Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona, just for fun. Advertising-free, supported by my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Walking to Central School in the 1890s, Phoenix, Arizona


'G morning, Darlene! May I carry your books?

In this story, we're a couple of young people walking to the Central School, which was at Central and Monroe. It's the 1890s.

What a beautiful day! So fresh and clean after the rain! Yes, it's muddy. I wonder if they'll ever pave these streets like the big towns I've heard about back east? My grandpappy says that they're fine just the way they are, but he's old, and he doesn't like any of the new things.

Me? Sure! I like the new things, I even use "electricity". No kidding, I've even used a telephone. No, we don't have those in our house, but I have a friend who lives on Millionaire's Row, just a few blocks away, whose house has both. Indoor bathtub, too! Really!

Of course the old folks don't trust the electricity, or the telephone. My friend tells me that his aunt always goes around making sure that lightbulbs are always in the fixtures, to be sure that the electricity doesn't leak out all over the place, which she figures would be dangerous, and cost a lot, too. She always leaves the receiver hanging off the telephone during a thunderstorm - I'm not exactly sure why she does that. I'm sure she has her reasons.

Here we are at school. Can I tell you a secret? Promise not to tell anyone? Thank you! I like you, Darlene, and I like this school. I like being here, and I hope to grow old here in Phoenix, and maybe someday see all of the houses with electricity, and telephones, and maybe horseless carriages everywhere, too.

Here's your books. I'll see you after class!

Image at the top of this post: Central School in 1896, northwest corner of Central and Monroe, Phoenix, Arizona.

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