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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.