June 17, 2018

Famous Harvey Houses Supplied by Del Rio Ranch

"Fred Harvey civilized the west with his '3000 Miles of Hospitality' that consisted of an extensive chain of hotels, shops, and restaurants along the Santa Fe Railway, staffed by a professional, customer service army which included the famous Harvey Girls."

To supply his hotels and restaurants with milk and cream, he had a dairy farm, the Territory's first, in Peach Springs. However, water supply was problematic at that location and in 1912, Harvey moved the entire operation to Del Rio Springs, north of Chino Valley.

June 10, 2018

Prescott's Forgotten Railroad Developer & Philanthropist

Frank Morrell Murphy first arrived in Prescott in 1877. "During the next 40 years he changed almost every aspect of life in Yavapai county. A financier, promoter, philanthropist, and empire builder, it was said that he brought more money into the Territory than any other one man."

Today few people are familiar with him. "This is probably because of the emphasis that Frank Murphy placed on his life. He promoted Prescott and Yavapai county; he promoted railroads (and) mines, but he did not promote (himself)."

June 3, 2018

Ft. Whipple 1869: Futile Campaigns & Public Diversions

In 1869 military campaigns against the Indians were hapless in Yavapai county. The Native Americans had not only learned that it was best to avoid the Army, but they became quite adept at doing just that.

As morale dropped for both soldier and civilian, local military leadership tried to reach out to the local community through theater and dances.

May 27, 2018

1903: Ed Shumate Opens the Granite Dells Resort

Although some had attempted to develop the Granite Dells into a recreational attraction previously, all fell short. Enter businessman Ed Shumate. "When he took hold of it, all manner of predictions were made that it would prove a failure for the reason that Prescott was said not to be large enough a (city) to support such a place."

Defying the naysayers, the newspaper reported: "Mr. Shumate is the first person who has been able to make a complete success of this resort and he has accomplished it in a most admirable manner." Indeed, during special events, the resort regularly hosted 1400-1500 guests.

May 20, 2018

Early Descriptions of Prescott: 1864-'71

Several early visitors to Prescott were well impressed with the young settlement. For these sojourners the buildings were secondary compared to the inspiration they felt from the spirit of her citizens and the wonderment the area bestowed.

Their accounts in the years 1864, 1867, and 1871 offer insight into how Prescott grew from little more than a mining camp to an all-American community.

May 13, 2018

The "Graces" Who Got Things Done in Prescott

It was probably inevitable that Grace Sparks and Grace Chapman would join together. They both had a deep love for serving civically. Even in their own day "they were known as the 'Graces' who helped get things done in Prescott."

Each served Prescott and Yavapai county dutifully in their own ways, but when their good friend, Sharlot Hall, passed away, they came together to make sure that the Sharlot Hall Museum would not only stay open, but would begin to grow into the facility it is today.