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Times Past

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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Need a Rest? Lolomai Lodge, 1909

Lolomai Lodge in Oak Creek Canyon, circa 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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The Sunrise Choir

The Arizona State Teachers College a capella choir performs at the Grand Canyon.

It was Easter of 1944 when the Arizona State Teachers College a capella choir, under the direction of Eldon Ardrey, stood at the chilly south rim of the Grand Canyon to perform in the annual Easter sunrise service and have this picture taken.

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A Tucson Civic Leader

Merrill Pinigree Freeman.

Merrill Freeman was a pioneer Arizonan active in territorial politics and education. But his route to Arizona was circuitous, and he didn’t arrive in Tucson until he was well into middle age.

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Southern Arizona’s Many Noons

Dr. Adolphus H. and Emma Slaughter Noon.

Dr. Adolphus H. Noon arrived in Tucson in October 1879, with his oldest son Alonzo and a friend. Noon was looking for a place to settle, where he could set up a medical practice and also do some mining.

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The Peshlakai Family of Wupatki

The Peshlakai family with their Christmas tree at the Wupatki National Monument in 1935.

This photograph of a Christmas gathering was taken in 1935 on the grounds of the Wupatki National Monument north of Flagstaff. The family in the photograph is (from left) Sally Peshlakai, Etsidi Peshlakai (Sally’s father-in-law), Etsidi’s wife and their grandchildren.

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Tombstone’s Bird Cage Theater

Eddie Foy, a famous vaudeville actor who performed at the Bird Cage Theater.

Tombstone’s most celebrated theater was the Bird Cage. In its heyday between 1881 and 1889, the theater offered gambling, liquor, vaudeville entertainment and ladies of the night. In 1882, ~The New York Times~ referred to the Bird Cage as “the Roughest, Bawdiest and Most Wicked Night Spot between Basin Street and the Barbary Coast.”

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