© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

RowofCars

On Saturday, October 9 the Prescott High Country Rod Run took over three of the streets (Cortez, Montezuma and Goodwin) surrounding the Courthouse Plaza in Prescott Arizona. This event drew over two hundred street rods of all descriptions. It was sponsored by the Arizona Street Rod Association.

Sweet57Chev

Here is a close-up of the sweet 1957 Chevy in the opening photo – does this bring back any memories?

Some of the rods at the show

Red1 OrangeRod

RedConvert1 YumaCountySheriff1

These caught my eye

MotorBikeToGo SmallBuHealthy

Fancy paint

FancyPaint1 FlamePaint2

RowofCars3 FancyPaint2

Fallfest in the Park Arts & Crafts Show

Concurrent with the Prescott High Country Rod Run, the Prescott Chamber of Commerce was sponsoring another Arts & Crafts show on the Courthouse Plaza. I think we have way too many arts and crafts shows and I see many of the same vendors at each so I have stopped going. I suspect many people feel as I do.

FairOnTheSquare1

I went through part of this show because I was taking pictures at the car show for this article. Lucky for my wife Liz as I purchased a nice Navaho turquoise necklace as a belated anniversary gift (don’t tell her).

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

AMA Pro Motorcycle Racing

AMA Pro Motorcycle flat track racing returns to Yavapai Downs on October 9th. See the AMA website for tickets and schedule at http://www.amaproracing.com/ft/events/event.cfm?eid=2010021086

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

This annual event was held in the parking lot of Frontier Village courtesy of the main sponsor, Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe. Leading restaurants provided taste samples of their cuisine and all proceeds benefited the Yavapai Food Bank. In addition to food, there was a beer garden, a wine bar from Jazzy’s, Starbucks coffee, soda pop and entertainment. There were very large crowds at this event and it could have filled up another large tent. I had a double order of the Pan Seared Salmon with Béarnaise Sauce from the Black Canyon Grille and it was great!Copyright 2010 by Jack D. Wilson.

Taste of Prescott Video

http://player.vimeo.com/video/15382950

2010 Taste of Prescott Arizona – Sept. 25, 2010 from Jack Wilson on Vimeo.

Photo & Video credits

All photographs and videos by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

Hard to believe, but the temperatures have started to drop and we will soon be transitioning into Fall. But before that happens Prescott Arizona has a roundhouse schedule of events on September 24/25/26 to keep everyone entertained. Pack your bags and book your room, this is one weekend you should spend in Prescott!

Entertainment all weekend

The weekend starting on Friday September 24 will have multiple events occurring across Prescott. There is always lots to do in Prescott, but this weekend will be truly spectacular. Come on up early and get a round or two of golf in at one of the top-rated municipal golf courses in Arizona, Antelope Hills.

Thumb Butte Festival

The entertainment starts on Friday, September 24 with the Thumb Butte Festival. Here is a description from their web site:

“Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza
5:00 – 10:00 pm
At 5pm the "Spotlight Kids" perform acts from Alice In Wonderland" followed by a fashion show by the Elks Opera Guild, "An Evening at the Opera House." Guild members model gowns and eveningwear from 1905 to 1940.
Other performers on the evening’s bill are Jonathan Best, known for his "equal parts gospel tenor, boogie-woogie piano and avant-garde sound collage"; songwriter, singer and storyteller Rita Cantu; flamenco music and dance group Rio Flamenco; classical vocalist Lecia Breen; Arizona Cowboy Poets Gathering; several surprise guests including a special appearance by professional performers emulating Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe!”

To see the complete schedule, go to their website: Thumb Butte Festival

“My Way – A musical tribute to Frank Sinatra” at Elks Opera House

My-Way1-300x207

ABT named BEST PLAYHOUSE in the Valley of the Sun by Phoenix Magazine – Don’t miss MY WAY 9/24-25 at the Elks Opera House. Info at Elks Opera House.

Tickets on sale now! Click here to buy tickets

Western heritage Days

PrescottWesternHeritageDaysLogo

The 1st Annual Western Heritage Days kicks off on Saturday, September 25. This will the largest re-enactment round-up ever in Arizona and it will be on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott. It starts at 9:00AM on Whiskey Row in Downtown Prescott and runs until 5:00PM. It concludes with a Cowboy chuck wagon breakfast Sunday morning at 9:30AM at Sharlot Hall Museum. Tickets are $12.00 for the breakfast and are available at the Sharlot Hall Museum and the Prescott Convention and Visitors Bureau (corner or Cortez and Gurley).

See their website for full details and schedules: Prescott Western Heritage Days

PrescottWesternHeritageDaysWeb

Taste of Prescott

Taste of Prescott occurs on Saturday, September 25 from Noon-4:00PM. It is held in a large tent in the parking lot of the Frontier Village Shopping Center at 1841 E Hwy 69. Sample some of the best cuisine (and thirst quenchers) from many of the great restaurants in the quad-city area. The event will also feature beer and wine tasting. Tickets for the Taste are $1.00 each, 6 for $5.00 or 12 for $10.00. Food items are one tickets with beer and wine 3 tickets. Benefits Yavapai Food Bank.

I highly recommend this event. You spend a few bucks that benefits a very worthy cause and you get a chance to sample some of the best food in Prescott. They also will have music by Pam and Dave Swanstrom and this really is an event I look forward to each year. If you can, bring a couple of cans of food to donate to the Yavapai Food Bank – it these tough times they need a little extra help.

Toni Tennille Sings Big Band

Prescott resident Toni Tennille performs in concert at 7:30PM on Saturday September 25. This event is sold out so if you do not have tickets already you will be disappointed. See Toni Tennille’s News Gazette.

Antiques on the Square

AntqOnTheSQ2

The fall edition of Antiques on the Square will be held from 9:00AM-5:00PM on Sunday September 26 on the downtown Courthouse Plaza. This show is sponsored by the Thumb Butte Questers and features real antiques and collectibles – this is not a crafts show.

A Prescott tradition, "Antiques on the Square," has been a premier Arizona antique destination for over 22 years. It is an antique and collectibles show with 50+ dealers. Info: 928.899.6438

More information at Antiques on the Square

This show features antiques and collectibles and no craft items are allowed in the show. Several local dealers only sell at this show and there will be dealers from Tucson and Phoenix. Dealers will feature antique advertising signs, vintage clothing, antique jewelry, furniture, Victorian dresser mirrors and stereopticons, lighting fixtures, folk art, art glass and antique books. In addition to the show there are several antique shops and antique malls on Cortez Street (Antique Row).

Raw Spirits Festival – Sept 24 – 26, 2010

The Raw Spirit Festival International is being held at the spectacular Watson Lake Park in Prescott, Arizona’s gorgeous Granite Dells. See the Raw Spirits web site for full details.

Other activities

In case all of the above is not enough to keep you busy over the weekend, here are some additional options to include in your planning (click on the links to see them):

Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums

Insider Guide to Trails in Prescott Arizona

Antique Capital of Arizona

Of course after you sample all of the above, you may realize that Prescott is unique in may ways and come to the conclusion that many have (including me):

All Agree – Prescott Arizona – retirement haven

Photo credits

The Western Heritage Days illustrations are courtesy of that organization. All other photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this article helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson 
Gazebo on Courthouse Plaza in Prescott Arizona, photo by Jack D. Wilson
Gazebo on Courthouse Plaza, photo by Jack D. Wilson

Well, the votes for Prescott Arizona as a top retirement destination continue to pile up, the latest is from the prestigious Money Magazine’s 25 Best Places to Retire. Prescott Arizona came in at number four on this top retirement list.

Prescott has been scoring high as a retirement destination since another Money Magazine article identified it as a prime retirement spot in the 1990’s. That article was the start of a migration of retirees from across the country to Prescott Arizona.

The accolades since the initial Money Magazine pick of Prescott as a top retirement destination in the 1990’s continued to pile up – that list is really lengthy, so let us just look as the last one before the current Money Magazine pick. That would be Best Boomer Towns – Prescott: Best 21 U.S. Places for Retirement.

