Prescott has always been one of my favorite Arizona towns. Nature around it is beautiful. The city itself has retained a lot of its Old World character. And in the town square, Prescott’s rich history is written in concrete and stone, Literally. Along with interesting illustrations. You can actually walk through the Prescott history on its sidewalks. Thanks to the local artists who recorded it in concrete and stone.
Did you know, for example, that this Central Arizona city with the current population of only 40,000 used to be Arizona’s capital? Yep. And not just once. Twice. Both times in the 19th century.
In 1864, Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the Arizona capital in 1889. Which it has been ever since.
I did not have all this history on my mind, of course, when I decided to drive from Sedona back to Scottsdale via Jerome and Prescott. My first stop was actually a Starbucks store. But then, the geomancy of the place started to bring back memories.
At one stage, for example, I even considered moving to Prescott from Phoenix, and almost bought a property on the slopes of Granite Mountain. Elevation 5,800 ft. Brrr… in the wintertime. So I passed up on that idea.
I also used to drive on Sundays from Phoenix to watch summertime horse races at Yavapai Downs, a nice track between Mingus Mtn and the city of Prescott with great views of the mountains I had just crossed (on Oct 20).
But my oldest Prescott memory goes back about 30 years. My two daughters were about 7 and 5 at the time. It was a hot summertime day. So I bought them ice cream at that store in the left shot. As we were crossing the main street (above right), my elder daughter (the one who just ran in the Berlin marathon), promptly dropped her ice cream on the hot pavement. It melted away into a gooey liquid in seconds. I can still remember the look of shock and disappointment on her face as she looked down in horror at what she had done. She stopped the traffic in the process. 🙂
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the ice cream store was still in business on this Sunday afternoon. So I took the above pictures and sent them to my daughters.
What took my breath away this time, however, were the fall colors of the trees in and around the town square. I wish I were an artist. I would have set up an easel and started painting in a heartbeat. Instead, I took pictures. Lots of them. Many are composites as the trees were huge and I was right under them.
So with that as a preamble, enjoy the rest of the artist haven called Prescott…
THE END OF THE SEDONA-JEROME-PRESCOTT TRAVELOGUE – Oct 19-20, 2013