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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
6:47 AM Fri, Sept. 21st

Wiederaenders: Explore the history of the Prescott area with us

Beauty. Forests. Mile high. Four seasons. Rural.

Over the years I have told you some of these as reasons why my family and I moved to the Prescott area more than two decades ago.

Not only does it remind me of my native Colorado, the Prescott area breathes.

Witness, add in one more: a vibrant history – one that is all around us, and practically comes to life.

Take for example the Palace Saloon on Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott. To eat or drink there, knowing you are where famous and infamous characters trod, or where they too sat for a meal, sends shivers down my spine.

It is not a glorification of gunslingers or the lifestyle of 100-plus years ago (or maybe in part it is); yet, it also is more about living where people of old lived, where they struggled or thrived in a much simpler time.

Consider then how these characters and stories from the archives of Prescott’s history come to life in the pages of The Daily Courier.

First is a long-time Courier feature, Days Past. This is a collaborative effort by Sharlot Hall Museum, along with members of the Prescott Corral of Westerners International. It started many years ago with Courier reporters writing the stories; it switched to the museum because, simply put, they are the experts.

This is a weekly Sunday feature that encompasses all variety of Prescott’s roots – businessmen, immigrants, politicians, trains, and much, much more, meticulously researched and written.

A newer column, by Nigel Reynolds, publishes every other Sunday taking you on hikes to “Amazing Places.” These are hikes that have a fantastic destination. Since we began publishing the column last fall, it has ranged from the story behind the Cowboy Prayer (an etching in rock) and old cabins to the giant juniper (published this past weekend) that the Granite Mountain Hotshots saved in the June 2013 Doce Fire.

Our newest installment debuted Tuesday, March 20, “Then & Now,” which is a feature showcasing Prescott buildings and locations through time. The first in this monthly series told of the prior lives of buildings on South Cortez Street.

This one lets all of us in on the stories of what once was and, for some people, provides a conduit into their memories of when “that place” was something else.

To me these features, stories, and especially photographs, give our part of this country character. It is not the sterile feeling of a new skyscraper. Ours is land where American Indians lived, stage coaches rumbled, miners found fortunes (or not), and a state was born.

And, on an even better scale: it is just plain interesting.

Whether you go to these places, or live vicariously through the pages of the newspaper, what adventures lie ahead?

If you have suggestions, email me. I would love to hear your passions about our home.

Enjoy!

Community Editor Tim Wiederaenders is the senior editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.