The Locals

New Articles are on the bottom !

There are a lot of great businesses in town… but I thought I’d throw out some info on ‘the locals’… that means Whiskey Row.

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Almost all of us have memories of the Galloping Goose being around FOREVER.  It is a lovely store.  

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This little hotel is adorable, and very nice folks who let us walk around and get some pictures.

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Like I’d forget the Palace.  Do I need to say anymore?  ok yes, in case you just stepped off the bus from Iowa….

The Palace First Opened its Doors in September 1877. . . 

Although Whiskey Row was known for its many saloons, The Palace was much more than a fancy "watering hole".  Men came in to check for notices of work available; it served as an election central for several political races and cattle spreads; and mineral claims were bought and sold over the bar. 

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The Palace is still the oldest frontier saloon in Arizona and the most well-known and historic restaurant and saloon in the state.  In the late 1870s, Wyatt Earp, Virgil Earp and Doc Holliday were patrons of the Palace.  Virgil and his wife Allie lived in Prescott where Virgil owned a saw mill at Thumb Butte and was Town Constable.  Wyatt and his other brother, Morgan, visited Virgil in Prescott before they left for Tombstone.  Doc was on a winning streak on Whiskey Row (possibly at The Palace) where he won $10,000 playing poker.   He joined the Earps eight months later in Tombstone.

On July 14th, 1900,  The Palace was destroyed by the Whiskey Row fire.  The ornately carved 1880s Brunswick Bar, which is still in use, was carried to safety across the street to the plaza by patrons.

In order to rebuild, the owner Bob Brow formed a partnership with Ben M. Belcher and Barney Smith, owners of the former Cabinet Saloon, also destroyed in the fire.

By 1901, The Palace Hotel and Bar, complete with Chinese restaurant and barber shop was back in business.  Today's Palace owners have done extensive remodeling to restore the Palace to its grandeur of 1901.  Although still a frontier saloon, the addition of dining makes The Palace the gathering place it once was.

St Michael Hotel

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Inscription. The cornerstone of historic "Whiskey Row", the Hotel St. Michael, represents the coming of age of Prescott's hostelries. Constructed on the site of the modest Hotel Burke, which burned in 1900, the new three-story hotel was designed by D. W. Millard in the Second Renaissance Revival style. Built of brick and stone, it is decorated with stone faces or "gargoyles", which allegedly represent crude images of local politicians. Opened June 1, 1901, the hotel offered "gracious accommodations" and the most advanced amenities of the era. Significantly, the hotel has hosted many distinguished visitors, including President Theodore Roosevelt, John L. Sullivan, Jake Kilrain, Tom Mix, Zane Grey, Senator Barry Goldwater. The hotel St. Michael is an excellent example of early twentieth century western style accommodations in Prescott and today presents a reminder of Prescott's colorful historic past.

And that large Building in the Center????

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Hey…  think I’ve skipped the biggest part of this?  Like our beautiful Courthouse?  Sitting in what the locals lovingly call: The Square.  Except for you Eastern folks, which would then call it The Plaza.  Which it was in fact called when this all started.

The Plaza was created in 1864 when the Prescott Original Townsite was surveyed and mapped by Robert Groom, who followed the typical 19th Century concepts of town planning. Laying out the townsite in a grid, Groom set aside two city blocks for government purposes - the Plaza and the Capitol Block. They were connected by Liberty Street, now Union Street. As the Territorial Capital and the seat of Yavapai County government, Prescott was an important town (although few would agree that it qualified as a town) in a vast wilderness. Yavapai County alone initially included 65,000 square miles of land, most of it inaccessible and inhabited by hostile peoples who were not welcoming to the new settlers.

Originally, the Plaza was a vacant piece of land with Ponderosa pine trees. Soon, however, the trees had been cut down for building materials and sheep were grazing on the tall grass. Wells were drilled on the four corners of the Plaza and fencing soon followed, although the tall grass was still present when the new pink brick courthouse was completed in 1878. As the center of the small community of Prescott, it became a popular gathering place, as it is today.

The first Prescott Courthouse was located in the 100 block of North Cortez Street. The first structure, other than small storage buildings and shacks, to be constructed on the Plaza was the 1878 Courthouse. It was followed by the construction of a chapel, bandstand, water tank and a decorative fountain. Trees, grass and a cactus garden were planted, gravel paths were laid out and a fence was erected. This layout for the bandstand, fountain and the walkways still exists today. Today, the Plaza is surrounded by a park-like setting of grass and trees, which in turn is ringed by commercial businesses and government offices on the four streets facing the Plaza.

For the story of our THREE court houses… click here.

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 Still working my around around the Square.

However there is one very important local that may not be sitting ON the Square - but has been a very important part of Prescott history since 1911.  Check it out.

But wait… another ‘local not on the Square’ has surfaced.  I am finding his photography staggeringly beautiful.  Please check some of the ‘local reenactors’ on this page - you may recognize a few.  And stay tuned for some incredible news from this page…

It seems I just can’t stop finding incredible people in this area!  If you have read any of my articles, some of the very best are written by Drew Desmond.  You didn’t think I was writing all these myself did you!?!?!  He has a fabulous blog that is worth spending a lot of time on, especially if you love Prescott/Arizona history.

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You can also follow him on Facebook

It also appears we have a lot of great writers that are local… just check out the Arcadia Publishing books… folks like Melissa Ruffner, Parker Anderson & Marshall Trimble.  Check out this review by Drew Desmond on Parker Anderson’s newest book… plus a look at some other books I think you’d like. (just click on the book)

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It has been a long time since Watson Lake has been full enough to have run off!  Beautiful picture Theresa Rose!!

Treerose photography on Facebook

                                                                     © Michelle Young 2012