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Author Archives: Gary Weiand

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Phoenix Pioneers: The McClartys

Phoenix Pioneers: The McClartys

Ida McClarty sits behind the wheel of a right-hand steering Buick with her dog and her father, George William McClarty, in this 1917 photograph, taken about the time of her graduation from Phoenix Union High School.

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The Shrine at the Casa

The Shrine at the Casa

Our Lady of Guadalupe is the patron saint of Mexico, of the Americas and of the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. The mosaic building being dedicated in the photo was erected by the Franciscan Renewal Center (Casa de Paz y Bien) in 1954 on the center property at Lincoln Drive between Mummy and Camelback mountains.

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Thriving St. Mary’s

Thriving St. Mary’s

Several generations of Phoenix’s Catholics attended St. Mary’s Elementary School, which closed in 1992 and was eventually demolished to make way for new Diocesan offices.

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The Class of 1920

The Class of 1920

These students are the first graduating class of St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix. Founded in 1917, the school first held classes in the tiny second floor of St. Anthony’s grammar school (since razed) next to St. Mary’s Church.

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Switzer’s Stores

Switzer’s Stores

This 1954 photo of the opening of Switzer’s Department Store in Park Central Mall (on Phoenix’s Central Avenue near Thomas Road) captures the moment when the small town that Phoenix had been in the first half of the 20th century began its transformation into today’s decentralized urban megalopolis.

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Wikle’s Stationers

Wikle’s Stationers

The happy pair cuddling under the neckers nook sign are John Marion Wikle (sounds like cycle) and his wife Margy, born Margy Lee Standage. Though this late ‘20s photo was taken in Los Angeles, John and Marion were Phoenicians who from the late 1930s to the 1970s owned and operated Wikle’s stationery store, a fixture in downtown Phoenix for 60 years.

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The Priests of St. Mary’s

The Priests of St. Mary’s

This photo, taken in 1958, shows a number of prominent priests standing in the doorway of St. Mary’s Church rectory at Monroe and Third Streets. The occasion was the 25th anniversary of the ordination of Father Gilbert Zlater, the first St. Mary’s “boy” to become a priest and the first Franciscan from Arizona.

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Gold’s 1912 Buick Racer

Gold’s 1912 Buick Racer

Martin Gold arrived in the Valley around 1880 after emigrating from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Gold was part of a generation that seemingly lived to work, and in less than two generations, the efforts of men like him transformed a wasteland into the city of Phoenix.

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Pastoral Phoenix

Pastoral Phoenix

These two photos were taken in 1915; one from a field on Sixth Avenue near what is now Chase Field, the other, somewhere on the Salt River. In 1915, Phoenix was enjoying the last years of the “Gilded Age,” an opulent time that was vanishing everywhere else in the world.

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