Verde heritage 1916: Sedona Bridge and News
"On the 18th day of this month, January 1916, Oak Creek reached the highest stage known in 20 years. At the bridge site, where the stream ordinarily was about 40 feet in width, it reached a height of 10 feet above the low water mark and a width of considerably over 100 feet. At this point the velocity was over 25 miles per hour."
"The bridge crew have a heavy iron cable stretched across the creek and operate wheel-barrows on it by means of a pulley and other Manila cables. The device was erected at the beginning of the rise of the creek and has been in continuous operation since. At present the steam engine is keeping the water out of the excavation and it won't be long until the forms can be built for the west abutment."
"Alton Gardiner and Uriah Reed stopped here enroute to Munds Park where they went after about 40 horses that were caught in a heavy snow there."
(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; February 4, 1916; page 5.)
"The recent storm of the 20th of January was very heavy on the mountain as reports came from Munds Park by phone. There were 37 inches of new snow setting it about 14 inches. This leaves in all old and new snow at Munds Park about 50 inches. There is lots of water under the snow and the remaining snow is massed like ice."
"The Verde River is reported as being higher on the 27th and 28th of January than ever before recorded. Reports of heavy rain and snow have come from all directions."
"Oak Creek has been very high the past few days, in fact past fording. It is receding rapidly."
"Again the sun smiles on the rocky tower, cliffs and verdure clad hills of Sedona, and the natives are much pleased for there has been little or no sunshine here for the past 5 weeks."
"Work is progressing very satisfactorily on the excavation for the west bridge abutment. The depth is now 20 feet and it is planned to go 4 feet deeper as bed rock will be encountered about that depth."
"The first steam whistle heard on Oak Creek was the whistle on the steam engine used in running the pump at the bridge site. On the 15th of January the engine was connected with the centrifugal pump keeping the water out of the excavation for the west abutment. It was then it shrieked and whistled arousing the natives in all directions. At last the novelty wore off and it settled down to business, 1 toot for stop, 2 for go ahead, and 3 to go slow. It blows at 6:30 a.m. to rouse the sleeping workmen and at 7:15 a.m. it calls to breakfast and at noon and evening it blows. We are proud of our 1 steam whistle on Oak Creek."
"Mr. Frank Owenby, Sr., is very ill and it is thought he is suffering from a paryletic stroke and rheumatism jointly."
"Frank Thompson returned Thursday from Clarkdale where he has been for supplies. His whole outfit bogged down a couple of times but finally he got home O. K."
"Ira Hart but lately a benedict has arrived from a brief honeymoon and is making his home in the Joe Lay residence below Mr. Ed Hart's. We offer our congratulations and many years of happiness."
"James Chaves, who is employed at Babbitt Bros., received word Wednesday morning from Camp Verde advising him of the drowning of his brother, Jesus Chaves, and left on No. 9 for his home on Oak Creek. The little boy was 7 years of age and was attempting to get his little sister across Oak Creek a couple of miles below the Schuerman ranch when he was swept from his feet by the high waters of the creek and drowned, while his little sister could do nothing but witness his struggles as he was swept away. The funeral services were held at Clarkdale yesterday."
(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; February 11, 1916; page 1.)
Jesus Maria Chavez was born on February 17, 1908, and drowned on February 9, 1916. He is the son of Jose and Loreta S. Chavez. (Sharlot Hall Museum Library and Archives.)
"Antonio Chavez was up from Red Rock Tuesday looking after his cattle in this section."
"It is understood that Mr. George W. Black, Jr., has taken an option on the Sedona Hotel and ranch which belongs to Mrs. Mary A. Stemmer. The deal is expected to close about March first. Charles Stemmer returned from a business trip to Clarkdale Monday. He found the road very muddy and the Verde River rather high." [Mary Stemmer bought 3 lots in Cottonwood and had the 2-story Pioneer Hotel constructed on 2 lots during 1917. Her son, Charles Stemmer, used the 3rd lot to construct the Post Office Building, which collapsed during the 1967 snowstorm.]
"E. M. Hart, Fred Moore, Roe Smith, Mr. Weems and another man returned from Clarkdale Monday bringing with them the balance of the bridge. They had some pieces 40 feet long. The roads were very muddy and they experienced considerable difficulty in getting through."
"On Sunday morning, February 20th, the last mixing of cement was poured into the form of the west bridge abutment of the Oak Creek bridge and Monday following, contractor Raudebaugh left Sedona for Clarkdale, thence to his home in Flagstaff. While up against it for some few days on the excavation for the foundation of the west abutment, nevertheless Mr. Raudebaugh got through in good season with all his work and what he has done will be in evidence when our successors by a few hundred years will be doing archaeological research work."
"George Black, Jr., is busily engaged in grading up to the east abutment of the bridge. He expects to begin grading on the west side in about 3 days. After the cement work newly done settles about 2 weeks the steel man will be here to put up the bridge span. Mr. Black is anxious to get all grading done by the time the bridge is completed."
"An enjoyable leap year dance was given by the ladies of Sedona on the 18th of the month. About 20 couples were present. Jesse Purtyman and Thomas Chavez furnished the music on the accordion and guitar. Among those present from below were Mr. Henry Schuerman and sister Miss Frieda Schuerman, Myron Loy, Claude Randall and Miss Encinita Lucero. Refreshments were served at midnight, then the revelry continued on until daylight."
(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; March 3, 1916; page 1.)
"Official Minutes: Office of the Board of Supervisors, Flagstaff, Arizona, March 20th, 1916. ... The following pay-rolls were audited and approved and the Clerk was directed to draw road checks covering the same: Pay-roll No. 1, Sedona bridge, $784.50; Pay-roll No. 2, Miscel. Roads, $163.50."
(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; March 24, 1916; page 2.)
"The new bridge at Sedona is now practically completed with the exception of the planking and this will be done so the bridge may be used within a week."
"There will be a real cowboy dance at the school house tomorrow night. There is no question but it will be well attended, as they all are."
"From all indications fishing will be good this year. The high water did not seem to have injured the trout."
"Fruit will be plentiful in this neighborhood this summer. The trees on the Black ranch are so heavily loaded with peaches, apples and prunes, that it was necessary to pick off great quantities to save the trees from breaking down under the weight. Strawberries are ripening in great quantities now."
(The Coconino Sun; Flagstaff; May 19, 1916; page 6.)