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Times Past

Modern Flagstaff

Downtown Flagstaff is pictured in 2009 with the historic Hotel Monte Vista, built in 1926, keeping the growing city connected to its past.

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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History of the Historian: Sharlot Hall

Sharlot Hall feeds her pig, Herbert Hoover, sometime in the 1920s.

Don’t let this picture of Sharlot Hall fool you. She may look gentle enough, but in 1926, around the time this picture was taken, she got the only slaughtering license ever issued to a woman and was quite proud of it. Her acclaim does not stem from this dubious distinction however, but rather from her work as a writer and a historian.

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Percival Lowell in his Flagstaff observatory.

This is Percival Lowell, founder of Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory and early-day astronomer. He spent the better part of a lifetime probing the solar system — gazing into the lens of this Clark 24-inch refractor telescope (now a registered national historic landmark) from atop Mars Hill in Flagstaff.

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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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The Priests of St. Mary’s

A 1958 photo celebrating the 25th anniversary of Father Gilbert Zlater at St. Mary’s Church. The priests from left to right are: Father Victor Bucher, Father Lucius Grosso, Father Regis Rhoder, Father Gilbert Zlater, Father Evan Howard and Father Blaise Cronin.

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

This photo, taken around 1940, shows Martin Gold’s 1912 modified Buick roadster racer resting in the backyard of his family home at 807 N. Seventh St. in Phoenix.

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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