This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

Watching the Arizona Capitol Building being built in 1899


Let's go time-traveling back to 1899 in Phoenix, Arizona and watch them getting started on the construction of the Territorial Capitol Building.

I spent the night in back of the Golden Eagle Livery Stable at 2nd Street and Washington. Not sure where you were, but I see that you're walking from the direction of Melinda's Alley, so I won't ask.

The trolley line goes all of the way out to the Capitol Grounds, but since neither one of us has a nickel, I guess we'll walk. It's not that hot today. Well, not as hot as it's been lately.

The Capitol Ground have been there for almost ten years now, and it's a good-looking park with trees, people picnicking, that sort of thing. I suppose after the new building is completed, people will still take the trolley out there to picnic.

We've been walking for a while and my darned ankle is starting to hurt already. I wish we could jump on one of those cars! Yeah, I don't even have a penny, I sure can't afford to ride the trolley. Man, it sure is dusty - I wonder if they'll ever pave this road?

There goes the trolley! Moves along pretty fast, must be going over ten miles an hour. Amazing how the electrical wires up there work - modern technology! And I understand that it's the tried-and-true Direct Current, not that crazy Alternating Current. Thomas Edison likes D.C., and I figure that he knows what he's talking about!

Well, here we are. Looks like they're making good progress. No heavy machinery that I can see, maybe we should see if they need some help from a couple of strong backs!

See those guys standing over there smoking cigars? That's Moses Sherman - he owns the trolley line and all of the land around here, and he donated the land for the Capitol. And that's the architect, James Riely Gordon. I understand he came all of the way out here from Texas. Maybe I'll go over there and say howdy!

Architect James Riely Gordon

Moses Sherman

The Arizona State Capitol Building in 2012, celebrating 100 years of Statehood.

The Arizona Territorial Capitol, which became the State Capitol, is now a museum. It was carefully restored in the 1970s, is open to the public, and tours are offered. 17th Avenue and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona.

The Golden Eagle Livery Stable was where the Bank of America Building is nowadays, and Melinda's Alley, which was the "red light district", was between Monroe and Adams.



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