Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

Sleeping on the roof of the Vendome Hotel in 1908, Phoenix, Arizona


It's 1908 and I'm staying at the Vendome Hotel, which is just west of 3rd Avenue on Washington, in Phoenix, Arizona Territory.

It's summer and it's hot. And I mean real hot. I'm from California and it never gets this hot in Los Angeles. Well, I'll make the best of it, I'm here in town to make some sales of novelty items, and that's what I'll do. Tomorrow I'll start going door-to-door, make some sales! No other salesmen are in town, that's for sure! And the summer rates at the Vendome are low.

1912 ad for the Vendome Hotel, Phoenix, Arizona.

Tonight I'm going to get some rest. And luckily, this hotel has cots up on the roof. I've been talking to the manager of the place, and he assures me that it's the only way to sleep in Phoenix in the summer. When the sun goes down, you go up on the roof, toss a bucket of water on the cot, and drench the sheets and it'll be as cool as if you were sleeping by the ocean. Well, that's what he said.

Well, it's nighttime, and it's still hot. Doesn't it ever cool off in this town? I thought that maybe it would get a little chilly at night, but it's still so hot that if I touch the metal of the cot, it burns my fingers. Wow, if this city is going to grow, they're going to have to invent some sort of technology for this. Maybe they could call it "air conditioning"! Wouldn't that be nice?

Here's the bucket of water. I'll just dump it on the cot, and drench the sheets. Yes, that helps a little bit. I guess I'll just put my spectacles here, close my eyes and get a little rest. I'm tired from my travels, a good eight hours will do me good. I can feel the ocean breeze now.

Well, that didn't last very long! It's only been a few hours and everything is completely dry, and I'm so hot I can't sleep. I wonder where I could get another bucket of water? Maybe I'll try counting some sheep...

Image at the top of this post: the Vendome Hotel in 1908, 3rd Avenue and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona.

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