Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prescott's IOOF Cemetery

Elks. Moose. Eagles. Masons. Modern Woodmen. Knights of Pythias. Odd Fellows. Today one seldom hears mention of these fraternal orders, remnants of a different past, when many people in American towns small and large joined together voluntarily to solve problems -- and enjoy one another's society. deToqueville wrote about it in the 19th century; most recently, a pop sociologist produced another book on the great change away from social bonding, Bowling Alone.

A quick check of the local yellow pages showed that the Elks, Eagles, Moose and Odd Fellows are still in business as well as the Masons, though one seldom hears mention. Certainly the heritage remains: the great silvery elk atop the old opera house ... the recently refurbished Knights of Pythias building, one of the oldest in town ... the IOOF cemetery, as well.

Larger than I had expected, it's located in the hills at the foot of Virginia Street and still accepts burials. None of the famous Prescottonians are interred here, though there is one "friend" of Billy the Kid, John William Young Kinney, a cattle rustler.

Monuments range from the oversized memorial dedicated to the Rebekah women's lodge above to a simple wooden cross erected in 2003.

A profusion of color is evidence that this continues as an active burial ground.

Above -- a child's grave; below, the tragic story of one family's loss. Visit an old cemetery to be reminded the high death rate of youngsters a century ago.

Guy was Honest. Brave. True. What about Hannie, his wife?

Another simple, homemade cross.

Is this, perhaps, a shovel -- symbolizing a life spent in the mines? Below, a flagstone memorial.

More information about this grave marker will be found among this group of photos.

Here, a freshly dug grave.

And the raven who presides over it all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The old flume -- then & now

Friend Andy C. sent this image of an old postcard entitled simply "an irrigation system near Prescott Arizona". He believes it is the original flume carrying water from Willow Creek in the Dells to the Bianconi Ranch. A brief history he passed along:

This property may have been owned by Joseph Curtis who grew peaches and melons prior to sale to Alfred Clough in 1877. Sharlot Hall Museum has photos of vineyards, apple trees, and a fishing lake on the Clough property. He died in 1908 and the ranch was bought by John Bianconi. Bianconi had the largest peach orchard in the state here (34 a) and produced many other crops. The Bianconi Brothers won many ribbons at the Arizona State Fair and the Northern Arizona Fair (later YC Fair). The flume was present by 1911. In 1936 when the Willow Lake Dam was built, Bianconi sued and received an award of water from the Chino Valley Irrigation District. This was all for naught, as his peach trees caught peach mosaic and were destroyed to prevent spread of the disease. The ranch was sold to a cattle rancher in 1941 and was bought by Robert H. Kieckhefer about 1950.

The remains I photographed last fall are the final bones of the flume system.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Elderly housing notes

One of the views from my window: The Bradshaw, a subsidized apartment complex for the elderly. It's about to grow to fill an empty acre or two to the rear...

...where a small version of those ubiquitous yellow earth moving machines was out and about recently, digging up the bush. Next day, I spotted a former tree...

...and a heap of the usual detritus that spontaneously erupts on vacant land.

The following morning, the smallish machine was hunkered down behind a wall of diggings, which it began to attack as soon as it awakened.

More machines later, more earth was being moved from a heap here to a pile there.

The white truck? An amenity -- once in a while it squirts water (below) to keep the dust in line. Wonder how much that adds to the cost of the project...

Gotcha -- took several tries to catch the shovel dumping!

While on the topic of senior housing: in February my zoom lens nearly gave me a decent hint of what's happening near Las Fuentes at Canterbury Lane, where a project called The Boulders might be underway. That would be my interpretation of the tall mounds of earth plus two hints of earth-moving yellow equipment to the right. Sorry for all the guesswork, but our local paper doesn't follow through on projects once details are nailed down to the satisfaction of building & zoning officials.

All of which led me to further checking. Weren't there other senior housing plans afoot? The answer, yes. Highgate Senior Living Community in Prescott Lakes. A big expansion of Granite Gate in the Dells. Plus a major complex on the JC Ranch property in Chino Valley. Sound like a lot of competition for the senior $$$; perhaps the investors anticipate an influx of Californians seeking lower cost quarters in Arizona. Or just maybe one or more of these projects will evaporate as did those Montezuma/Goodwin corner condos.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Wicker critters

As a young girl, I wrapped myself up in the Oz books. Read and reread them. Even so, I did not really understand about the amoral sorcerer who lived in a wickerwork castle, surrounded with everything wickerwork. I guess I was too shy to ask what was this stuff, wickerwork. Certainly mysterious. No Google for a quick look-up, either.

However, I'm happy to note that I'm older, wiser -- and fond of wickerwork! On my first visit to The Periodot, I was quite taken with this dog. Since that day, I've met an excellent wicker collection of critters.

Not only are there similar dogs lurking about the public spaces, but also several rabbits.

At one staircase landing, a wicker monkey rides the back of a wicker dog.

This bird sits in the midst of a geranium plant at the entry way... the company of this monkey.

And, why not! That geranium is in full bloom. It's spring, after all!

Linkage: Derek, who charts all the local trails, is now posting pictures as he checks out the routes; he reports that a new beaver dam has appeared up at the Verde headwaters. And, if you're into cats, take a look at all the videos at Simon's Cat. Another video, a spectacular animation of the ashes spreading from that Icelandic volcano.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The view from Bradshaw Drive

You would think that with all the wandering and exploring my husband and I did over our years in this area, we might have taken a look at the southeast quadrant of Prescott -- that turf south of Gurley, east of the Senator Highway. The reality is that we were not particularly interested in housing developments -- in fact, tended to sniff at them. So, it was a new experience when one of my friends and I followed up the IOOF cemetery/Acker Park visit by checking out the hilly neighborhoods. Bradshaw Drive is the major route, but be sure to enjoy it driving downhill to see the sites:

For instance, a great view of The Peaks 90 miles north.

Or the cropped hilltop next the Senator Highway. Is that a sled run going straight downhill there?

Prescott opens up to the north.
One of two facilities for the aged located on Bradshaw -- the crenelations of The Peridot. A recently built subsidized rental complex is just around the corner; it will soon have additional buildings.

Houses clinging to the hillsides are a feature -- neither lawn nor garden friendly real estate.

Unexpectedly, in the middle of this upscale modernity, we turned a curve to see this remnant of earlier days. The old Tenney homestead, I am told. A nostalgic reminder of a nearly buried past.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Art out at Acker

The Mural Mice are at it again. This time the object of their attention is the lonely loo building out at Acker Park over at the foot of Virginia Street. The little structure is getting painted on all four sides, as a matter of fact.

Subject matter: local flora and fauna found in the 80-acre park. Including, of course, a mouse.

Here is one of the two key Mural Mice; the other was busy at the corner of the building (below).

Even though we were there on a week day, folks were gathering to see what was going on. We stopped for pictures after friend and I had recorded the nearby IOOF Cemetery.

As I noted earlier, all four sides of the building will be decorated.

As for the little bannerettes you may have noticed, here's what they look like close up.

Linkage: An interesting demo of text to speech here. And, millions of miles away, an avalanche -- on Mars, to be specific. Desert Cat takes a short hike near his Tucson area hideaway and discovers lots of desert wildflowers, Tombo hikes the Grand Canyon and Book Journey, a new Prescott area blog, discovers the alligator juniper.
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