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Author Archives: Gary Weiand

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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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Agua Caliente (access required)

Agua Caliente <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

In 1915, Louis Killeen outfitted two cars and left Phoenix for a two-day drive through the desert to Agua Caliente Hot Springs resort, the ruins of which still stand 30 miles west of Gila Bend, off Interstate 8.

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Rifleys — Father and Son (access required)

Rifleys — Father and Son <span class="dmcss_key_icon"><img alt="(access required)" src="/files/2013/12/lock1.png" border=0/></span>

This photo, showing father and son in boxing gloves, was taken in Phoenix about 1922. It reflects Jack Dempsey’s dynamic effect on American culture. A comparatively small man, Dempsey electrified the nation in 1919 by winning the heavyweight championship, knocking out the gigantic Jess Willard in just three roundsc — an event that launched America’s Golden Age of Sports.

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