Lifelong Learning Program at Yavapai College

ABC 15 News picked up on the Money Magazine designation of Prescott Arizona as a top retirement destination. They interviewed Dennis Garvey, Director, Lifelong Learning at Yavapai College and here is a link to the story on the ABC 15 News website: Which AZ town ranks highest for retirees? or click on the video below:

 

So if you are looking for a retirement destination, you may want to consider Prescott. You could repeat my story as I started coming to Prescott in 1995 while still working for a major corporation in Chicago. I moved here in 2000 and then flunked retirement in November 2007 when I was elected mayor.

We have something for almost everyone in Prescott with our mild four-seasons climate. There are a number of other articles on this blog that provide insights into why Prescott is such a great destination, so come visit for a day or two or three or a lifetime!

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback

If you found this guide helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson

Mile Hile Trail System Image

Prescott Arizona is an outdoor adventurers paradise, an ideal location for hiking and mountain biking. This guide focuses on the many trails in Prescott. However, kayaking, rock climbing, camping and fishing opportunities abound. Many believe that Prescott is the best place to mountain bike in the entire country.

Prescott is a pleasant two-hour drive 100 miles north of Phoenix. Our mile-high elevation means we are typically 15-20 cooler than Phoenix. Prescott is surrounded by the worlds largest Ponderosa Pine forest. The US Forest Service has over 450 miles of trails in the forest around Prescott!

Prescott is working on completing the 50-mile Circle Trail. We have trails to satisfy users at any level, while being a "cool " place to hang out in the evenings with the opportunity to take  rest days and visit the museums/ theater, go kayaking on the lakes, play golf, rodeo, or even pan for gold!

A Mountain Biker’s Perspective

To give you a flavor of the exceptional trails in Prescott Arizona, here is a link to a blog post from the blog Diary of Scott Morris, sharing a mountain bikers perspective on some challenging riding on new trails in the picturesque Granite Dells area of Prescott: Play hard, get hurt. Also see Scott’s follow-up article Prescott Monster Redemption and Scott’s precursor to these two, Strategy in Prescott. With those blog posts as an introduction, I think that most would agree that Prescott Arizona is truly a mountain bikers paradise!

Whiskey Off Road Endurance Race

This is the premier mountain biking event in Prescott, check out the video:

2010 Whiskey Off Road Endurance Mountain Bike Event from Epic Rides, Inc. on Vimeo.

The 8th annual Whiskey Off Road will be held on April 30, 2011. Registration opens on January 1, 2011 (see sponsor Epic Rides website The Whiskey Off-Road). Event activities are scheduled for April 29-May 1, 2011, with the actual race on April 30, 2011. The race will have a guaranteed cash purse of $20,000 split equally between men and women racers.

Besides the race there will be a bandshell with entertainment.

Here is the opening song from last years lead entertainer, Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers (video by Jack D. Wilson):

Trails in Prescott

City of Prescott Office of Tourism Trails Page

City of Prescott trails page has a comprehensive listing of city trails. These range from the easy, such as the Peavine trail (on a former Santa Fe railroad bed) to extremely difficult Willow Dells Slickrock Trail Loops See the Vimeo video Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott. Are you an advanced mountain bike rider and want a technical challenge?

Mountain Biking in Prescott

 

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott

Riding the Firebird Prototype in Prescott from Ken Bennett on Vimeo.

Prescott Area trail maps by Derek Brownlee at Sharlot Hall Museum. Derek was on my Prescott Bicycle Advisory Committee when I was mayor and he has the reputation of having ridden every trail in the area.

Bradshaw Ranger District Trails from US Forest Service.

Peavine Trail Video

Ron Smith’s Book

Description and cover picture from Amazon.com:

RonSmithBook

Product Description

The author presents his personal trail journals for mountain hikes in the Central Highland region of Arizona. Trail descriptions include maps, trail specifications, elevation profiles, and Latitude/Longitude coordinates as convenience to GPS users. This is a guide for hikers, horseback riders, and bicyclists. Most trips can be completed in one day and average six to 12 miles in length.

About the Author

Ron Smith is semi-retired, after a 30-year career as wildlife biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. This career has taken him throughout Arizona’s diverse biological regions. His skills as keen observer, writer, and back country traveler have helped to make this guide more than just a technical reference. It also reflects a long cultivated sensitivity to the value of wild places and the need to protect them for ourselves and those who follow us. ”

Bike and Hiking shops in Prescott

Shop/Click for website Address/Phone Comments
Ironclad Bicycles 710 White Spar Rd, Prescott, AZ 86302
(928) 776-1755
Bicycle sales, rentals and repairs. facebook.com/ironcladbicycles
Bikesmith Cycle & Fitness 723 N Montezuma St
Prescott, AZ
86301-2001
(928) 445-0280
Oldest bike shop in Prescott.
High Gear Bicycles 505 E Sheldon St
Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 445-0636
 
Hike Shack 210 S Montezuma St, Prescott, AZ 86303 (928) 443-8565 M-F 10a-6p, Sat 9a-6p, Sun 10a-4p Outfitters for Day Hikers, Backpackers, Climbers, Urban Walkers, Trail Runners, Trekkers, Boaters, Hunters, and Adventure Travelers.
Granite Mountain Outfitters (no website) 320 W Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301
(928) 776-4949
Mon-Thu 9am-5:30pm, Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9:30am-4pm, Sun 12am-12am

Biking organizations in Prescott

Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance (PMBA)

Website: www.prescottmtb.com

See the Facebook page for Prescott Mountain Biking – 195 members when I checked or their website at prescottmtb.com.

Prescott Cycling Club: http://www.prescottcycling.org/index.html

Trail and Hiking organizations in Prescott

Yavapai Trails Association

Yavapai Trails Association is dedicated to protecting, preserving, and developing recreational, non-motorized trails.  They are an all-volunteer group that represents the interests of hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. They publish a quarterly newsletter, Trail Tracks, which you can view on their web site.

Yavapai Trails Association
P.O. Box 403
Prescott, AZ 86302
Call Membership Chair
Jim Pessin at (928) 771-2707
or go to: www.yavapai-trails.org

Prescott Outings Club

The Prescott Outings Club was founded in 1975 and sponsors three hikes each week from September through May. See their website for details.

Prescott Hiking Club

The Prescott Hiking Club is a Prescott-based hiking club. See their website for details on the club, how to join, contacts, etc.

TrekAbout Hiking Club

Treks around the Prescott area are held year-round. The club meets every Tuesday from 8 to 9 a.m. and Thursday from 8 to 10 a.m. during the summer months and vary in length and difficulty. Walks are graded on a scale of 1-4 (with 4 being the most difficult). Hikes are lead by staff and volunteers from the Prescott Recreation Department, YMCA, and Yavapai County Health Department. For information call Prescott Parks and Recreation Dept. at 777-1122 or the YMCA at 445-7221. Membership is $12 a year and includes 2 weekly guided hikes and monthly calendar. Hiking boots required, carry water, dogs must be on a leash. Click for PDF application.

Adventure Travel Providers

Perhaps you would like an expert guide to take you on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Vendor (click for website) Comments
Rubicon logo Rubicon specializes in adventure travel. Matt Brown is the owner and lead guide. From their web site
“Our year round guided tours in the mile high city now include Guided Mountain Biking and Guided Dayhikes. If you are looking for a relaxing weekend away our Self Guided Camping in Granite Basin Recreation Area is an easy way to get out and have some fun. Combine any or all of the tours above with a Guided Rock Climbing day and you will surely have a weekend to remember.”
GO! Adventure Recreation Dave provides guided mountain bike rides and guided hiking among other services.

Rest days attractions

Need something to do on a rest day? Prescott has several interesting museums, details at Spotlight on Prescott Arizona Museums. There are lots of interesting shops downtown, including antique shops, details on these at Antique Capital of Arizona.

