The Mother Lode

I hooked up with Gene late last week and he loaned my a bunch of pictures that had been in storage for use on this site. Gene and I started first grade together in Page, so there is some history and shared memories there. In all, he loaned me just over 120 pictures, almost all of which are 8 x 10 black and whites dating back to the late 50s.

I’m excited to share these with you. So far, I’ve scanned about half of them and I hope to finish up this week. Since they’re so large, I’ve decided to give the site a facelift by installing a new template that is wider and takes up more of the screen.  That will allow me to keep the pictures closer to their 8×10 original size.

Did I mention that these pictures are amazing?

Later,

Mike

This is a Dam Site

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Glen Canyon Dam 1961.

This shot was taken from an old Page High School yearbook and is a downstream look at Glen Canyon Dam in 1961. My apologies for the page crease down the middle. Pretend it’s not there.

It looks like the footbridge is still there. If you enlarge this picture and look close, you can see the posts on either side of the canyon and each end of the bridge. You can also see the shadow it’s casting on the canyon floor just upstream of the dirt dam that’s diverting the river water.

The original visitor’s center is to the left of the bridge on US 89. That building was later moved into town and became the LARC Center, located next to the football field at the corner of South Navajo Drive and 7th Avenue (now Lake Powell Blvd).

The town of Page is clearly visible in the upper left of the picture. The golf course and Country Club can be seen near the top right of the picture, on the far end of the canyon. The small body of water on top of the canyon next to the golf course was the old waste water treatment pond. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

I don’t remember what the large building on the left was, next to the highway. I remember it being there, but I don’t remember what it was. If you can add more info about it, please comment below. The “Add a Page to your Trip” road sign that I mentioned in my first post was located on the highway turnoff to Page at the upper left of this picture.

I remember this stage of the dam construction well. It seems like we ended up out there almost every day, watching the construction progress. At night, there was a flashing “Cocktails” sign on the rim of the town that belonged to a bar on Vista Avenue. I was too young to go bar hopping, but I remember that sign well.

-Mike

1958 Post Office

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Page Arizona Post Office 1958. Source: LeGate Family

This amazing picture was sent to me yesterday by a friend (thank you Gene!). I don’t know who took it or why, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s the Page Post Office in 1958. This was taken 1 1/2 to 2 years before we moved there and I don’t recognize anyone in it. I think it’s interesting that the young guys are talking to the girl, but the older guys are all about the camera, except that one guy. There’s always that one guy.

This building was located next to the USBR warehouse on North Navajo. across the street from present day Stromboli’s. I am curious to know why there was such a line out the door on this day. Nobody seems to have anything to mail. Maybe it was a rush on forever stamps or maybe there was free wifi.  But I doubt it.

-Mike

Econ-O-Wash

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1973 Yellow Pages ad

I found a copy of the 1973 Yellow Pages so I have a new category to post these ads in. I’ll be posting these old ads from time to time.

I’m posting this one first because it’s special. First, it reads, “Add a Page to your trip.” I’m relieved to see I’m not the only one who read that old sign. If you’re wondering what I mean, check out my first post or my Why The Weird Name page.

Another reason I’m posting this one first is because it was one of my first full-time jobs. Yours Truly was one of the truck drivers that picked up and delivered laundry to the boarding schools on the reservation and brought it back here to be laundered. I worked for Al and Sandy. They were great people. I wonder if they’re still in Page.

But the big reason I’m posting this ad first is because I lived here for a while. Yes, it’s true. I lived at the laundromat. At least my clothes were always clean. Drive down to Vista Avenue and check this place out. It’s kind of an “L” shaped building with the corner of the “L” built out toward Vista Avenue. That was my apartment. Initially, it was a beauty salon, but eventually became my home sweet home in 1972ish for several months.

-Mike

More Dam Construction

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1962 Dam Construction

My last post showed a look at the right side of Glen Canyon Dam during construction in 1962. In the name of leaving nothing undone, here the other half of the picture showing the left side.

This is a spectacular shot looking upstream at what is mostly under water now. The cement plant is visible on the left behind the bridge just below where the visitor’s center now stands.

Do you see the black line across the bottom of the canyon and up the canyon wall on the right? I don’t know if that’s just something on the picture or if it’s a shadow from the original footbridge. I’m not sure when the footbridge came down. Was it still there in 1962? Anybody? If you know, feel free to chime in.

You can see the water that’s being diverted around the dam at the bottom left of the picture. I think it was being diverted on the other side too.

Dam Construction

Early 60s Dam Construction
1962 Dam Construction

This is a great shot of Glen Canyon Dam under construction from 1962. I don’t remember where I got this picture but it’s one of my favorites because this is how I remember the dam. I spent a lot of time on or near the bridge during this time, watching the dam go up. I must have rode my bike out there a lot with friends just to hang out and watch the construction. It never got old.

From the bridge, the trucks and workers below looked like toys. I remember that elevator on the wall of the canyon. I would watch it carry workers up and down for what seemed like hours. It probably was hours. That was one positive about growing up there. My feet would hit the floor in the morning and I was gone all day.

To the right of this picture, just downstream of the bridge, was the original visitor’s center and lookout. The road down to the old lookout is still there, as is the lookout and parking lot, if anyone’s feeling adventurous.

-Mike

Pink Sans Drive-In

Pink Sands Drive-in, 1961
Pink Sans Drive-in, 1961

I wish this picture was bigger. When I try to enlarge it, it gets blurry. This is the Pink Sans Drive-in circa 1961. It was (and still is) located on 7th Avenue (now Lake Powell BLVD) across from the park. More precisely, it was located across the street from the pool at the park. Yes, there used to be a good sized town pool at the corner of South Navajo Drive and 7th Avenue. I spent many summer days there.

