This aerial view of the early town of Page captures a time long since past. This has to be 1957-58 or possibly early 59. I love how the paved road into town just stops and dirt takes over. The USBR warehouse is the rectangle building near the center of the picture. It’s still there today. The trailer court is the development across from it. The trailer court streets were named with letters.
We lived at the airport (right behind the hanger) and the street nearest us was P Street. I’m assuming the names started at A Street at the other end of the court, but my memory is fuzzy at that point. The buildings just below the trailer court near the present day corner of Aero and Cathedral (across from present day Fred’s Liquor and the old Warner’s Nursery) comprised a chunk of the business district. Firestone, Page Jewelers, and a locksmith shop were there. I have a picture I’ll be posting of it soon.
The group of buildings near the other corner of the trailer court (close to present day Lake Powell BLVD) included Babbitt’s and First National Bank. This picture may have been taken before those businesses occupied those buildings, but if so, they eventually found a temporary home there. I have a picture of those buildings I’ll be posting as well.
Just above those buildings is the MCS apartments. There are only a couple of streets there in this picture, so construction was still progressing.
On the right side of the picture, you can see some houses along N. Navajo Drive, Gum, Elm, and Fir Streets. There may have been a few houses built or being built along the north end of Date Street too. I don’t know if that’s the hospital on Vista and N. Navajo. I’m not sure when that was built. If any of you old-timers want to add anything by way of comments, please do.
Here’s an incredible shot of the Glen Canyon Dam construction site. The picture is undated, but it has to be pre-1960 or 1960 at the latest. This was probably taken just about the time we moved there, or a little before. This is looking downstream. The ropes (for those who are familiar with those) are just around the curve in the canyon. Page is to the left side of the canyon on Manson Mesa and the present day visitor’s center is on the right. The original visitor’s center was eventually built (“built” isn’t the right word – the original visitor’s center was a pre-fab building that was later moved into town and placed near the football field as the LARC center. I don’t remember now what that acronym stood for) on the left side of the bridge in this picture and there was a short road down to a lookout point. That road and the lookout point are still there, but chained off so no one can enter.
This is a sweet picture that captures a moment long since past, not to mention under water.
Check this out! Early construction shot of the dam site. The beehive is clearly visible near the center of the picture. The dark mesa on the left side of the picture near the top is the Page town site. There’s nothing there yet to speak of, but that’s either smoke or dust in the top left corner. It looks like there’s some building going on, but I’m not sure what it was. If you have any info you can add to this pic, please leave me a comment below.
Here’s something really cool. If you look close at the canyon in this picture, just this side of where the dam is to be built, you can see a tiny line across the canyon. I’m pretty sure that’s the footbridge I mentioned in a previous post HERE.
I received an email this week from someone who’s husband had started working there in February 1957, almost a year before this photo was taken in November, 1957. In December 1957, their whole family moved here. When we moved there in 59-60, their son and I quickly became best friends. I’m thankful we’re back in touch after all these years.
This is a rare color photo of Page taken in 1958-59 near the beginning of the construction of Glen Canyon Dam and bridge. You can see the airport in the distance (where yours truly lived, starting in 1960). The large rectangle area just this side of the airport is the Merritt-Chapman & Scott (MCS) trailer court. I had a paper route in that trailer court and there were some mean dogs in there that liked to chase paper boys on bikes. The buildings in the upper right of the photo are the MCS apartments on 8th an 9th avenue. It looks like they were still under construction since there’s only two rows of them.
The three buildings at the bottom of the picture were the Butler buildings that housed the Page schools until the permanent school was finished in 1959-60. The small buildings to the right of the Butler buildings were the old transit homes. These were all painted a hot pink and were initially there to provide housing for the construction workers.
The large rectangle building near the center of the picture is the US Bureau of Reclamation warehouse and is still there today. One of the first high school graduations took place inside that building in 1959. I have a picture that I’ll be posting of it soon. I’m not sure what the three white structures are in the top left of the picture, but the horse corrals and drive-in theatre were eventually built near that spot. I remember watching movies like Ben-Hur, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Greatest Story Ever Told (among others, but I don’t want to bore you) at that theatre. The drive-in was tore down quite some time ago.
The permanent school buildings are no doubt under construction at the time of this picture, but are off to the right and not shown. This is a good shot of Date Street and First and Second Avenue, which sat empty like that for years.
For an interesting comparison, compare this picture with the earlier one that I posted HERE.
Here’s a couple of pics of the upper foot bridge that spanned the canyon prior to the completion of the real bridge. I apologize that they are so blurry. These are stills that I pulled from a video that I have of my parents and a couple of their friends walking across this bad boy. It was originally shot in 8mm, transferred to VHS and then to a DVD. It’s a real short video but I hope to get it posted here before long. This foot bridge was pre-1960 and in place until some time after Glen Canyon Bridge was completed.
There was (and is) a story floating around that someone drove a VW Beetle over this bridge. If you’re reading this and you can confirm or deny that story, please do. Does anyone remember this foot bridge? I wish I could find more pictures of it. I you have any that you would like to see here, contact me.
I hope to get the video in the right format to post soon. Thanks for your interest in my site.
These two pictures show the approximate location of the two climbers (the spot marked XX). The spot marked with the B is the beehive rock formation located by the present day visitor’s center. This is the present site of Glen Canyon Dam and bridge. Both of these photos were imbedded in a Word document that someone (Brian Keisling?) sent to me a number of years ago and the document was ascribed to Greg Woodard. I don’t know who took the actual photos. These are dated 1955.
The picture below provides a good look at the river at the future site of Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge. The spot marked XX is the approximate location of the two climbers in my previous post. This shot also provides a good look at the beehive mountain (I hesitate calling it a mountain, but I can’t think of a better word). You can see the beehive cave plainly visible on the left of the picture. I probably climbed up to that cave dozens of times growing up there.
These guys were gutsy! They’re getting ready to scale the canyon wall at the site of Glen Canyon Dam before there was a dam. They’re standing near the location of the present day Visitor’s Center. The “MM” in the background is a reference to Manson Mesa, the cite of the future town of Page. I like that one guy is wearing a straw hat. I’m guessing the guy in the hard hat did most of the climbing, if not all of it. This photo was dated 1955 and was part of a Word document someone sent me several years ago.
This is one of my favorite pictures. It’s not dated but I think it’s 1956-57. This view shows the original dirt airstrip that cuts through what is now part of North Navajo drive, First Avenue, Date Street, Elm Street, etc. You can see a couple of airplanes parked at the end of the runway. The Butler Buildings weren’t there yet (they were the early school buildings located on the curve of Navajo drive near the bottom of this picture). Construction was starting for the transit homes along South Navajo Drive and the MCS trailer court in the distance. This is an amazing picture.
I thought it was a good idea to give my first post this title. For many years there was a small wooden sign near the north exit to Page on US 89 that read “Add a Page to Your Trip”. It was eventually replaced by the one below but I think today, neither is there. That wooden sign was the inspiration behind the name of this blog site.
The earliest pictures I have of Page back to about 1955. I don’t have that many, but I’m hoping the number will grow as more people find this site. I’m always looking for more pictures. If you have some that you can send me, please contact me using the Contact Me tab above. If they are actual photographs (not digital) I will pay postage both ways, scan them, and get them right back to you. I’ll give you full credit for any pictures you send to me.