Page Arizona: Then and Now

This first picture is undated, but it’s from the 60s. When I moved all of my pictures to a new computer, the meta data didn’t come with them, so I’ve lost all the dates and photographer info that was written on the back of them. But check this out:

That was then. Source: The LeGate Family. Undated

You might want to click on that picture and open it while we talk about it. This is a look down present-day Aero Ave, looking toward the airport. The long building in the center was (is?) the USBR warehouse. To the right of it is the bowling alley and below the bowling alley is the Page Boy Motel. The street at the bottom is Vista Ave. Looking down Aero Ave toward the airport, I believe the first long building on the left was Page Market. I seem to remember the H-shaped buildings being barracks and a mess hall built early on for construction workers on the dam. The small buildings lined up at the near end of the trailer court were early Page businesses. Rexall Drug, Page Jewelers, and a Men’s Store were among those buildings. Was there a shoe store there too, or was that part of the Men’s Store? It’s all a blur sometimes. The building below the Little League field on the right of the picture was the original location of Babbitt’s and First National Bank of AZ. I don’t remember if there was anything else in there. It looks abandoned in this picture, so the permanent buildings may have been in place by the time this photo was taken. To the right of the baseball field, you can see a little bit of the concrete slab that was used to show outdoor movies and for dances. Above it, you can see a corner of the MCS apartments. Do you see that building by itself on the curved road from the MCS apartments to the trailer court? Did that serve a dual purpose? Was it both the Teen Canteen and the American Legion hall? For some reason that sticks in my mind. If you look at the very top of the picture and zoom in, you’ll see the airport hanger on the left. The dark area just below the hanger was our trailer. The small trailer to the right of the hanger was the Bonanza Airlines terminal. There was also an elevated platform near that trailer that served as the “tower” for Bonanza Airlines. Whenever the airline was on its way in or taking off, the airline guy (I don’t remember his name, but he lived on First Ave) would go up on that platform and talk to the pilot via radio. As a young kid, I always thought that was pretty cool. Zoom into this picture and look at the detail. You’ll see people walking, cars on the move, and one car with its hood up.

Here’s a shot I took this morning from Google Earth, showing that same area. I tried to get as close as possible to the same angle. This screen shot was taken today, 3/31/18 but the info on the photo was dated 4/6/2015. Enjoy!

Thanks for visiting my site!

-Mike

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication

The dedication ceremony of Glen Canyon Bridge took place on Friday, February 20, 1959. My understanding of that event (we moved there shortly after the bridge was dedicated) is that the ribbon-cutting was actually a chain-cutting using a cutting torch and once the chains were cut, the crowds quickly moved onto the bridge to take a look below at the beginnings of Glen Canyon Dam. The pictures below capture some of that day. If you were there, I’d love to hear your story in the comments. Enjoy!

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication, 1959. Source: Terry Edwards. USBR photo.

The photo above is taken from above the beehive, looking back toward Page. If you click on the picture you’ll be able to zoom in and see the detail. Look at the number of cars parked on the Page side of the bridge and the line of cars still arriving on US89 in the distance. You can also see the original visitor’s lookout near the top of the canyon wall on the Page side of the canyon.

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication, 1959. Source: Terry Edwards. USBR photo.

The photo above is a look from the Page side of the bridge. Check out the ambulance, the ’57 Chevy, and the old busses. The ambulance is visible in the first picture above by zooming into it.

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication, 1959. Source: USBR.

Click on the above photo and look at the detail. The parking lot on the right was for visitors and there was a walking path down to the lookout point that I mentioned in the first picture, also clearly visible in this photo. The buses in the previous photo are visible in this one, to the right of the bridge. The first visitor center would eventually be placed on US89 between where those busses are parked and the end of the bridge. Looking in the canyon, the ledge has been cut in the canyon wall for the concrete batch plant but it’s not there yet. You can also see the keyways are cut for where the dam would be anchored to the canyon walls. The lower footbridge is visible near the bottom of the photo and the upper footbridge can

A still from the TV series, Route 66: Layout at Glen Canyon, 1960.

be seen in the background. No dam yet, but it’s on its way. You can see water flowing through the right diversion tunnel. Right and left seem relative, but in previous photos, right and left are usually referenced from the upstream side of the dam. If you watched the episode of Route 66 that I’ve talked about in previous posts, the small photo to the left is from a scene filmed just above the diversion tunnel outlet that was filmed about a year after the dam dedication. That episode is worth watching for the historical value. The scene at the spillway shows the force of the water through the tunnel and the construction sounds of the dam will never be repeated.

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication, 1959. Source: USBR.

The above photo is like the “Where’s Waldo” of bridge dedications. Are you in this picture, or do you recognize someone who is? If so, please leave a comment and let me know.

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication, 1959. Source: Donna Bloxton Petersen

The photo above was sent to me by Donna Bloxton Petersen with this caption, “Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication or First Bucket of Concrete for GC Dam when Paul Fannin was Governor – by Donna Burgess Kielland” I’m going with the bridge dedication since there is only one crane tower built and it may not be completely built (two more were built on that side of the canyon). Those three cranes were used in conjunction with the three on the opposite side of the canyon to lower the concrete buckets (and other things) into the lower canyon.

Source: Page Signal dated February 4, 1959.

 

Glen Canyon Bridge Dedication, 1959. Source: USBR.

Until next time… Enjoy and share!

Mike

New Episode on Mike’s Dam Podcast

Hey friends, I published a new episode on the podcast today. Check it out when you get time.

Episode 2: Introduction

Enjoy!