This is the way I remember the Pink Sans looking. It was all outside, covered seating with picnic style tables. Just to the right of this picture was the Chevron gas station and on the other side (in the direction the camera is pointing) was the old Sportsman’s Headquarters. It eventually became a laundromat and after that, who knows. I don’t know what’s there today.

The Pink Sans was like Al’s Diner on Happy Days. It was the place to hang out, so we did. I remember watching occasional high school drag races down 7th Avenue. The Pink Sans was the starting line for those races and it seems like First National Bank, on the corner of Elm and 7th Avenue, was the finish line. There were no traffic signals back then, and evidently, not much traffic either! I’m not sure where the police (they were called Rangers back then) were, but I don’t remember ever seeing any when someone decided to race.

When I hit high school, we usually walked to the Pink Sans to grab a deep fried burrito from Sue, who always seemed to be working there at lunch, followed by some kind of Hostess treat for 13 cents at the Sportsman’s Headquarters next door. Ah the good ‘ole days!

-Mike

New School Buildings

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Page Schools 1960-61
Source: Unknown

This aerial shot from 1960 or 61 shows the newly completed school buildings along South Navajo Drive at the intersections of Date Street and 5th Avenue. You can see a few church buildings springing up on church row at the top of the picture. Originally, that was called 7th Avenue but was renamed to Lake Powell Blvd a number of years ago. The teacher’s apartments are the long buildings on this side of 7th avenue. They’re no longer there. I guess someone thought it would be a good idea to round up all of the teachers and keep them in one spot for easy handling. Probably not a bad idea. Ha!

Ok, back to the picture. The oval shaped area on the left side of the picture is the football field and track. The bleachers are the small strip next to the field. I have a cool ground shot of the field and scoreboard that I’ll be posting soon. The area behind the bleachers was little more than a big sand pit used for football practice. I remember running wind sprints in full pads in that sand that seemed to be 4 feet deep. I get winded just thinking about it now.

I don’t know how these buildings are referred to now, but they were originally labeled by letter. The larger building on the left was A Building. The small one next to it was B Building (I know, pretty creative!). Both of these building housed the high school. The large building in the middle was the Gym (C Building) and the long one near the bottom was D Building. D Building was home to the junior high-ers and I think down to 3rd or 4th grade originally. I was in D Building when President Kennedy was shot. I was in 3rd grade, so it must have gone that low. What’s not shown in this picture is the old X and Y buildings that housed the 1st and 2nd grades for a few years. Those were to the right of this picture along 7th Avenue across from the Catholic Church. X and Y Buildings were long, temporary, wooden buildings where I started 1st grade. At the bottom of D Building, you’ll see a small fenced-in concrete slab that was called the playpen. We spent recesses out there playing anything we could play with a ball.

If I remember right, the square area just above the gym was blacktop. There must have been basketball posts there, but my memory of it is pretty sketchy. Cedar Street is just off the picture on the bottom left corner. Those two houses there are facing Cedar Street. We lived in the 2nd or 3rd house from Date Street on the north side of Cedar Street for a time. I remember listening to Beatles 45 records in the front yard.

It looks like there is still some construction going on with the Bureau homes in this picture, at least in the back yards and easement. The sand was always horrible during windy days and getting it under control seemed to be a constant battle. Check out the row of small trees there were planted in the front yards along South Navajo.

Does anyone else remember the school crossing guards that worked that corner of Date and South Navajo? They were older school kids who got to wear uniforms and carry big flags. When we got to the corner and needed to cross, they would lower those big flags to a 45 degree angle and walk out ahead of us to stop traffic (one on each side of Navajo Drive). I remember thinking how cool that was I wanted so bad to become a crossing guard. I wish I had a picture of them to show you.

For comparison, here’s an aerial view of the same spot today:

-Mike

2013 aerial

Green Thumb Nursery

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Green Thumb Nursery, circa 1961
Source: Unknown

Does this building look familiar to my Page friends? It’s the old Green Thumb Nursery and the building that housed it was (is) located at 810 N. Navajo Drive. I don’t remember who owned it or who ran it, but I do remember peering in those windows a lot. If you can help add some background to this, please jump into the conversation and let me know.

This building eventually housed a fix-it/small appliance shop that always reminded me of Emmit’s Fix-it shop from the old Andy Griffith show. I don’t remember the name of that business but it may have been run by the Dolands. That sticks in my mind for some reason. Maybe Mrs. Doland just worked there, but I seem to remember her in there a lot. They also owned/ran the movie theater and Doland’s Curios Shop, which was located a couple of doors down from the theater. But I digress…

It seems like it sat closed for quite a while, but it eventually became Bella Napoli Italian Restaurant. No wonder I always liked their salads! Today, I think it’s called Bonkers. By the way, is that a Buick sticking its nose in the left side of this picture? It might be. Our family had one with that body style. If that’s a Buick, I’m not saying it was ours, but it could have been. Just sayin’. I’d sure take that pickup in a heartbeat though. And that VW bus would look real good in my garage!

Speaking of VW busses, here’s a shot of yours truly in 1974 filling up my bus at Specht’s gas station and car wash. This was located next door the Green Thumb Nursery building, across the street from what would one day be Stromboli’s. I don’t think Specht’s is there anymore, but if I’m wrong, let me know.

-Mike

Yours Truly with my VW bus in 1974. Photo: Susan Adams
Yours Truly with my VW bus in 1974. Photo: Susan Adams