This photo captures a time in Page that I remember well. Click on it to enlarge and zoom in. There are some things worth noting. First, this was taken in 1971 at a time when Bechtel was coming into town to build Navajo Generating Station (NGS). The time between the completion of Glen Canyon Dam in 1964 until movement started on NGS construction in the very late 60s/early 70s, saw the population of Page dwindle considerably. I remember many, if not most, of the USBR houses and MCS apartments sat empty for a number of years from 1964ish to 1970ish.
The photo above shows the abandoned MCS trailer park as it was being re-populated with the coming of Bechtel and its associated trades. Our trailer site is long gone in this picture but the tree that was near our front yard is still there at the top right corner of the picture, behind the airport hanger. This is a good aerial shot of the Empire House, Page Club Restaurant, Sportsman Headquarters, Pink Sans, and a few of the early gas stations. Is that the Teen Canteen still standing near the curve of the old dirt road between the MCS Apartments and the trailer court? I’m not 100% sure, but it could be.
The original business district foundation slab is still visible on the left edge of the photo, near where present-day STIX Market is. That was where the original Babbitt’s, the bank, barber shop, et al, were located. You might remember Redd’s Bottle Stop being to the left of that slab along what was then, 7th Avenue. The concrete slab that was an outdoor movie screen and dance floor is still there in this picture, located behind Keisling’s gas station. If I remember correctly, the white rectangle building set back from 7th Avenue near the left edge of the photo and near the old Babbitt’s slab, was the Dairy Queen. The building in front of it, that’s only partially visible, was DeWitt’s Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was a cook there for a time during High School. Mr. Dewitt was not only one of my teachers, but my boss. Talk about pressure! 🙂
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:
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, and the barber shop. 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 Google info on the photo is dated 4/6/2015. Enjoy!
In this post I want to share with you my remaining pictures of the first Page business district. I am indebted to Petey Lloyd Dietz, Ernie Severino Jr., and Terry Edwards for these pics. As a reminder, these businesses were located close to each other with the small shack businesses in a row along North Navajo Drive, and the building with the bank and Babbitt’s located just behind The Bottle Stop (now Stix Market). You can see exactly where they were in [this post]. Check these out…
Photo Courtesy of Terry Edwards. Undated
The Men’s Store was going out of business when the above picture was taken. I’m not sure of the date. The strike of 1959 may have contributed to the decision to close. The picture below shows Grant Jones with a customer. I don’t know who the customer is or if it was taken inside the Men’s Store.
Photo Courtesy of Terry Edwards. Undated.
The photos below show the early businesses from different perspectives.
Photo Courtesy of Ernie Severino Jr. Undated.
Warner’s Firestone building under construction. Photo Courtesy of Ernie Severino Jr. Undated.
Before we go any further, check out this picture of the bank, located in the same are:
Photo Courtesy of Terry Edwards. Undated.
That looks pretty safe! As long as nobody drives off with it. I can’t make out who that is standing there. The street sign says B Street. The sign in the window just says The Bank of Arizona Page Office.
As you face these buildings, looking south from North Navajo, Babbitt’s and newer location of the Bank, were just off to the right, behind Continue reading →
1959 Aerial View of Page, Arizona. Photo Courtesy of Terry Edwards.
Some of my favorite early pics of Page and the surrounding area are these old black and white aerial shots. You can see a lot of detail and they always bring back 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.
We have a lot to talk about in this photo. Click on it to open it up and you’ll be able to zoom in. 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, along 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 →
Here’s an aerial shot of Page giving us a good look at 7th Avenue (now Lake Powell BLVD) and some of the early town construction. It’s undated, but 1960-61 is a good guess. I’ve had this photo for a long time and I don’t remember where I got it for sure (maybe Brian Keisling) and I’ve never known who took it or who marked up the different locations. But those are helpful, so let’s run through them.
LPB is Lake Powell BLVD (7th Ave). HAIR was the barber shop. I’m assuming the barber was Hank. Does anybody remember him? The barber shop eventually moved to the plaza near the theatre. That plaza isn’t built yet in this picture. K is the present location of the Circle K and NAV is North Navajo Drive. The unmarked building on the corner above North Navajo was a Gulf gas station. We used to ride our bikes there and fill up gas cans for my friend’s mini bike and our golf cart. The building marked BS isn’t a reference to a crappy building, but is referring to Redd’s Bottle Stop. It’s now the location of Stix Market. BAB is referring to Babbitt’s. First National Bank was also in that building. I’m putting a picture of that building below to give you a better look. LL was the Little League field. M is referring to the outdoor movie screen. K is a reference to Keisling’s gas station. You can see that Elm Street hasn’t been built yet on the right side of LPB. E is referring to the old Empire House. The last time I was in Page, that had become something else but I don’t remember now what it is. My first job as a teenager was as a busboy at the Empire House and my mom was one of the cashiers there for years. MCS is referring to the MCS apartments. PS is the Pink Sans. FB is the future site of the football field. It looks like it’s not there yet in this picture. The buildings just below FB must be the Manson Mesa pool. You’ll notice South Navajo isn’t there yet either, but you can see part of the park to the right if the pool. I think the dark line below the pool and the park is a fence. When I first saw this picture, I thought it was a road that is no longer there. But looking closer, I don’t see a break in the curb along LPB, so I’m pretty sure it was one of the many fences put up all over the place to stop blowing sand. They didn’t work too good. Looking along church row, you can see a few churches springing up, along with the teacher’s apartments on the opposite side of the road.
The picture below is a closer look at Babbitt’s and First National Bank, located in the building in the above picture behind The Bottle Stop (Stix Market).