Here’s a great shot of the Page Trailer Court dated 12-14-60. Click on it to zoom in and scroll to the far right. Do you see the trailer sitting at an angle behind the airport hanger? That was our trailer. Yea!!! I finally found a picture of it to prove I existed. You’ll also see the drive-in theatre screen and the corrals in the background. The trailer court eventually expanded to include more streets/trailers on the left side of the court, similar to the expansion you see already in place on the right side. At the far left of the photo, you’ll notice a couple of the MCS apartments.
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! 🙂
On November 13, 1965, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon arrived in Page where they were greeted by approximately 500 residents. They stayed at the Lake Powell Motel that was located on Highway 89, but has since been torn down. L-R in the photo above: Dora Knight; U.S Ambassador to the UK, Lewis Williams Douglas (more info); Rosalind Acothley (in traditional Navajo dress, with her back to the camera); Lord Snowdon; Princess Margaret; and Royce Knight. Art and Bill Greene are the two men at the far right of the photo.
Here are some other sources you might be interested in concerning this visit:
- The Royal Couple at Wahweap Marina (scroll down to page 8 of this link) https://repository.asu.edu/attachments/111142/content/Redefining_The_River.pdf
- Both pictures are included in this e-book on Page and Lake Powell. Here’s a link to the preview. I purchased this book and am enjoying it. See the preview.
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!
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In 2013, I posted a blog about an episode of the old TV series, Route 66, being filmed in Page. You can see that post >HERE<. If Route 66 was before your time, it was a show about two guys – Tod (with one “d”) and Buz (with one “z”) – driving the old Route 66 in a cool Corvette Stingray and doing stuff. You may know Route 66 as Interstate 40. Season One, Episode Nine of Route 66 was filmed in Page and at the Glen Canyon Dam site when it was under construction. This episode aired on November 2, 1960 and was entitled, Layout at Glen Canyon. Construction on the dam was in its early stages and the bridge dedication took place the year before.
In this post, I want to tease out a little more trivia by way of some still images I made of the show while watching it. Some of these are little blurry but clear enough to see what’s going on. Enjoy!
This first image above is one I used on the original post in 2013. They’re filming the scene where the women are getting off the plane. Click this image and enlarge it. Take a look at the all the details and notice the sign on the side of the truck. I’m not sure what the thing on the cart is. Careful leaning on that Corvette, people! We lived at the airport (literally) and this scene wasn’t too far from our trailer’s front door. But I don’t remember them making this show. Here are some stills from the show:
This early scene shows Tod (Martin Milner of Adam-12 fame) and Buz (George Maharis) in a deep discussion just before the models get on the bus to be escorted to where they are staying, which was a couple of trailers somewhere near where the “P” is painted along US89. You can see Manson Mesa in the background of the scenes filmed at those trailers if you watch the show. In the picture above, the line of trailers is P Street, the last street of the MCS trailer court, next to the airport. Our trailer was to the right of this picture right behind (literally!) the hanger. Here’s a wider shot of the same area:
The picture above is a wider shot of the trailers behind the airport along P Street. The dirt driveway that Tod and Buz are headed to was the entrance off of P Street to the airport and the driveway to our trailer to the right of this picture. Here’s another action shot of the same scene: Continue reading
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
Gene LeGate loaned me a box of old Page Signal newspapers that I’ve been scanning as I have time. The Page Signal was Page’s first newspaper and pre-runner to The Lake Powell Chronicle. I’m scanning these old newspaper stories and pictures and will be posting them from time to time in a new category called A Day in the Life. Catchy, I know. 🙂 This first one is dated October 30, 1958.
Do you remember a post I did a while back called School Daze? I didn’t know it then, but the first two pictures in that post appeared in the Page Signal. To see that School Daze post, just click —>here<—. Here are the two pictures from the Signal. The captions gives us names. Pretty cool!
If you still have that School Daze post open, look at the second picture of the kids lined up by the old X and Y school buildings. Here it is again as it appeared in the Page Signal, complete with names.Continue reading
Here’s an early shot of Page taken from the rim where North Navajo Drive and South Navajo Drive meet. Those are the Transit houses that dotted the rim along South Navajo and Aspen Street. As you can see, they are still being placed on site. The roads are being graded and the ground cleared. Notice the sewer pipe laying on the ground, awaiting installation. This photo is undated, but it has to be 1957 or 58. For comparison, look at the second picture I posted in the second blog on this site. It’s an aerial view showing the curve and the first airstrip which was about where this photographer was standing, along North Navajo. See it HERE.
Okay, back to this photo. There’s a school bus there because the Butler buildings were just to the right of this picture. They housed the first Page schools and they sat on the rim. You can see them in the link I provided above. I remember being told the water tank in the background of this picture was temporary while the town’s permanent water treatment plant was being built. I think that’s the water treatment plant being built in the far background. Did you know that the first water treatment plant for the town of Page was at the bottom of the canyon? It’s no doubt what supplied water to these tanks. See it HERE. Don’t miss the guy walking away on the left edge of the picture, as well as the outhouse. This picture provides a clear look at Le Chee on the horizon.
There were a lot of movies and a handful of TV episodes filmed in the Page area in those early years. The ones that stand out to me while growing up there were The Greatest Story Ever Told, Planet of the Apes, Easy Rider, and later, The Outlaw Jose Wales. But who could forget the epic TV series, Route 66, starring Martin Milner of Adam-12 fame and…. that other guy. What was his name? Oh yea, George Maharis. In the series, they were Tod (with one d) and Buz (with one z). They drove the old Route 66 in that cool Stingray and did things.
Season 1, episode 9 was filmed in Page. The first picture below captured the filming of one of the scenes at or near the airport. The cool Stingray is sitting there, waiting for action. This episode aired on November 2, 1960 and was entitled, Layout at Glen Canyon. If this scene was shot at the airport, I lived a stone’s throw from where it was filmed. Check it out…
I grabbed the screen shot below from the IMDB web site when I searched for Route 66. It filled in some of the gaps for me. Unfortunately, I can’t find that episode anywhere. Netfix only has the first two episodes of season one. I sure would like to watch it. If any of you come across it, please let me know.
I know I said I wasn’t going to blog anything here until after December, but this was too good to wait. Enjoy!