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Flagstaff City

Flagstaff City Hall is located at 211 West Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff, AZ 86001; phone: 928-774-5281.

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, Flagstaff, AZ, 1904, National Register

Photo: Riordan Mansion State Historic Park, Flagstaff, AZ. The 13,000 sq. ft. "duplex" mansion was built in 1904 by brothers Timothy and Michael Riordan who married sisters, Caroline and Elizabeth Metz. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. Photographed by User:Lockley (own work), 2010, [cc-by-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons, accessed October, 2013.

Flagstaff as described in 1940 [1]

Flagstaff is on the high Cococino Plateau. Southward are the gorges and canyons of Oak Creek, rimmed with painted mesas. Eastward extend painted deserts. Mars Hill, a low mesa running north to south, is a green backdrop on the west, and on the northwest Mount Elden (elevation 9,280 ft.), dark green and oval-shaped, rises above the town. Northwest of Mount Elden the blue dome of the sky is pierced by the San Francisco Peaks, consisting of Humphreys Peak (elevation 12,611 ft.), Agassiz Peak (elevation 12,300 ft.), and Fremont Peak (elevation 11,940 ft.). The Hopi Indian name for the San Francisco Peaks is translated as "High Place of the Snows;" they were said to be "so high that when the sun shines on one side, the moon shines on the other."

Flagstaff, with its Indian, white, Mexican and Negro population, is a town of traditional, ethnic and occupational contrasts exemplified by the cowboy's spurred boots, the lumberjack's hobnailed shoes, and the Indian's moccasins, worn on the streets. In summer the days are warm, the nights are cool, and a pungent pine scent drifts in from the surrounding woods.

One and two story business houses of red Coconino sandstone line Santa Fe Avenue (Route 66), running east and west, and San Francisco Street, running north and south. The whir of the lumber mills at the western end of Santa Fe Avenue and at Mogollon Avenue and Clark Street, can be heard downtown. Small buckboards and wagons drawn by scrubby Indian ponies rattle into town from the Navajo reservation 43 miles away and rattle out again loaded with flour, cloth, potatoes and shiny tin dishes. Dudes gather in restaurants and feed nickels into slot machines. Papooses peep from cradleboards on their mothers' backs as vividly dressed Navajo and Hopi women sell pottery and blankets, silver and baskets along the curbs.

Mexican and Negro mill workers live across the tracks between South Beaver Street on the west, Grant Avenue on the south, and Verde Avenue on the east. Little Mexico is approximately twenty square blocks of unpainted and unadorned one to four room frame dwellings, Mexican stores, restaurants and pool halls. The Mexicans cling to their own customs and foods, and the older women still wear rebozos, or shawls, over their heads. Northeast of Little Mexico is a section of small, unpainted, smoke-blackened frame houses, occupied by Negroes brought from Louisiana to work in the lumber industry.

North of the business section is the Flagstaff residential area with neat frame, sandstone and brick houses surrounded by well-kept lawns and shaded by towering pines.

  1. Workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Projects Administration in the State of Arizona, Arizona: A State Guide, American Guide Series, 1940, copyright The Arizona State Teachers College at Flagstaff, Hastings House Publishers, New York.
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