Here’s a 1962 photo of Gunsight Butte before there was a Padre Bay and a Lake Powell. For reference, Gunsight Bay will eventually be on the other side of the Butte and Last Chance Bay is behind the photographer. This view is looking southwest across the future Padre Bay. Click the image to enlarge it in a new window.
This is a great 1965 aerial photo of the Glen Canyon Dam site. It shows the remnants of the construction days and what was still in place from those years. Click on it to enlarge it in a new window. You’ll notice on the right side of the photo that the cableway towers, which were between the Beehive and the canyon wall, are gone and the tracks they rode on have been removed. Construction of the Visitor’s Center hadn’t begun yet.
Moving upstream along the canyon, both spillways are clearly visible, as is the horseshoe-shaped road/parking area where the footbridge once stood. The faint white-dashed line spanning the canyon was the log jam to prevent boaters from getting too close to the dam and spillways. The nighttime trout fishing with the boat tied to the log jam was always good.
The aggregate piles are still there where the conveyor belts once stood. The red line on the photo may have been a proposed route for the road to Wahweap. There are still a few buildings from the construction days and an electric substation near the Beehive. I made a then-and-now post of the Beehive you can see at The Beehive Then and Now.
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.
Hey friends, I’ve posted a new episode on my YouTube page. Then and Now is a side-by-side comparison of a few different locations around the Glen Canyon Dam site and Page Arizona from the 1950s and the present day. This is the first of what will be more Then and Now episodes. You can check out the video at:
You can see more by visiting Mike’s Dam Photo Journal on YouTube.
I’ve been spending a lot of time learning what makes good video and what makes bad video. Since launching my YouTube channel a couple of weeks ago, I think I’ve made some progress in that area. My second episode of Mike’s Dam Photo Journal on YouTube is out. I almost went back and re-recorded it because I found myself a little preoccupied with making sure the recording was working ok, which made me forget to mention a few things I would have otherwise pointed out. But the things I missed on a few of the pictures will get covered later as those same pictures will no doubt get reused along the way. In the meantime, here’s episode 2 of Mike’s Dam Photo Journal.
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Hey friends, I have launched my YouTube channel! Recording, editing, and posting videos is a new experience for me and one that I’m enjoying. I have quite a bit of experience recording, editing, and producing audio but video is a different world altogether.
I posted the movie trailer I made for my YouTube channel in my last post here. Today I want to share my first YouTube episode with you as I take a look back at Page Arizona in the early 1960s. Check it out. Subscribe. Share it.
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! 🙂
I came across this video showing some good footage of the Glen Canyon Dam construction as well as some great shots of early Page Arizona. Some of the narration gets a little cheesy but the footage is amazing. You may even recognize some of the faces. I was surprised to see Chet Huntley narrating it. After the first minute and half to two minutes in, it picks up and gets good. The total length is only 27 minutes.
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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