878. They had the dual duties of nursing the sick and starting a school for Catholic children.
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.

You can always click to enlarge the photos...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

In the Beginning...

This is an old and murkey picture, it helps to click.

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.

When you click this for a better view, you can see a number of containers, one clearly labeled Obispo. Does anyone know what that is?
In 1862, a party of about thirty mountain men, soldiers, and other adventurers led by Joseph Reddeford Walker, made their way up the Hassyampa river arriving in the central Arizona. mountains in 1863, about the same time Governor Goodwin established the first territorial capital at Del Rio springs. Soon, mining claims were located in the general vicinity of the confluence of the Hassayampa with Groom and Wolf Creeks respectively , miners established placer claims like the one pictured above, and were soon combing the creeks in search of gold nuggets.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Hassayampa Bridge

I love this old card of the covered bridge on Senator Highway below Hassayampa Lake. I started to research the lake, but have found nothing online so far. It looks as though I need to look for this at the Sharlot Hall Museum. If I am able to find out more about the lake that was at one time, a reservoir for the City of Prescott, I'll post a link to these pictures.

Meanwhile, here's the photo of the little bridge that, once covered, now stands exposed to the elements, and leading to it the road that sketches out a narrow passage with the mountain pressing in on one side and a sheer drop to Hassyampa creek on the other.. I was always a little nervous on this road, fearing we would meet someone and have to pass or try to back up.
I couldn't decide between the two post cards. Tinted or not, so just posted both. The last time we crossed this bridge, we drove from Lynx Lake road past Hassyampa Lake and back down to Prescott on the Senator Highway. It's a fun drive although the road at the top is still a bit rough and at times, has been snowy long after snow has melted in town.
Hassyampa Lake was still used as a recreational and fishing lake until in the nineties the City sold the lake to a private developer, and he some big log homes around the lake area. I haven't been up there for a couple of years so don't know if you can still drive clear through, or even if the lake has water in it.

click to enlarge pictures

If you're considering driving between Prescott and Lynx Lake on this road, you might want to call the Forest Service to ask about road conditions.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Gurley Street

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

Comparative views..

I've been wanting to start a blog that would celebrate Prescott as it was, featuring some of my husband's post card collection. I hope to involve some old timers, like my husband and myself and perhaps showcase some of their memories and stories.

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.