Monday, June 16, 2008

Kiwanians Build 5,940 Feet Of Trail To Top Of Telegraph Pass In Phoenix Mountain Park - 4/15/1925

“AZR”, Phoenix, Tuesday Morning, April 15, 1925

Kiwanians Build 5,940 Feet Of Trail To Top Of Telegraph Pass In Phoenix Mountain Park

NEW PARK MADE ACCESSIBLE BY CIVIC WORKERS

Rome wasn’t built in a day-but there wasn’t any Kiwanis club in Caesar’s time and building was considerably slower.

Yesterday the members of the Phoenix Kiwanis club gave a practical demonstration of what cooperative action can do when scientifically applied. Three score and 10 members of the local club left Phoenix about 8:30 o’clock in the morning, motored to the base of the new Phoenix Mountain park, took off their coats and went to work. At 2 p. m. the Kiwanians had completed a trail to the top of the mountains right into “Telegraph Pass,” a distance of 5,940 feet.

Kiwanis Trail affords access to the summit of the new mountain park which has been isolated as a recreation spot for valley citizens due to the rough, treacherous climb through canyons and over rocks and cactus. Now the mile and 220 yards of trail can be climbed on foot or on horseback, the trail being sufficiently wide and solid enough for horse travel.

When the Kiwanians reached the base of the mountains they were given instructions by Jim Dobbins who was appointed superintendent by the club. City Manager Hitchcock and Henry Chambers were made “straw-bosses” and the Kiwanians were divided into three groups. Dobbins taking charge of one group while Chambers and Hitchcock took charge of one crew each. The trail was divided into two sections with Chambers’ gang taking the top section from 3,100 feet up. Dobbins’ crew started at the bottom and worked toward the top while Hitchcock’s gang worked from 3,100 feet down. At 12:20 Henry Chambers and his crew had completed the top section of the trail, while two sections of 200 feet and 400 feet each remained to be completed on the lower part.

The Hitchcock and Dobbins’ crew answered the dinner bell at 12 o’clock and on returning to the foot of the mountains they were treated to an elaborate spread prepared by Chefs Guy Alsap, “Harp” O’Malley, Joe Melczer, and Earl Brewster. Everything from olives to Budweiser was provided for the trail builders. After lunch the Kiwanians rested for three quarters of an hour and returning to the uncompleted sections of the trail finished the job at exactly 2 o’clock.

The trail reaches the topmost point of “Telegraph Pass,” which is the high point of the old trail used by the Pony Express in carrying mail from Maricopa to Fort Whipple in the pioneer days of Arizona.

Chambers’ crew on completing their work to “Telegraph Pass” turned northeast, and built a trail to the top of Kiwanis Peak where a beautiful view of the Gila River valley and the Salt River valley greets the eye.

Paul Beutke of the Union Auto Transportation company was chairman of the transportation committee and provided Union Auto busses to carry the laborers to their work. Henry Chambers provided the tool car for the picks, shovels, rakes and bars. Earl Brewster and a large Union Oil truck transported the “eats” and the chefs to the base of the mountain for the big spread.

Shortly after noon the A. L. Moore and Sons ambulance made a hurry call to the base station bringing all the physician members of the Kiwanis club. They also partook of the appetizing luncheon prepared by the luncheon committee and after enjoying the “feed” cleared a large parking space where persons desiring to climb the mountains can park their cars.

The presence of mind of Roy Murray saved many bruised fingers and many callouses-Roy reached the base of operations early and provided each workman with a pair of leather-faced canvas gloves. Some Kiwanians wore out their first pair of gloves, but others were available. Joe Melczer had ice-cold Budweiser for the boys and on their return from the trail-blazing he stood ready with chilled beverage for the thirsty.

Guy Alsap had a new one for the occasion. Individual bricks of ice cream in dainty paper cartons, each brick moulded with a “chicken” of lemon ice cream in the center. Cigars and cigarettes followed the lunch and 70 Kiwanians made merry despite the fact that they had labored in the hot sun swinging picks and shovels for nearly four hours.

The trail averages two feet in width and was cut through rocky country and in some instances boulders weighing nearly a ton were pried out of the way. A good firm foundation is given the trail by decomposed granite which the Kiwanians shoveled from the side of the mountain. Cactus and underbrush were cut away and rock walls built to make the trail as short as possible. The work was well done under the supervision of Jim Dobbins and his “straw bosses” and will be a lasting monument to the energy of the Phoenix Kiwanis club. Signs have already been ordered by the club and will be placed along the highway south of town, to guide those who wish to take advantage of the only accessible road to the top of Phoenix Mountain park.

Many Kiwanians will be suffering from sunburnt faces, calloused hands and aching muscles today, but they worked with a determination and feel that they have accomplished something. The enjoyment of working, a picnic lunch and a trail to one of the beauty spots of the valley repaid them for their work.

President Art Esgate of the Phoenix Kiwanis club, in direct charge of all activities, praised the club members for their willingness to get in and hustle and he himself swung a 12-pound sledge hammer and helped shovel dirt on Kiwanis Trail. No Kiwanian slacked in his work, each man swinging sledge and pick, shovel or what-not.

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