Accommodations in Prescott

There are lots of hotel, motels and bed and breakfast establishments in Prescott. I have listed a few that are outstanding. The first two were statewide winners in their categories is the Arizona Republic’s Best Hotel reader poll.

Prescott Motor Lodge, 503 S. Montezuma St., Prescott, AZ 86303 928-717-0157. See Arizona Republic story Best Arizona Bargain Hotel. Some say this might be the coolest budget hotel in Arizona. In addition to their website they have a blog and a Facebook page.

Hassayampa Inn, 122 E. Gurley, Prescott, AZ  86301 – See Arizona Republic story Hassayampa Inn, Prescott: Best historic hotel. The Peacock Dining room has great food and I have eaten there many times.

Residence Inn Prescott, 3599 Lee Circle Prescott, Arizona 86301 USA 928-775-2232. The Residence Inn is right across from the Prescott Gateway Mall. If you are partial to Four Seasons, you will like the Residence Inn. It is the best business destination in Prescott.

Do you like Bed and Breakfast accommodations? Then click on over to the  Prescott Bed and Breakfast Association.

Food and Drink

DinnerBellCafe You will not be disappointed with breakfast at the Dinner Bell. It is located at 321 W. Gurley, (928) 445-9888. Cash only, but an ATM in front. Open until 2:00pm. Favorites include buckwheat waffles with mango and walnuts, cinnamon rolls and Huevos Rancheros. Use the creek side walkway to get to the back room/patio – it is the best place to sit (locals eat back there).

  Best Prescott Pick
Grandmas Bakery in Prescott Arizona Grandma’s Bakery is located at 207 W. Gurley just off Montezuma. It is in the lower level space of the Hotel St. Michael’s. If you like fancy baked deserts such as Napoleons and Éclairs then do not miss this.
Kendalls in Prescott Arizona Kendall‘s is located at 113 S. Cortez and features Fifties music, décor and value. Made to order burgers, fries and an old-fashioned soda fountain.
Raven Cafe in Prescott Arizona The Raven Café is located at 142 N. Cortez (web site at http://www.ravencafe.com/ ). Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 35 beers on taps with 135 beers in bottles. Free wi-fi. Check out the upstairs patio area.  The owners are supporters of biking. They hosted the Ales for Trails benefit on March 24, 2010.

  Best Prescott Pick
The Palace in Prescott Arizona

  Best Prescott Pick
The Palace is located at 120 S. Montezuma on historic Whiskey Row and is a bar and restaurant. If you can’t eat there at least stick your head in to check out the décor. The movie Junior Bonner shot some of its scenes inside and there is a very large Junior Bonner wall mural in the back portion. Their food is not the attraction, it is the old western bar ambiance.Junior Bonner Wall Mural in Palace Saloon in Prescott Arizona 

Photo credits

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson unless otherwise noted. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.

Feedback       

I hope that you found this guide helpful, if you did please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.

2009MayorsRideToWork MayorsPBACLogo

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009. While he was mayor, he participated in two Mayor’s Bicycle Ride to Work on a tandem bicycle with partner Billy Broadfoot and had a Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee. He now writes a couple of blogs and is President of the Prescott Frontier Days Community Service Foundation.

Prescott Western Heritage Days

The Largest Re-enactment Round-Up in Arizona Coming to Prescott

The Prescott Western Heritage Foundation, Inc. ® is kicking off its 1st Annual Prescott Western Heritage Days event on Saturday and Sunday, September 25-26.  This event will celebrate the western heritage of Prescott and Yavapai County between 1864 and 1912.  This year’s event will be hosted by the Regulators and their Shady Ladies, Inc. ®, in conjunction with the Sharlot Hall Museum.  A major attraction will be the largest historical re-enactment group gathering in Arizona.  Prescott Western Heritage Days will be held on Whiskey Row, Sharlot Hall Museum and various nearby venues beginning at 9am on Saturday.  Family activities will include unique photo opportunities, re-enactment skits, period costume contest and fashion show, cowboy, western and old-time music, cowboy poetry and children’s activities all day Saturday.  The event will conclude with a cowboy breakfast and entertainment at Sharlot Hall Museum Sunday morning. A schedule of events and venue locations can be found at www.prescottwesternheritageday.org.

Participating organizations include the Prescott Regulators & their Shady Ladies, Inc., The Prescott Victorian Society, Inc., The Prescott Buscaderos, The Rough Riders, The Buffalo Soldiers, Bill Williams Mountain Men and Sharlot Hall Museum.

Western culture and heritage has deep roots in Prescott, as Arizona’s 1st Territorial Capitol and home to the famous and infamous Whiskey Row.  Amateur and professional artists, photographers, videographers, media and tourists will have a one of a kind opportunity to photograph dozens of re-enactment groups in period clothing in and around the historic Courthouse.  Group photo opportunities with staged backdrops will be made available.

Admission to the event is free. Tickets for  breakfast are $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 and can be purchased at Prescott Convention and Visitors Bureau.   All net proceeds for Prescott Western Heritage Days to benefit Sharlot Hall Museum and Prescott’s Christmas Lighting. For more information, please visit www.prescottwesternheritageday.org.

On Sunday, June 26 “Antiques on the Square” will take place on Courthouse Square from 9:00a.m – 5:00p.m. Information at ShowUp.com at

http://bit.ly/aE9h3t

Prescott Western Heritage Days Poster

© 2010 by Jack D. Wilson            

In 1864, Prescott Arizona became the territorial capital of Arizona. Today it remains an Arizona capital for antique and collectible hunters. Prescott is a pleasant 2 hours drive 100 miles north of Phoenix. It enjoys a mile high elevation and is normally 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix.             

It retains its small town ambiance with its central grass-covered and Elm shaded Courthouse Square. World famous Whiskey Row is on one side of the square. The original incarnation of Whiskey Row in a territorial gold mining town was a block long stretch of over 40 saloons in a one-block area on the ground floor with houses of ill repute occupying the second floor of most establishments. Luckily, it gained its name from the saloons rather than Prescott’s soiled doves or ladies of the night.             

The majority of antique shops and malls are on North Cortez Street, which is another street along the square running parallel to Whiskey Row. It is a half block walk from Courthouse Square. Sorry, but you will not find a mega antique mall in Prescott with several hundred dealers and rows of locked glass cases. This is antique hunting like it used to be. If your idea of great antique hunting is to get up close to some real antiques and collectibles then you will find Prescott to be an enjoyable experience.             

You can find a variety of antiques and collectibles in Prescott and which shop or mall you like best depends on what you collect and whether they happen to have what you are looking for when you are there. I have collected antiques for over 40 years and I have been going to Prescott antique establishments since 1995. I appreciate high-quality antiques in several categories and have designation several shops and malls in the following listing with the Prescott Rocks! “Best of Prescott Picks” designation:             

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

Besides the individual shops and malls, Prescott hosts antique shows, the next is: Antiques on the Square, on the downtown Courthouse Square, Sunday, September 26, 9am – 5pm – Free admission.            

Scenes from Antiques on the Square

Pleasant scene

Pleasant scene

 

Crowd at the show

Crowd at the show

 

Take me home

Take me home

 

Shopping

Shopping

 

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

In terms of full disclosure, my wife is the show manager.  Fifty plus dealers feature real antiques (no crafts). Held on the downtown Courthouse with its grass lawns under the shade of stately Elm trees. Call Liz at 928-899-6438 for details or view the ShowUp.com listing at http://bit.ly/aE9h3t. This show is held in June and September and it draws antique enthusiasts from out-of-town (buses typically travel from Las Vegas and Sun City to attend this show).  For people moving to Prescott with an interest in antiques, there are three Quester groups. These are antique study groups. Thumb Butte Questers sponsor Antiques on the Square and will have a booth at the show where you can get information on the Questers.          

Insider’s Guide to Prescott Antiques from A to Z

Have you thought about visiting Prescott for a day of Antiquing? Do you need a guide to the antique and collectible shops in Prescott? Maybe something a little better than the typical extraction from the Yellow Pages listings where you find some of the shops closed when you get there.      

