Wednesday, May 27, 2009

City Commission Approves Plan For Municipal Park In Salt River Mountains

"AZR", April 6, 1924

Commission Plans Purchase of 14,000 Acres To Create Pleasure Resort For Phoenix

Phoenix will have a public mountain park if the plans launched by the city planning commission and approved by the city commission Friday afternoon are carried out. More than 14,000 acres of land, consisting of the Salt River Mountain range south of the city is to be acquired by purchase from the United States government and converted into a pleasure resort for the people of Phoenix, according to announcement yesterday by members of the city planning commission who have been co-operating in this movement.

The announcement follows several months of negotiation on the part of the city planning commission and prompt action on the part of the city commission as soon as the proposition was called to its attention. The city commission passed a resolution Friday afternoon requesting the United States government to withdraw the land from entry, and pledging itself to purchase 14,000 acres of land in the Salt River mountains at $1.25 per acre for the purpose of converting it into a public park.

A telegram was received at the local land office yesterday from the Secretary of the Interior Work in which the local officials were instructed to withdraw the lands involved from entry until such time as Congress may be able to take action on the question. Senators Ashurst and Cameron and Congressman Hayden have all pledged their support to such a measure, according to J. C. Dobbins, chairman of the city planning commission, and there is little doubt but that the lands will be withdrawn.

Scenic Route

Prompt action on the part of the city commission, according to Mr. Dobbins eliminated a lot of delay and will make the park a reality in a comparatively short time.

The mountains contain many canyons, trails of historic interest, hieroglyphic rocks and the topography is such that a scenic drive can be built from one end of the range to the other. Persons who are familiar with this stretch of country declare that this drive will be one of the most beautiful in Arizona.

Just at the southern end of Central avenue in the mountains is a high valley which is admirably adapted to the construction of a 36-hole golf course which may be developed into one of the finest in the country, according to Mr. Dobbins, who says that he and other members of the commission who have been working on the plans have thoroughly familiarized themselves with the topography of the region and know its possibilities.

There is a fine spring of water in this valley which when developed will furnish an ample supply of water for the development of the golf course. Other development plans are being worked out by the committee in charge consisting of W. G. Hartranft, H. L. Aller, Harry Asbury, Mrs. Louie Gage Dennett and Warren McArthur, who are working with the mountain park committee, consisting of J. C. Dobbins, Mrs. John Hampton and H. B. Wilkinson.

The committees have already had maps prepared showing the route of the proposed ridge road, which would extend for almost the full length of the range. Trails leading into the ridge road will be developed, bringing the highest points within easy access to the city of Phoenix.

Stables are also to be built in order that persons may be able to motor out from the city and secure mounts for the exploration of the more mountainous districts which are inaccessible by automobile. Members of the committee say an abundance of fresh water may be developed.

The entire cost of the project will be approximately $18,000, according to members of the city planning commission, who have made the estimate. In placing their proposition before the city commission the members declared that the entire cost of the project may be absorbed within two years at an increased levy of two cents per $100 valuation.


Steve - AZ said...

OK Richard, where's that spring of water?? Is it Pima Canyon, or at the Ghost Ranch down on the far southwest side? Or is it at the SMEEC (not really joking - weren't some of the Indian farming sites located somewhere east of today's Holbert Trailhead?). See the 1934 master plan map for the "Maricopa Spring Trail."

JFK said...

this is great information! I have been longing for some history on my local stomping and riding ground. Any history on the helipad?