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

The Beehive Then and Now

The Hive as it looked then….

beehive

The Beehive as it appeared in this 1950s photo showing preliminary construction of Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge underway. This photo is undated.

The Hive as it looks now…

beehive_now

The Beehive as it appears today. The upper parking lot of the visitor center (on the far side of the Beehive) is where the rail-mounted crane towers were located that were used to lower buckets of concrete, equipment, and personnel into the canyon.

The early, undated photo of the Beehive at the top shows preliminary work underway for the Glen Canyon Bridge and Dam. I can’t tell if the east side has been cut away yet. The second picture is one I captured on Google Earth for comparison. I love putting together these then and now pics when I come across them. I’m close to brilliant! 🙂

Be sure to check out my Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pageaz/

-Mike

Glen Canyon Dam Construction Site

glen-canyon-dam-construction-site
Photo: A.E. Turner, Source: Terry Edwards

Here’s another aerial view of the Glen Canyon Dam construction site. This is looking upstream toward Wahweap creek. It’s a good look at the coffer dam, the early stages of the dam itself, and the power plant. The cranes are visible on each side of the dam. There was one 25-ton and one 50-ton on rails on either side. The road down to the lookout site is visible on the right side. The oval shaped area was the parking lot and you can see the trail down to the lookout point. The footbridge is faintly visible in this photo too.

Lake Shore Drive, which was still dirt, is clearly visible. It was built and used for gravel trucks. Aggregate was trucked in to the cement plant from Wahweap Creek and dumped in an underground hopper at the base of the conveyor belt visible in this picture near the end of the road. The aggregate was processed and conveyed to the concrete mixing plant seen in this picture on a large shelf cut out of the canyon wall. That concrete mixing plant was about twenty stories tall. The mixed concrete was dumped into a rail car that in turn, dumped the concrete into the buckets suspended by the cranes, for their trip to the topmost section of the growing dam. That’s the abbreviated story of the process. I always wanted to go inside that mixing plant but I never got the chance. Click on the image to enlarge it. Download it and check out the detail.

Enjoy!

It’s a Dam Site

dam-color
Glen Canyon Dam Construction, 1962 or 63. Source unknown.

There’s a lot of good detail in this photo.It’s a good look at both spillways and the temporary coffer dam at the bottom of the picture. The concrete batch plant is visible on the canyon edge to the right. Water is visible exiting the right diversion tunnel, but not the left. The left diversion tunnel inlet was about 33 feet higher than the right tunnel inlet and was intended to be used only during high river flows. The parking lot for the lookout point is visible on the left, just above the bridge. The rectangular building along the highway on the left side of the bridge was the original visitor’s center. It was later moved into town and became the LARC center. I don’t remember what that acronym means. The rail-mounted cranes are visible on either side of the canyon. There was a 25-ton and a 50-ton crane on each side. In addition to transporting buckets of concrete to the dam, these cranes were used to transport people and equipment in and out of the dam site. Near the bottom right corner of the picture, you can see the tower structure holding the footbridge, and the footbridge is visible too. The dark area by that tower, that curves around the sandstone knoll, was the road/parking lot for the footbridge. You can still see the remnants of that road on Google Earth. Go take a look.

As a bonus, here’s a penciled version of this same picture that I had done because I think it looks cool…

dam-pencil

Enjoy!

Mike

1960s Aerial View of Page Arizona

aerial1960
Source: Terry Edwards. Date and photographer unknown

Here’s a 1960-ish shot of Page and the surrounding area from the seat of a plane. If you click on it, it will open it up in a new tab and enable you to zoom in closer. All of my pictures work that way. You’re welcome. 🙂  Enlarge it and let’s talk about some of the detail.

Starting on the bottom left, you’ll see the original radio station (KPGE) just off the old Coppermine road. I don’t remember what the building between it and the water treatment plant was. If you do, please leave a comment and let me know. I posted pictures of the water treatment plant already in a post I called Got Water? You can check it out >HERE<. Next to the water treatment plant is the go-cart track and the Little League baseball field. If you look at that area on Google Earth, you can still see remnants of the go-cart track. That’s actually the second location of the baseball field. The first one was behind Keisling’s gas station and The Bottle Stop (now Stix Market). The outline of it is still visible in this picture. You can see that original field better >HERE<.