Here is an Insider’s Guide to single owner shops and malls from a collector that lives in Prescott and who frequents these establishments. I have tried to focus on shops and malls that feature antiques and collectibles. Hence, I have not listed thrift stores, second-hand furniture stores, etc. I have also included information about places to eat or quench your thirst along the way.           

A          

Off The Square Antiques

Off The Square Antiques

 

Tin Toys in the window

Tin Toys in the window

 

Antiques off the Square and Lost in Sports, 145 N. Cortez, 928-778-1040. Web site www.lostinsports.com Open 7 days a week.           

Arizona Territory Antiques

Arizona Territory Antiques

 

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

          

Arizona Territory Antiques, 211 West Aubrey ST. This is a single owner shop with loads of quality small antiques. I always like to be tempted when I am shopping for antiques and this is a shop that will tempt most collectors. For example, the last time I was there a case of iridescent art glass including Tiffany Favrile and Steuben Aurene that caught my eye, including a very large Steuben Aurene vase. I also saw an Orange Julep syrup dispenser, lots or art glass, etc. Herb and Lila Cook are the owners. In Prescott for 28 years, they also conduct estate sales. 928-445-4656 Open Wed-Sat 10-4         

Avalon Antiques

Avalon Antiques

 

Avalon Antiques, 140 ½ N Cortez, 928-778-0481 Unique and fun antiques and collectibles. Great prices, Very eclectic. Open daily 10-5.      

 B      

Battermans Auction and Gallery in Prescott Arizona

Battermans Auction and Gallery

 

Batterman’s Auction, LLC, 400 W Gurley, 928-445-6787 In addition to being a full service auction company, they have a gallery and gunroom, open Mon-Sat 9-5:30, Sunday by chance. Web site www.battermans.com          

Bayberry's Antique Dolls in Prescott Arizona

Bayberry's Antique Dolls

 

Some of Bayberry's dolls in Prescott Arizona

Bayberry's Dolls

 

    

 
Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

Bayberry’s Antique Dolls,   

442 S Montezuma St Suite A, (928) 445-8559. Open 11-4 Wed-Sat or by appointment. Proprietor is Diane D. Vigne, email is dianesdolls@hotmail.com, contact 928-308-3644 Diane has over 25 years experience buying & selling dolls! This shop specializes in dolls and doll repairs but also carries some interesting antique smalls. Web site: http://www.bayberrysantiquedolls.com/        

Bunkhouse Trading Co. in Prescott Arizona

Bunkhouse Trading Co.

 

Bunkhouse Trading Co., 135 N. Cortez, 928-848-2948 Old and new here, both antiques and crafts. Antiques are in the rear of the store.          

C          

Crowded Attic Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Crowded Attic Antiques

 

Selection of antique phones at Crowed Attic Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Selection of antique phones

 

Crowded Attic, 131 N. Cortez, 928-443-7517 Ladies vintage clothing, car memorabilia & 1/18th scale model airplanes. Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4      

Cross Creek Antiques sign in Prescott Arizona

Cross Creek Antiques

 

Cut glass lamp at Cross Creek Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Cut glass lamp

 

Reverse painted lamp at Cross Creek Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Reverse painted lamp

 

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

Cross Creek Antiques, LLC, 1125 W Gurley, 928-776-0035 or 928-776-7220. Specializing in art glass, porcelain, Arts & Crafts Era pottery, prints, furniture, mirror, etc. Circa 1830-1970. Hours: Fri-Mon 10-5:30, closed Tues & wed Thursday by chance or appointment 928-776-7220. The owner is Ed Leware who is a member of one of the three Prescott Quester chapters and can answer your questions about Questers.          

D          

Deja Vu Antiques Sidewalk Sign in Prescott Arizona

Deja Vu Sidewalk Sign

 

Déjà Vu Antique Mall, 134 N. Cortez, 928-445-6732. The owners are Diana/Linda.          

E          

End Of Trail Antiques in Prescott Arizona

End Of Trail Antiques

 

End of Trail Antiques, 107 E. Gurley, 928-771-2759. Proprietor is Jim Bethe. Open Wed-Sunday 2:00-6:00pm.         

G          

Gypsy Street Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Gypsy Street Antiques

 

Gypsy Street Antiques, 133 N. Cortez, 928-445-3176 A caravan of antique vintage and retro furniture, jewelry, pottery, books, old Christmas and salvage. Open 7 days a week.           

K          

Keystone Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Keystone Antiques

 

    

 
Keystone Antiques Interior in Prescott Arizona

Keystone Interior

 

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

Keystone Antiques, 127 N. Cortez St. 928-445-1757. A multi-dealer mall that mall features high quality antiques and collectibles.   

M   

Merchandise Mart Antique Mall in Prescott Arizona

Merchandise Mart Antique Mall

 

Merchandise Mart Antique Mall is located toward the North end of the row at 205 N Cortez (just past Murphy’s Restaurant), and features 15,000-sq. ft. of antiques and collectibles. It is the largest antique mall in Prescott and has 95 dealers. The owners are Jeanne & Jim Antonius. 928-776-1728 Web site prescottantiquestores.com Mon-Sat 10-5 Sunday 11-4  Email: merchmart@cableone.net 

Mid-Century Madness antiques in Prescott Arizona

Mid-Century Madness

 

Mid-Century-Madness, 140 N. Cortez, 928-778-0481.  Mid-Century and Danish modern furniture, textiles, art, lighting and accessories. Open daily 10-5.          

O   

Ogg's Hogan in Prescott Arizona

Ogg's Hogan

 

Burris Silver Saddle at Ogg's Hogan in Prescott Arizona

Burris Silver Saddle on right

 

     

Navajo Jewelry at Ogg's Hogan in Prescott Arizona

Navajo Jewelry

 

     

 
Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

Ogg’s Hogan, 111 N. Cortez, 928-443-9856.  The owner is Jeff Ogg. Do you like old southwest authentic Native American jewelry? You will love this place. Open 7 days a week. “Best of Prescott Pick” for their old Native American jewelry.               

P           

Pennington's Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Pennington's Antiques

 

Pennington’s Antiques, 117 N. Cortez, 928-445-3748.  A 7,000-sq. ft. antique mall. This is a large multi-dealer mall and it has an eclectic assortment of antique and collectibles.  The owner is Belinda Trumbo. You might find a bargain here as I have in my antique pursuits.          

R     

Red Lamp Antiques in Prescott Arizona

Red Lamp Antiques Best Prescott Pick

 

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

    

    

   

Red Lamp Antiques, 121 N. Cortez, 928-445-7899. Glassware, furniture, primitives, silver plate, sterling, napkin rings, pickle castors, R. S. Prussia – 58 years in antique business. Open every day.      

Food and drink

   

 

Grandmas Bakery in Prescott Arizona

Grandmas Bakery

 

Grandma’s Bakery is located at 207 W. Gurley just off Montezuma. It is in the lower level space of the Hotel St. Michael’s. If you like fancy baked deserts such as Napoleons and Éclairs then do not miss this.
 

Kendalls in Prescott Arizona

Kendalls

 

Kendall‘s is located at 113 S. Cortez and features Fifties music, décor and value. Made to order burgers, fries and an old-fashioned soda fountain.
 

Closet Cafe in Prescott Arizona

Closet Cafe

 

The Closet Café is inside the Downtown Prescott Inn at 129 N. Cortez. Breakfast starts at $2.50 and lunch starts at $5.00.
 

Raven Cafe in Prescott Arizona

Raven Cafe

 

 
 
 
Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

The Raven Café is located at 142 N. Cortez (web site at http://www.ravencafe.com/ ). Breakfast, lunch and dinner, 35 beers on taps with 135 beers in bottles. Free wi-fi. Check out the upstairs patio area.   

