Flagstaff History: California condors were released from pens atop Vermilion cliffs | Local

SUSANNAH CARNEY and BRUCE CARL ERTMANN Special to the Daily Sun

100 years ago

1922: The saddest tragedy Flagstaff has had in years occurred early Tuesday morning when Mrs. Hulda Van Zee and her 29-month-old baby boy were burned to death in a fire that totally destroyed their Flagstaff home, and another son, Gilmore, aged 14, was so severely burned that he died at the hospital early the next morning. Four other children had very narrow escapes from death. And woven in the story of the tragedy, making it the more pathetic, is the self-sacrificing heroism of two of the boys of the family, Gilmore, whose death resulted from his splendid bravery in trying to rescue his mother and baby brother, and Alan, 12 years old, who with rare presence of mind, saved his little sister. These boys awakened from a sound sleep to face an imminent and horrible death, gave first thought to others in the little family. The fire broke out shortly before 6:00 o’clock Tuesday morning. A malfunctioning flue is believed to have started the fire.

A man or woman may have all the good intentions in the world toward the hometown, but when he sends his money out of town for something he can buy at home or have a home merchant order for him, he is remiss in civic duty. It is seldom that anyone ever saves enough money ordering from mail order houses to repay him for his trouble. And when it is considered that every dollar sent away goes to enrich some other community at the expense of his own in Flagstaff, the net result negatively impacts the local economy. If during the past five years all the money sent away to mail order houses had been spent in Flagstaff at home this would be a much busier and more prosperous town than it is.

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75 years ago

1947: Anyone missing a revolver? The Coconino Sheriff’s Office has one that reportedly came from a car in Flagstaff, but no claimants have appeared, and no one has reported one as missing, the Sheriff’s Office said Thursday morning. The revolver was in the possession of Walter Hughes and Joseph Deanna, both 20 years old, when they were picked up last week for investigation. Later they reported they had taken the gun from a car in Flagstaff, the same night that they were charged with taking a government pickup truck from a local motel. The truck theft charge resulted in sentences of from 18 months to two years for both men.

The Apache Indian devil dance, one of the most thrilling, spectacular and weird of all Native American Indian ceremonials, will be presented during the Southwest all Indian powwow celebration here. The powwow celebration runs from July 4th to July 6th. The Apache, members of what once was the fiercest of the fighting Indian tribes, have notified the powwow committee that they will be on hand to perform their weird dance each evening during the celebration as part of the daily ceremonial program. More than 600 Indian dancers, representing tribes all over the Southwest, are signing contracts for appearances during the celebration. Dances that will likely be on the evening programs include the Laguna Sunflower dance, the Arapahoe Squat dance, the San Juan Dog dance and several more.

50 years ago

1972: An arrest for driving while under the influence of alcohol early today led a Flagstaff City policeman to a stolen truck and to a second arrest on charges of grand theft. The two sets of charges were filed against Dean Benelli, who was arrested at 1:22 am today by Flagstaff police. Police say that a red and white pickup truck sped east in Flagstaff and when the police got the vehicle stopped, Benelli proved to be the driver. The young man was taken to the police station for a state-required breathalyzer test, through which he registered a reading of .17. The owner of the stolen truck turned out to be a local automobile supply company and the manager told the police the truck had been left in the firm’s parking lot with a key under the floor mat.

An 18-year-old Flagstaff youth has been arrested on felony charges of possession of marijuana after a Flagstaff police officer reportedly saw him staggering along E. Santa Fe Ave. Sunday afternoon. Patrolman Newell Lewis said he filed the charges against Andre Cordero of Flagstaff after a search of the suspect revealed not only a water pipe, but a baggie of what appeared to be marijuana in his pocket. Lewis said Cordero resisted arrest and had to be forcibly handcuffed. The youth is being held in city jail.

25 years ago

1997: Four more of north America’s largest flying birds are now roaming Arizona skies. At 7 am Wednesday, four California condors were released from pens atop the Vermilion cliffs, raising the number of rare birds in the wild in Arizona to nine. The condors hopped out of their pen not far from the north rim of the Grand Canyon, looked around, stretched out their 9-foot wingspans and then took to the air for their maiden flights. The flights were not long, however. The birds have been in captivity for a long time. Their flights have been really short, and they have all been below the rim. The four birds, and five that have not been released yet, were transported to cages atop the 1,000-foot-high cliffs on April 28.

The holiday spirit comes to Flagstaff in May. There are few needs more basic than the need to have a roof over your head. For many, though, that roof is badly made, leaky, or just plain not affordable. It is one of the more obvious problems in Flagstaff, with its high rents and low-paying jobs. That’s why programs like Christmas in April are so valuable. About 170 volunteers this weekend will hammer, saw, paint and otherwise help to fix up six houses around Flagstaff as part of the program, held in May since Aprils in Flagstaff are so unpredictable. Volunteers will also add showers to the interfaith homeless shelter. Several contractors and local businesses are also contributing money and muscle to the project. The community group’s mission is to fix up homes around town and relies entirely on donations and volunteers.

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Brittany Arriola carries an Arizona-shaped container with weights adding up to 245 total pounds last Saturday afternoon during the Husafell event at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff.

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Will Snider lifts a weighted beer keg over a rail last Saturday afternoon at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff. The kegs are lined up for competitors to lift, gaining in weight as you move down the line ranging from 155 to 260 pounds.

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

A crowd gathers to watch the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff Saturday afternoon.

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Taylor Bush picks up a 245-pound Husafell in preparation to carry it during the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff Saturday afternoon.

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Cory Eddy holds up a 20-pound weight during the stein-hold competition at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff last Saturday afternoon.

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Shea Tinder holds up a 20-pound weight during the stein-hold competition at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff Saturday afternoon.



Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Brittany Arriola carries an Arizona-shaped container with weights adding up to 245 total pounds last Saturday afternoon during the Husafell event at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff.



Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Will Snider lifts a weighted beer keg over a rail last Saturday afternoon at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff. The kegs are lined up for competitors to lift, gaining in weight as you move down the line ranging from 155 to 260 pounds.



Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

A crowd gathers to watch the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff Saturday afternoon.



Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Taylor Bush picks up a 245-pound Husafell in preparation to carry it during the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff Saturday afternoon.



Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Cory Eddy holds up a 20-pound weight during the stein-hold competition at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff last Saturday afternoon.



Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing

Shea Tinder holds up a 20-pound weight during the stein-hold competition at the Strong (Wo)Man Competition at Mother Road Brewing in downtown Flagstaff Saturday afternoon.

All events were taken from issues of the Arizona Daily Sun and its predecessors, the Coconino Weekly Sun and the Coconino Sun.

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