Moving up from the water treatment plant, you’ll notice that Chapman’s trailer park isn’t there yet. Several church buildings are dotting the landscape along church row (7th Avenue – now Lake Powell BLVD). The long buildings on the inside loop of church row were the teacher’s apartments. They may have been under Continue reading “1960s Aerial View of Page Arizona”

Photo Gallery

Welcome to my site. Here’s a sample of what awaits you inside. If the slideshow doesn’t automatically start, click on the photo to open it. This post will remain at the top of the page for a while. Enjoy your stay!

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1959 Aerial Photo of Page, Arizona

Some of my favorite early pics of Page and the surrounding area are these old black and white aerial shots. You can really see a lot of detail and they always bring back a lot of memories of what it was like. One of the reasons I’m posting this one is because in my next post or two, I’ll be highlighting some early businesses and I want you to have a reference point for their location if you’re not familiar with it. Take a look at this:

Page 1959 JWP-0010994
1959 Aerial View of Page, Arizona
Source: Terry Edwards

We have a lot to talk about in this photo. Let’s start on the right side, as you come into town on 7th Avenue. The Glen Canyon Steak House and Motel aren’t there yet, but it looks like the ground is being cleared for their construction. To the right, up Vista Ave., you get a good look at the Page Hospital and what was at that time, the USBR offices. You can see a close-up of that building and read more about it >HERE<. You can also see/read more about the hospital >HERE<. Okay, back to our journey up 7th Avenue. The next building on the left is the Page Boy Motel. The building across the street was the Vostron building and now houses the City of Page offices.

The building across from Vostron on this side of 7th Avenue is the bowling alley. The big rectangle building just this side of the bowling alley is the USBR warehouse. The white rectangle building to the left of the bowling alley in this photo was (is?) the fire station. The smaller building that’s attached to the right end of the fire station was the USBR Ranger station. The only thing I remember being in the Continue reading “1959 Aerial Photo of Page, Arizona”

The Lower Water Treatment Plant

I have to admit to not remembering Page’s first water treatment plant being at the bottom of the canyon. When Gene LeGate gave me the first bunch of USBR photos for the blog and I saw these water treatment pics, I was dazed and confused because I could only remember the water treatment plant in town and those photos were completely different. After some research, I surmised that it sat downstream of the dam on the Page side of the canyon. Can’t fool me! What sealed it for me (sort of) was the first photo I’m sharing below that Tim McDaniels gave me that shows the road to it coming out of what must be one of the adits in the canyon wall that now serves as one of the ventilation tunnels for the tunnel that runs from the top of the canyon and to the lower spillway. If that’s incorrect, please let me know. I can take it. I’m still not 100% convinced because some of the background stuff in these pictures doesn’t look right. More on that as we move through them.

This first picture is a shot from above showing the layout of the area. This is the one Tim sent me that pretty much clinched the location. Notice the water line coming over the side of the canyon. That’s the line that brought water to the fledgling town of Page. It’s referenced in another picture below. Notice also the road disappearing into the canyon wall. The handwritten caption on the back reads, “J. Reinhold. 1st water treatment plant for Page.”

image
Photo: USBR
Date: 5/14/63
Source: Tim McDaniels

Here’s another top down view from a different, closer angle. In this shot, the facility is still under construction. The rectangle building was an electrical switchgear and maybe Continue reading “The Lower Water Treatment Plant”

First Things First

It took me a few minutes to figure this one out, but I eventually did. I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so that explains a lot. This first pic is an early shot of two of the first buildings that went up in Page, if not THE first two.

First Buildings
Photo: USBR, date and photographer unknown.
Source: Terry Edwards

There weren’t any landmarks in the picture to go by, so it kind of leaves you on your own. Give up? This is the corner of Vista Ave and North Navajo Drive. The larger building is the hospital and the smaller building originally served as the USBR admin building. It’s been a number of other things since then. I talked about it and shared a really nice photo of it with you in a previous post [HERE]. Be sure to click that link if you haven’t already seen it. It’s worth the click! The dirt road between the two buildings is Vista Ave. The nicely graded road to the left is Gum Street. For reference (and because I have awesome moments) the picture below is how that same area looks today. I rotated it to match the Continue reading “First Things First”