The Palace in Prescott Arizona

The Palace

 

 

Best Prescott Pick

Best Prescott Pick

 

The Palace is located at 120 S. Montezuma on historic Whiskey Row and is a bar and restaurant. If you can’t eat there at least stick your head in to check out the décor. The movie Junior Bonner shot some of its scenes inside and there is a very large Junior Bonner wall mural in the back portion.  

Additional Information

Here is a link to the history of Whiskey Row in Prescott Arizona. It also contains links to many of the businesses on the row Whiskey Row History Prescott Arizona.           

Photo credits   

All photographs by Jack D. Wilson. Unauthorized use prohibited without prior permission.   

Feedback           

If you found this guide helpful, please leave a comment or forward to a friend. If I missed something that you found along the way, leave a comment and I will try to update the information.           

Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass 1926-1980           

Jack D. Wilson first visited Prescott in 1995 and has been a resident since 2000. He has collected antiques for over 40 years selling a landmark collection of Millersburg Carnival Glass in 1982. He is the author of “Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass 1926-1980” and was an advisor for both Phoenix and Consolidated glass categories in Schroeder’s Antique Price Guide for over ten years. He is a founder of the Phoenix & Consolidated Glass Collectors Club – visit their Facebook page: Phoenix & Consolidated Art Glass He also collects Muncie Pottery. He took a sojourn into politics and was the mayor of Prescott Arizona from Nov. 2007 – Nov. 2009.    

Prescott Arizona continues to receive recognition as a top retirement destination. Money Magazine started the trend with their article spotlighting Prescott in the 1990’s. It has continued unabated since then. The latest article is in Best 21 U.S. Places for Retirement in the Best Boomer Towns blog. Take a look at the article to see why people from all over the United States choose to retire in Prescott Arizona.

Mike Vax on trumpet

Mike Vax on trumpet

 

 The 10th Annual Prescott Jazz Summit will heat up Prescott on August 27-29 at multiple venues. This year’s theme is A Tribute to the Great BIG BANDS.   

Ballroom dancing added!   

The Prescott Jazz Summit is always eagerly awaited by jazz aficionados, but this year something new has been added – dancing! On Friday evening and Saturday afternoon there will be live music in multiple locations with ballroom dancing at Hotel St. Michael’s historic hardwood floor ballroom. Here is your chance to enjoy some great live music plus dancing!     

Friday August 27, 2010 – 7:30 – 10:30pm – $25.00   Three simultaneous concerts – one ticket is good at all concerts:    

  • Hassayampa Inn’s Arizona Ballroom (nightclub style)
  • Hassayampa Inn’s Marina Ballroom (nightclub style)
  • Dancing at Hotel St. Michael’s historic hardwood floor ballroom

Saturday August 28, 2010 – 1:00 – 4:00pm – $20.00     

  • Concert at the Hassayampa Inn’s Arizona ballroom
  • Dancing at Hotel St. Michael’s historic hardwood floor ballroom
      (one ticket is good for both)

Online information and tickets at http://www.prescottjazz.com/ Or call (928) 771-1268 for information. Tickets can also be purchased at the Hassayampa Inn (122 E. Gurley) or at the Prescott Chamber of Commerce (117 W. Goodwin ST).

I monitor a number of blogs focused on tourism promotion and came across a really interesting post on Joanne Steele’s blog, RuralTourismMarketing.com. It asks the question Can The Arts Save Your Small Town?  I thought this was an interesting question because of the strength of Prescott’s arts community with such things as the 4th Friday Arts Walk, Elks Opera House Restoration and the new TIS Gallery.

Joanne starts “The topic of our monthly Revitalization Team meeting was to be art as an economic development tool. Who should appear at my info table at our small town summer festival but an expert in art towns!”

To see her very interesting post in it entirety, go to Can The Arts Save Your Small Town?

© 2010 Parker Anderson and Jack D. Wilson   

Elks Opera House restored interior - 7-16-2010 - photo by Jack D. Wilson

Elks Opera House restored interior - 7-16-2010 - photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Elks Opera House – reaching the twin pinnacles

This is the seventh and final installment in this series about the Elks Opera House in Prescott Arizona. The series opened with a capsule history of the founding of Prescott in 1864. The previous installment covered the restoration the Elks Opera House has undergone. It now has reached twin pinnacles, representing the best of the past and the best of the present. The best of the past is the opulent and painstaking restoration it underwent. The best of the present are the hidden innards that allow for productions of any kind. That brings us to a point of commencement on this journey of the Elks Opera House. When it was all over the Elks Opera House Foundation raised over two-million dollars in support of the restoration. The outpouring of public support speaks volumes about the importance of the Elks in this community.   

Point of commencement

It is somewhat bittersweet to reach the final installment in this series, so I would like to suggest this is not the end of our journey, but a new beginning. I used the term “point of commencement” to describe where the Elks is today. It is at the beginning of a new journey. The Elks building is a condominium with two pieces. The Elks Opera House, which is owned by the City of Prescott and the remainder of the building, owned by a law firm. The City of Prescott would like to get out of the theater management business. The law firm that owns the rest of the building would like to sell their interest. In my opinion, the ideal situation for the Elks Opera House Foundation is to own and manage the entire building, because then it would be financially viable and sustainable.   

A call to action

Now that the restoration of the Elks Opera House is complete, it is time to finish the rest of the journey. The Elks Opera House Foundation needs to raise the funds to buy the portion of the Elks building owned by the law firm. The foundation has been raising funds for years and some of the board members could use some help. Prescott has been a retirement destination since the 1990’s Money Magazine article brought it to prominence. If you retired here and have played golf for a couple of years and your inner heart tells you “there is more for you to do,” you may be a good candidate to help the foundation.   

Previous articles in this series

This series of articles covered the history of the Elks Opera House, which has been renovated and restored at a cost exceeding $2-million. The renovated Elks Opera House is spectacular and represents a unique piece of Americana. Published posts in the series include:   

Elks Opera House – A comprehensive history of one of Prescott’s gems   

Early History of the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House   

Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House 1910-1942   

Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – Later History 1943-1980   

Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – Turmoil 1981-1999   

Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – Resurrection and preservation 2000-2008   

Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House – Restoration par excellence (2009-2010)   

If you have fond memories of the Elks, we encourage you to share those via a comment. Also, please let your friends know about this series of articles about a true gem in Prescott Arizona.   

Parker Anderson is the official Historian of the Elks Opera House. He spent thousands of hours compiling all known bookings in the first 100 years of the Opera House.   

Jack Wilson is the former Mayor of Prescott Arizona. He has had a long interest in history having founded two neighborhood historic societies in Chicago. He was instrumental in providing the funds that allowed “Bill the Elk” to return from Prescott Valley to his rightful perch atop the Elks Opera House. As president of the Thumb Butte Questers, he coordinated the fund-raising match with Prescott Quester chapters for the Arizona Heritage Fund grant that was used to restore the inner or second lobby.

© 2010 Parker Anderson and Jack D. Wilson  

The prior installment covered the period of “Resurrection and preservation,” 2000-2008. This was when the City of Prescott purchased the Elks Opera House (as a condominium portion of the Elks building) and the Elks Opera House Foundation was organized by a group of Prescott citizens in late 2002 as a non-profit, tax-exempt Arizona corporation. The initial steps at restoring the Elks Opera House occurred; the restoration of the outer and inner lobbies and the return of “Bill the Elk” to his perch atop the Elks Opera House. These seminal efforts were important forbearers of the much larger and comprehensive restoration effort covered in this installment.  

Before and after the restoration

Before the restoration

2006 Elks Opera House Interior before restoration

2006 Elks Opera House Interior before restoration

 

Shown above is a photograph of the Elks Opera House before restoration, circa 2006. Note the “accordion folds” to stage left and stage right covering where the Opera boxes used to be. The years of “modernization” had not been kind to this grand old lady. However, better days were coming with a restoration of the Elks Opera House. This was a major restoration involving almost every aspect of the theater and it could not be done on a piecemeal basis. It required that the Elks Opera House be shut down for the duration of the restoration project, what thespians call the “house going dark.”  

