May 24, 2020

Prescott 1933: A Story in Pictures

Gurley Street, 1933
It was the poorest of times. It was the richest of times. Despite being in the depths of the Great Depression, Prescott would rise above its trials.

Here now are 24 more images that will give the reader a taste of what is was like to live in Prescott in 1933...

Some still had money to spend as this 1933 ad for Prescott's Nash Co. automobiles shows. The $505 price tag would be slightly over $10,000 today--not too bad for a brand new car.

Whether a Nash or any other vehicle, Route 89 was a vital artery:
Highway 89, south of Prescott looking north, 1933
Rt. 89 south of Prescott on the way to Wilhoit in 1933

1933 was also the year of the World's Fair in Chicago. This picture shows a portion of the Arizona exhibit. Notice the touting of "the largest virgin pine forest in the world" (upper left.) 
Yavapai County was extremely proud of what it sent to the Arizona exhibit. Included were the finest and most beautiful samples of her gold, onyx, and copper.

If one were to go to what is currently Fain Park in Prescott Valley back in 1933, he would see a large dredge on Lynx Creek mining for gold:
Notice Glassford Hill in the background.

1933 advertisement for Mothers Day
at Bashford-Burmister. At least send her a card!

Memorial Day, 1933 was a grand affair; highlighted by a large parade that started at the Santa Fe Depot and circled the Plaza before a program was held on the north steps of the Courthouse.

One of three bands that played Memorial Day, readying to march.

Graduation gifts advertisement, 1933.
($1 then would be $20 today.)

Granite Street did not fare well during the Depression. One of the poorer neighborhoods, it also suffered a flood in 1932. By '33 many of the Chinese were leaving, mostly for California. In this 1933 picture, one can hardly distinguish the street from the yards--perhaps a sign that clean up was slow.

Summertime fun in '33 included swims and dances at the Granite Dells resort:
Granite Dells circa 1933

In 1933, Grace Sparkes hosted Hopi leaders at the Smoki festivities. It was considered a great honor to have them there, but it seems no one asked their opinion of it.
Performance of the Smoki Snake Dance

As usual, Frontier Days was a big event; '33 was the rodeo's 46th anniversary:
1933 ad for Frontier Days
Bronco-busting at the 1933 Frontier Days.
1933's Frontier Days also included a very special guest on the last day--Will Rogers! Here's that story in depth: 

The true story of Will Rogers' surprise visit to Prescott, Arizona in 1933 to visit Frontier Days (now the "World's Oldest Rodeo").

Summertime still brought a few tourists who would try to escape the desert heat. Places they stayed included the Pine Lawn Automobile Camp or the Dan Dee Cottage Camp:
Pine Lawn Auto Camp
Dan Dee Cottage Camp

In 1933, there was still a bounty on mountain lions:

Here's a Ray Bratton Grocery store ad that ran the week before Thanksgiving, 1933. Conspicuously absent is turkey. Considering that 10 cents then is about $2.00 today, not everything here was a bargain--that dozen eggs would be $5.60 today!

Winter 1933 brought snow to the Plaza:

The end of 1933 truly did bring good cheer. After 18 years, prohibition ended in Arizona! Here is the first newspaper ad in Prescott to feature cocktails after prohibition:

As 1933 came to an end, Whiskey Row got busy!


Now Available!
Books by Drew Desmond and Brad Courtney:

"Murder & Mayhem in Prescott"
"True Tales of Prescott" 

Follow the blog in one of the following social media to be sure you get the latest article!

Want more Prescott history? Join the "Celebrating Historic Prescott" group.
(Daily pics and featured articles.)
Drew Desmond is on Facebook (For the latest article and posts about Drew's writing.)

Follow the Prescott AZ History Blog on Twitter @PrescottAZHist
(Daily pic featured at 7 am and featured articles.)

Prescott AZ History is on Pinterest
(For the latest article.)

Follow PrescottAZHistory on Instagram

1 comment: