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Author Archives: Susan Olberding

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Promoting Tourist Travel in 1884 Northern Arizona

Promoting Tourist Travel in 1884 Northern Arizona

The following article appeared in the Weekly Champion, a Flagstaff newspaper, on March 22, 1884. Today’s reader may enjoy the flowery writing style of the time; may be curious as to why the route would travel so far to the west unless it was to reach the waters of the Colorado River instead of viewing the Canyon from the rim?

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Modern Flagstaff

Modern Flagstaff

Baby-boomers finishing their education and starting families sought the small-town feel of Flagstaff in the 1970s and 1980s. Well-paying jobs were scarce; so many PhD’s served drinks and waited on tables until they could find suitable employment. One of the best places to find a career was with the W.L. Gore Company that opened its Flagstaff plant in 1967.

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Planting the Flag in Flagstaff

Planting the Flag in Flagstaff

Flagstaff’s abundant natural resources of water, grass, and timber drew the initial settlers in the 1870s. At the time, there were no fences or rules about grazing livestock and more and more livestock operators moved their herds in. Loggers also arrived to harvest the majestic ponderosa pine forest.

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Need a Rest? Lolomai Lodge, 1909

Need a Rest? Lolomai Lodge, 1909

A 1909 ad in Flagstaff’s Coconino Sun newspaper enticed readers to take a break at the lovely Lolomai Lodge in Oak Creek Canyon. The lodge was one of several in the canyon, all catering to those seeking a respite from hectic days.

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‘I shall never come back to Arizona’ – Zane Grey

‘I shall never come back to  Arizona’ – Zane Grey

Western novelist Zane Grey (1872-1939) wrote this dramatic sentence to his wife, Dolly, in a bitter letter penned from his Tonto Basin cabin. He complained about other things, as well, and the above statement was followed with : “…the country has been ruined by motorists. The Navajo are doomed. The beauty and romance of their lives dead.” Dolly and Zane had honeymooned at El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in 1906 and knew Arizona well. He returned as often as possible, particularly to hunt.

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Flagstaff’s Tree-Ring Study Pioneers

Flagstaff’s Tree-Ring Study Pioneers

Within the small scientific circle in Flagstaff in the 1920s were three men who combined their expertise to develop the science known today as dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating: astronomer Dr. Andrew E. Douglass (1867-1962); forester Gustaf A. Pearson (1880 -1949) and zoologist Dr. Harold S. Colton (1889-1970). Each man would become well-known and respected for this project and other scientific achievements in northern Arizona during their tenures.

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Early LDS settlements in Arizona Territory

Early LDS settlements in Arizona Territory

Hearty members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (LDS) were summoned to leave their Utah homes and settle in Arizona Territory beginning in the 1860s as LDS President Brigham Young was concerned with westward-bound wagon trains filled with non-LDS settlers wanting to move into the wide open west.

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