After the restoration

Elks Opera House after restoration -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Elks Opera House after restoration -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

I took the picture above on Monday, July 19, 2010. Final cleanup and equipment testing was underway. There had been a problem with the stage grand drape and it was still in New York being modified but the stage grand valance was in place. The eight Opera Boxes look fantastic. Everywhere you look there are little surprises, as the attention to detail during this restoration was outstanding. We will see many examples of that as we proceed to look in detail at the actual restoration.  

House “goes dark”

I was the mayor of Prescott Arizona when the Elks Opera House ‘went dark” on July 1, 2009 to begin a yearlong restoration process; it reopens on July 24, 2010 with a gala celebration featuring selections from the Phoenix Opera. Prodigious fund raising by the Elks Opera House foundation raised more than $1.7 million for this restoration. An early donation of $1-million dollars from the Harold James Family Trust kicked the fund raising into high gear (the trust later added an additional $250,000 donation).  

April 12, 2010 Former Prescott Mayor Jack Wilson and Mic Fenech, City of Prescott Administrative Services Manager, inspecting new Opera Boxes -- photo by Kerry Wilson

 

I was involved with historic preservation and restoration for nearly 20 years and this project exemplifies the painstaking planning and attention to details required for a great restoration. I closely monitored the restoration process and the results are truly breathtaking. The end product will surprise many Prescott residents who have fond memories of the Elks as a movie theater; hence I thought the title “Restoration par excellence” was fitting.  

Restoration highlights

This restoration brings the Elks back to its splendor when it opened in 1905. I have tried to present a sampling of the restoration highlights in this article; however, you cannot fully appreciate what has been accomplished until you actually see it. Please note that the following photos were taken on July 16 and July 19 while final restoration was still in progress.  

Restoring the original marquee

Marquee restored - photo by Jack D. Wilson

Marquee restored -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

When the newer marquee was removed, the original marquee was found underneath – that was a pleasant surprise.  

Removing façade over exterior and restoring ticket booth

Restored ticket booth -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Restored ticket booth -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Here is the restored ticket booth that gives a hint of the restoration inside.  

Exterior surfaces uncovered during restoration -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Exterior surfaces uncovered during restoration -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

When the modern façade was removed, the original exterior façade was discover intact – again, another pleasant surprise.  

New plush carpet in the lobby and stairway to the balcony.

New lobby carpeting -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

New lobby carpeting -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

New carpeting was install throughout the Elks. Here are the lobbies with the stairway to the balcony. This is excellent quality carpet with excellent padding.  

Balcony

Entrance to balcony with drapes -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Entrance to balcony with drapes -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Here we see the balcony entrance through a set of plush drapes. Note the padded top on the front balcony rail.  

Wider shot of the completed balcony -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Wider shot of the completed balcony -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

The balcony was near collapse when the restoration began. Haley Construction shored it up with steel beams.  

Where the balcony boxes stairway used to be -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Where the balcony boxes stairway used to be -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Originally there were stairways to the balcony Opera Boxes. These are long gone, but you can see where they were.  

Restoring Opera Boxes

Four of the eight Opera Boxes -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Four of the eight Opera Boxes -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

An opera house needs opera boxes and now it has them; the eight opera boxes including the Elks head decoration and fancy fringes have been restored. Each set of two boxes will have an attendant at performances allowing you to order refreshments of your choice.  

Getting new seats in the house

Old main floor seats - photo by Jack D. Wilson

Old main floor seats - photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

One of the common complaints about the Elks before this restoration was about the uncomfortable seats. I think people will enjoy the new seats, I tried one and they are quite comfortable.  

New main floor seats - photo by Jack D. Wilson

New main floor seats - photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

New main floor seats - frame detail -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

New main floor seats - frame detail -- photo by Jack D. Wilson


Tin ceiling, stenciling and decorative plasterwork

Arch with tin ceiling, stenciling and decorative plaster -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Arch with tin ceiling, stenciling and decorative plaster -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

This article is called “Restoration par excellence” and I attribute much of that to painstaking planning that proceeded the restoration and an absolute focus on getting the details correct. This is quite evident in the restoration of the beautiful tin ceiling, stenciling and ornamental plasterwork throughout the theater. In this era of planned obsolescence, here we have a celebration the best in handcrafted details. 

Outside face of upper Opera Box -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Outside face of upper Opera Box -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Above to the right is a molded decorative plaster column with gold embellishment next to the Opera Box. On the Opera Box your eye is drawn to the Elks head, which is surrounded by additional decorative plaster with gold embellishment. But look closely at the bottom edge of the Opera Box – there are green tassels running along the edge! 

Column capital with gold embellishment -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

Column capital with gold embellishment -- photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Infrastructure Improvements

Besides the painstaking restoration, attention was paid to ensure equipment and facilities for productions are state of the art.  

  1. New steel beam supports for the balcony which was close to collapse when the restoration began.
  2. Updating the grid work on the stage
  3. Updating the lighting and sound equipment. The sound system upgrade includes a 9” under-floor channel from the alley behind the house to the stage and to a sound control console. That will allow national acts to park a sound trailer in the alley and connect through the channel. Provisions were also made for hanging large speakers in front of the stage for such acts.
  4. Installing a sprinkler system.
  5. Providing state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment to support meetings and conferences. In addition to dual digital projection facilities this includes High Definition TV upload and download and Internet access.
  6. Two flat screen monitors in the lobby, one at the balcony stairs and one at the concession stand, to display announcements and messages.

Thank You to the workers that made this happen

There were over seventy people involved in the 13-month restoration project and it is impossible to name everyone, but here is a big Thank You to the people that labored for over a year to actually do the restoration:  

  • Local architectural firm Otwell Associates Architects (Bill Otwell owner) was responsible for the overall planning with Wayne Sanford as the Project Architect.
  • Local contractor Haley Construction managed the construction, with Project Manager Lee Vega overseeing the day-to-day work.
  • The restoration of the intricate plaster moldings, stenciling work and faux finishes was due to two firms:
  • Evergreene, a nationally known historic preservation firm and
  • Local firm Custom Surface Innovation Inc. (owners Shari Stura and Luis Sanjurjo). The tri-layered vinyl stage backdrops are the work of Custom Surface Innovation Inc. I talked to one of the principal of that firm, Shari Stura, while shooting photographs of the restoration and found out she moved to Prescott from Chicago, as I had.
    • Local firm A&B Signs replicated the replacement light ring from a partial photograph. Prescott native Perry Wieweck is president of A&B Signs.
    • Dawn Castaneda, Elks Opera House Manager
    • Mic Fenech, Administrative Services Manager, City of Prescott 

And we need to thank the Elks Opera House Foundation and the donors that allowed this Prescott gem to be restored to perfection 

Plaque "History Beckons" with major donors acknowledged - photo by Jack D. Wilson

Plaque "History Beckons" with major donors acknowledged - photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

This is the sixth in a series about the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House in Prescott Arizona. We hope that you have enjoyed this comprehensive history of the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House. In the next and final installment, we will cover the future of the Elks Opera House.  

If you have fond memories of the Elks, we encourage you to share those via a comment. Also, please let your friends know about this series of articles about a true gem in Prescott Arizona.  

About the authors  

Parker Anderson is the official Historian of the Elks Opera House. He spent thousands of hours compiling all known bookings in the first 100 years of the Opera House.  

Jack Wilson is the former Mayor of Prescott Arizona. He has had a long interest in history having founded two neighborhood historic societies in Chicago. He was instrumental in providing the funds that returned “Bill the Elk” from Prescott Valley to his rightful perch atop the Elks Opera House. As president of the Thumb Butte Questers, he coordinated the fund raising match with Prescott Quester chapters for the Arizona Heritage Fund grant that was used to restore the inner or second lobby. 

