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Tag Archives: Times Past

Steamboats on the Colorado (access required)

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Impressive as the steamboat Gila appears, Martha Summerhays, an Army wife who journeyed on the boat in 1874, described the steamer in less than glorious terms: “We had staterooms, but could not remain in them long on account of the intense heat. After a hasty meal and a few remarks upon the salt beef and the general misery of our lot, we could seek some spot which might be a trifle cooler. Conversation lagged; no topic seems to have any interest except the thermometer, which hung in the coolest place on the boat; and one day when Major Worth looked at it and pronounced it 122 degrees in the shade, a grim despair seized upon me.”

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Amelia Earhart in Arizona (access required)

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Earhart’s destination was Los Angeles, where a national air meet was in progress. Attempting to avoid publicity, she chose small out-of-the-way landing fields for refueling stops. Her landing in McNeal on September 12, 1928, was a surprise to the community.

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The Gouldings of Monument Valley (access required)

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Harry Goulding was born in Durango, Colorado, in 1897. He was from a family of sheepmen, and he ran sheep in Colorado and New Mexico as a youth. He talked his way into the Army in World War I, being underage, and ended up as a mule sergeant in the 7th Engineers. After his discharge he headed back west to find a spot where he “could look a hundred miles in any direction and not see a second lieutenant.’’

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Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theatre (access required)

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In its heyday between 1881 and 1889, the Bird Cage – replete with wallpaper imported from Paris, massive grand piano, orchestra pit, box seats and well-stocked bar – was the most famous honky-tonk in America.

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Hoover Dam Construction (access required)

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It took five years – from 1931 to 1936 – to build the Hoover Dam, what was then the largest concrete dam in the world. It was built in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, in northwestern Arizona on the border with Nevada.

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Bisbee Newlyweds Die in Earthquake (access required)

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Mary E. Rouzer (nee Smith) was a Phoenix girl who married E.O. Rouzer, manager of Bisbee’s Copper Queen Hotel. The wedding was held in Los Angeles on April 11, 1906, after which she and her husband left for a honeymoon in San Francisco. They planned to make their home in Bisbee.

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Wyatt Earp’s Last Years (access required)

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When Earp abandoned Tombstone in 1882, several months after the bloody shootout at the OK Corral, he left behind a sullied reputation that contrasts remarkably with his later image as an American folk hero, and spent the remainder of his life battling what he called “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’’ brought about by “bad press.’’

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Jack and Mary Dunn (access required)

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Born in Dublin, Ireland, Jack Dunn emigrated to the United States as a child and in 1858 enlisted in the U.S. Army. In 1862, while serving in Company C of the Third U.S. Cavalry, he fought Confederate soldiers at what was to become known as the Battle of Glorita Pass in New Mexico. His horse was shot from under him and he suffered a double hernia in the fall, an affliction that was to stay with him the rest of his life. He was discharged in April 1863.

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Phoenix YMCA (access required)

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The YMCA was founded in Phoenix in 1892. Its mission was to provide a safe haven for the many young men drawn to the frontier. At the time Phoenix was wide open for gambling, drinking and other such pursuits. The Y was part of a growing evangelical Christian movement intended to save the souls of young men cut loose from home and family. It was different from other religious organizations in that it also provided body building and exercise programs and in later years housing for its patrons. Early Y meetings were held in a tent and probably resembled a prayer meeting as much as anything.

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