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.