© 2010 Parker Anderson and Jack D. Wilson   

The prior installment covered the period of “Turmoil,” 1981-1999 – a turbulent time which saw many changes and challenges calling into question the very existence of the Elks Opera House. A tipping point was reached when the City of Prescott purchased the Elks Opera House (as a condominium portion of the Elks building) in February 2001 from the Arizona Community Foundation, paying $250,000, in a bid to preserve the historic landmark and ensure its continued use. The Elks Opera House Foundation was organized by a group of Prescott citizens in late 2002 as a non-profit, tax-exempt Arizona corporation. Article 1 of the incorporation document states:   

“The character of the affairs which the corporation initially intends to conduct includes, but is not limited to , fundraising for the benefit of the Elks Opera House and Building, 121 East Gurley Street, Prescott, Arizona; restoration of the Elks Opera House and Building; educating the public regarding performing arts, cultural and economic values; contracting with various entities for rental operation of space within the building; and any other non-profit functions which may benefit the building, the theater space and the foundation.”   

Current foundation board members include: John Olsen, Chairman, Ralph Weiger, Vice-Chairman, Elisabeth Ruffner, Secretary, Arnold Gray, Treasurer, Cathy Church, Maxine Dilliahunty, Marilyn “Dinny” Henze, Gail Mangham, Debra Matthews, Russell J. Parker, Anthony Reynolds, Frank Sente and Paul Wulff.     

“Bill the Elk” – How he got his name

The Elk that sits proudly atop the Elks Opera House has always been called “Bill the Elk.” However, nobody knew why he had that name, but that mystery has been solved. It took two pieces of information to solve that puzzle. The first was discovered during the renovation process in 2010.   

Welcome Bill Cloth Banner

Welcome Bill Cloth Banner - Photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

When this banner was found, the original thought was it was used to welcome the “Elk” statute. But Dawn Castaneda, Manager of the Elks Opera House did some research on the Internet and found out this is the standard greeting for all Elks members. Hence, the Elk statute atop the Opera house is called “Bill the Elk.”   

At the 100th Anniversary Celebration for the Elks Opera House, Elisabeth Ruffner asked me to purchase a new chair for $500-. I told Elisabeth a chair was not of interest, but that I was interested in bringing the original “Bill the Elk” back to Prescott where it belonged from Prescott Valley. I pledged up to $10,000- to help make that happen. 

It took almost two more years, but it did happen. A replacement Elk was purchased for the B.P.O. Elks Lodge 330 in Prescott Valley and “Bill the Elk” was removed and taken to Bronzesmith in Prescott Valley for restoration.   

Oct. 6, 2006 Removing Bill from the Elks Lodge #330 Photo by Jack D. Wilson

Oct. 6, 2006 Removing Bill from the Elks Lodge #330 Photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Ed Reilly, owner of Bronzesmith, inspected “Bill” and found out he had been used for target practice as there were several bullet holes in his copper-skinned body that needed repair. He also needed to add strength to the antlers mounting and to repair water damage to the legs. “Bill” the Elk is not cast bronze as many people suspected, but pressed sheet copper (the same as the Statue of Liberty). Shane Whitcher, a metal finisher with Bronzesmith, repaired fourteen (14) bullet holes in the statue.   

Ed Reilly of Bronzesmith with "Bill" after repairs. Photo by Jack D. Wilson

Ed Reilly of Bronzesmith with "Bill" after repairs. Photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

“Bill” the Elk was returned to his rightful perch atop the Elks Opera House with a festive red scarf and was lit for the first time for the Acker Music Festival on Friday, December 8, 2006. Everyone involved in this effort contributed their services or money.   

Janet Napolitano honored those involved with a 2007 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award for the Return of the 1905 Elk Statue to the Elks Opera House.   

2007 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award

2007 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award - Photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Early Restoration

The Elks Opera House Foundation was instrumental in raising funds for restoration of the outer lobby. The inner lobby was restored with funds from an $40,000- Arizona Heritage grant that was matched by the four Prescott Questers chapters.   

This is the fifth in a series about the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House in Prescott Arizona. In the next installment, we will cover the period of restoration in the period 2009-2010.   

If you have fond memories of the Elks, we encourage you to share those via a comment. Also, please let your friends know about this series of articles about a true gem in Prescott Arizona.   

About the authors   

Parker Anderson is the official Historian of the Elks Opera House. He spent thousands of hours compiling all known bookings in the first 100 years of the Opera House.   

Jack Wilson is the former Mayor of Prescott Arizona. He has had a long interest in history having founded two neighborhood historic societies in Chicago. He was instrumental in providing the funds that allowed “Bill the Elk” to return from Prescott Valley to his rightful perch atop the Elks Opera House.   

by Jack D. Wilson, Foundation President  

2009 Rodeo Grand Entry

2009 Rodeo Grand Entry photo by Jack D. Wilson

 

Prescott Frontier Days® World’s Oldest Rodeo is steeped in history, but lacks a Rodeo Museum to showcase, celebrate and share our 123-year history with the world. We have rodeo artifacts displayed at Smoki Museum today, along with other rodeo artifacts and memorabilia at Sharlot Hall and Phippen Museums. The Prescott Frontier Days® Community Service Foundation believes Prescott should have its own Rodeo Museum and is raising funds for that. We have established a fund-raising target of $500,000.  

Selected Rodeo Museums – Why Not Us?

  • Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Tucson Rodeo Parade Museum
  • Days of ’76 Museum, Deadwood, South Dakota
  • Dublin Rodeo Heritage Museum, Dublin, Texas
  • California Rodeo Heritage Museum, Salinas, CA
  • Grant County Ranch & Rodeo Museum, John Day, OR
  • Sidney Rodeo Museum, Sidney, Iowa
  • Tri-State Rodeo Museum, Madison, Iowa
  • Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, TX

How you can help

The Prescott Frontier Days® Community Service Foundation has started a campaign to raise funds for a rodeo museum in Prescott Arizona. We developed a tri-fold brochure on the foundation and its goals and passed these out at a foundation table at all eight 2010 rodeo performances. This was the first time the foundation had a table at the rodeo – we were there to raise awareness about the foundation and our efforts to raise funds for a rodeo museum.  

After the rodeo is over, foundation members will be developing a brochure specifically aimed at soliciting funds for a rodeo museum. We expect to have that brochure ready by September 2010. That brochure will be used as part of a major effort at fund-raising for a rodeo museum.  

However, if you want to support a rodeo museum you can make a donation now. The Prescott Frontier Days® Community Service Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) IRS qualified non-profit trust. All donations appreciated, whether $5 or $500,000, we can use the help.  

Donations should be made payable to:  

Prescott Frontier Days® Community Service Foundation  

And mailed to  

Prescott Frontier Days® Community Service Foundation
P. O. Box 706
Prescott, AZ 86302-0706

Please include you name and address so that we can properly acknowledge your donation. If you have a question or need additional information, call the foundation president at (928) 445-5137.

© 2010 Parker Anderson and Jack D. Wilson     

Courtesy Chris Baker via stock.xchng 1238327

Courtesy Chris Baker via stock.xchng 1238327

Update note: The power of the Internet and blogs by citizen journalists has proved itself again. After this installment was originally published, emails were received first from Roger Pearsall and then from Ron Swartz, partners and founders of Timberline Productions. They provided additional information about their involvement in the renovation of the Elks, including a 1982 brochure for the Gala Re-Opening that we had not seen before. Roger and Ron rented a building on Union Street owned by Don Head that was directly behind the Elks. That building housed Timberline Production while it was in Prescott. It grew into a nationally recognized corporate events and presentation business based in Phoenix with 150 employees at one time Thank you Roger and Ron for sharing your part in the history of the Elks Opera House.

This installment is called “Turmoil” as the period from 1981-1999 was turbulent and saw many changes and challenges where the very existence of the Elks Opera House was called into question. But, before we get into that period of time, let us flash back to one of the events that was a precursor for the turmoil – the move of “Bill the Elk” to Prescott Valley.

Removal of “Bill the Elk”

“Bill” was removed 1971 and taken to the Elks Club, B.P.O.E. #330 when they moved to their new building in Prescott Valley. He was destined to stay in Prescott Valley for 35 years before his return to Prescott. A future installment will go into detail about the return, restoration and reinstallation of “Bill the Elk” atop the Elks Opera House.

New Management

After the long-time manager Claude Cline retired in 1980, owners Don Head and Phil Toci signed with a group called Timberline Productions to take over management of the Elks Opera House. Timberline continued to run the Elks as a movie theater until very early 1982 (January or February), when Don Head and Phil Toci announced they were going to bring back live entertainment full-time.

In a January 19, 2011 email to Parker Anderson, Ronald Swartz relates the involvement of Timberline Productions with the Elks Opera House:

“My partner, Roger Pearsall, and I had expressed our interest in the theatre as a historic site to owners Don Head and Phil Toci. Don approached us to help them return the theatre to operating condition so that motion pictures could once again be shown. Also, it was Don Head’s longer term desire to bring live professional theatre to Prescott. We agreed to assist with the renovation and the replacement of the motion picture equipment. Bill Otwell (Otwell & Associates) was brought in to oversee the rehab. 

The lobby was reconfigured with a new concession stand and new rear entrance to the auditorium. Restrooms were moved and rebuilt. The projection booth was upgraded, additional power provided for new projectors and film platters. Rigging in the stage house was re-assessed. A new main curtain and projection screen were installed by Curran Productions of Los Angeles (The winch and rigging for the chandelier were also installed at that time). The theatre interior was repainted and the seats reupholstered. House lighting was upgraded with replica period brass fixtures. Upon completion, the theatre was re-opened as the Elks Opera House. Timberline Productions managed the operation of the theatre as a movie theatre for a period of approximately two years. The financing as well as the direction of the renovation was in the hands of the owners, Head & Toci.

In the fall of 1981, Don Head expressed his desire to move to live theatre. The role of Timberline Productions in the Elks Opera House changed to that of technical advisors. Don Head created the Prescott Center for the Performing Arts as a non-profit organization to run the theatre and establish a live theatre season. He hired Gilbert Laurence from Los Angeles to be Managing Director. Laurence hired the Megaw Theatre, Inc. of Northridge CA to stage a season of plays that included Romantic Comedy by Bernard Slade, The Rainmaker by Horton Foote, The Corn is Green by Emlyn Williams and the musical, Company by Stephen Sondheim. These were all first-class productions with scenery, lighting and professional equity-waver casts. The productions were well received by those who saw them but alas, the top ticket price of ten dollars was a little steep for the locals who complained “Why spend 10 bucks to see people we don’t know when we can go to the Fine Arts and for 4 bucks see all of our friends in Music Man and the HS band will perform as well.” Who can counter an argument like that. Other lesser groups were booked with similar results. There were a couple of fine classical concerts that performed in the Elks that fall with one being a performance of the Phoenix Symphony (They raved about the acoustics).

Timberline Productions was not active in the management or booking of the Elks Opera House after the establishment of the Prescott Center for the Performing arts.”

The Prescott Center for the Performing Arts were fine people who had the best of intentions, but they booked top quality professional before they had the money to pay for them–they counted on advance ticket sales to bring in this money, and when the ticket sales did not materialize, disaster hit.  The acts cancelled in droves, and the stewards took to holding rummage sales in a desperate bid to raise money. Acts that did perform included the noted actor Kevin McCarthy playing Harry Truman in a one-man show, GIVE ‘EM HELL, HARRY! Also the Sons of the Pioneers performed. However, many shows cancelled because they were not paid, including Vincent Price who was going to appear live, and did not and a professional tour company of MAN OF LA MANCHA also cancelled.

New Ownership

While this was going on, ownership of the theater changed again.  Don Head and Phil Toci sold the Elks to the Arizona Community Foundation.  Simultaneously, this was when the Elks building was divided into two separate properties, condominium style. The Arizona Community Foundation went looking for new stewards to manage the Elks.  Yavapai College stepped forward and took over management until 1992, when they built their own performance hall.  Then Prescott College managed the Elks until 1999.  In a July 24, 1994 Daily Courier article, reporter Karen Despain commented that:

“Kristi Edwards is the Elks Theater General Manager. She emphasizes the perennial “community theater” orientation of the Elks Theater  …present day productions feature a spectrum of Prescott College Programs, the Cowboy Poets, a dancers’ workshop recital each May, at least one Prescott Fine Arts Association event a year, the Prescottones, an actors workshop and, of course, the Arizona Jamboree musical shows during the summer months, Edwards said.”

During the tenure of both colleges, the Elks Opera House hosted a wide variety of entertainments, both professional and locally produced.

90th Anniversary

On July 24, 1994 Karen Despain was working as a reporter for the Daily Courier and wrote the article “Elks Theatre to celebrate 90th anniversary (Landmark ‘opera house’ is grande dame of Prescott community performances).” The story chronicled an anniversary party planned for February 18, 1995:

“The Soiree will begin with a champagne reception and dinner at the Hassayampa Inn.  Then, celebrants will cross Gurley Street, where they will be treated to a stage play. Dessert and coffee with the cast after the performance will cap this momentous event.”

Courier reporter Lauren Millette on September 22, 1995 wrote “Elks Theater plans beer tasting benefit” which quoted Kristi Edwards, Elks Theater manager stating

“Approximately 50 of America’s finest microbrews and classic beers from all over the world will be served as a way of raising funds to preserve and repair the roughly 100-year old theater.”

On April 30, 1999 Daily Courier reporter Sandy Moss wrote an article “Elks Theater feels its age” that detailed the failing systems, including the boiler and lighting at the Elks.

Prescott College back out

The Daily Courier ran an editorial on December 21, 1999 “Community needs to rally to Elks Theater” Which noted:

“Prescott College, which has managed the historic Elks Theater for the past seven years, has turned backed that responsibility to the owner, the Arizona Community Foundation. The foundation is offering the theater for lease or for sale.”     

As this installment draws to a close, the Elks teetered on the edge of total collapse; however, that changes in our next installment.

This is the fourth in a series about the Prescott Arizona Elks Opera House in Prescott Arizona. In the next installment, we will cover the period of “Resurrection and Preservation” in the period 2000-2008.

If you have fond memories of the Elks, we encourage you to share those via a comment. Also, please let your friends know about this series of articles about a true gem in Prescott Arizona.

About the authors     
Parker Anderson is the official Historian of the Elks Opera House. He spent thousands of hours compiling all known bookings in the first 100 years of the Opera House.     

Jack Wilson is the former Mayor of Prescott Arizona. He has had a long interest in history having founded two neighborhood historic societies in Chicago. He was instrumental in providing the funds that allowed “Bill the Elk” to return from Prescott Valley to his rightful perch atop the Elks Opera House.

Find out what all the buzz is about and experience Prescott AZ. Take a look at this 3-minute video overview: Experience Prescott 2010

If you liked that video, find out about the City of Prescott 4th of July Celebration

Dedicated to all the cowboys and cowgirls living the dream, and a tribute to the World’s Oldest Rodeo in Prescott, AZ. See the YouTube video:

Cowboy Town Prescott AZ

Get your rodeo tickets at World’s Oldest Rodeo

Prescott Frontiers Days, Inc. World's Oldest Rodeo

Prescott Frontiers Days, Inc. World's Oldest Rodeo

 

Have you ever wondered how the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo selects its royalty? Now you can find out at the Miss 2011 Prescott Frontier Days Royalty Pageant. Details:
 
Get your tickets now!  $15 ea
Sunday, June 20th 2010
Horsemanship at 8am in the Rodeo Arena
5pm in the Freeman Building
    Speech/Modeling/Extemporaneous Questions
    Dinner
    LIVE entertainment with Justin Wright
    Silent Auction
Come and have a great time!
Tickets available in the Rodeo Office at 840 Rodeo Drive
 
Come and enjoy a rodeo event that few see.  

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