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Two 161-page Arizona books; Book I:

Sunny Slope: A History of the North Desert Area of Phoenix

Edna McEwen Ellis (1990)


In 1929 if one asked how to get to the nearest desert area, with cottages to rent, you were told to go north on Center Street (Later renamed Central Avenue) as far as the road went. (1)

From here we wound our way on up the hill, through the gulleys, to "Hyatt's Camp," where Mr. & Mrs. William C. Hyatt (both Veterans of World War I) had erected some 40 to 50 tent houses and rented them to the health seekers. These tent houses had wooden floors and wood siding up ahout two feet from the floor, with canvas for the rest of the walls and the roof. This, many told us, was the first large scale health camp in Arizona, and many of our prominent Phoenicians regained their health at "Hyatt's Camp."
A Post Office was established in Hyatt's little store, on May 14, 1918, with Mr. Hyatt as Post Master, with the name "CACTUS" on the front of the store. (4)

Valley Heights became known as the area from 7th Avenue west to 19th Avenue and woe be unto any-one who dared to call that area "Sunny Slope." (5)

Mr. Norton was very proud of his two-seated carriage WITH THE FRINGE ON TOP and drove his family around in it with pride. (7)

In the garage we kept two old metal bed steads and springs for them. About June 1st we would bring these out into the yard, away from the house, which held the heat, and put them up. In the evening we would roll up our mattress on the in-house beds and together with the bed sheets would prepare our beds out under the stars. We had coffee cans with about an inch of kerosene in each for each leg of the beds. This was to kill any nightwalking bugs (scorpions or centipedes) from crawling up into our beds. We wore our house slippers out to the beds and put them between the springs and mattresses for the same reason. This method was very comfortable unless a dirt storm came up during the night. We would again roll up our mattresses and sheets and take them into the house where we would spend the rest of the night, less comfortable than outside.
On nice summer nights where there was dancing or parties at the site of the old country club just south of the canal, we would be lulled to sleep by the sound of Cecil Armstrong's orchestra. (9)

Incidentally, if a new tenant, tent house owner or resident inquired how large the government required their mail box should be, they were told "large enough to take a Sears-Roebuck catalog." (10)

We had no trouble keeping our rent houses occupied, as soon as a renter moved out we would scrub, paint or what-ever was needed to make it desirable and if sick people had been there we would take the mattresses to be renovated which we originally had done for about $3.00 each. (11)

None of these well owners wished to be in the water business and comply with the rules of testing which in addition to testing for purity and quality of the water but fluorine in the water had become an issue (requirement not more than .8 parts per million) due to many shallow wells having an excess amount which caused moteling [sic] of childrens [sic] teeth. (15)

. . . "Paradise Valley." This name was at that time given to the valley north of Hyatt's Camp (over the hill and north-east) and must not be confused with the present town of "Paradise Valley" as we know it today. (24)

Up at Hyatt's camp their cottages were kept full, mostly veterans of WW I, as Mr. Hyatt was a veteran and Mrs. Hyatt had been a nurse in the Government service. (26)

When street signs were being readied by the SIA and Valley Heights Clubs, Mr. Palmer and Mr. McEwen got their heads together and decided that the road leading from Central Avenue to the west should be named "HATCHER ROAD". Bob Hatcher looked at the signs and objected, saying that was a German name and we had had a real fight with the Germans. Never-the-less the signs remained. (31)

Young Lively said he never really liked the business he was in, but having inherited it he continued until the crash in 1929 when he walked out of his office, locked the door, and never returned to the down-town office. (34)

Mr. Lively's hobby had become writing short stories and he had on his desk many papers containing bits of what was to become another story. Some of those which had been published were:
(Legend of the rock on the mountain that resembles an old man.)
(A legend of Superstition Mountain put into verse.)
(A history of Superstition Mountain)
(Pioneer Life put into verse)

This friend may not become overly wealthy on the sale of his books or strike it rich in the search of the mines, but he struck pay dirt many years ago in developing many friends with his winning smile and his honest dealings with his fellow man. Having never been married he worked at his own pace in writing or exploring to his hearts content. (35)

Dr. Holmes had insisted on constant bed rest but he also placed a bag of BB shot on his chest to deflate the lung and thus hasten its healing. Otto however declared it was just to make him stay in bed. (36-7)

Arch Keen, a new-comer in 1930, resided in Cactus (Hyatt's Camp at that time). He operated a store there in which was located the "Cactus Post Office". In 1935 Mr. Keen became the Postmaster of the Cactus Post Office. In about 1938 he came to the slope and started a restaurant on the southwest corner of 7th Street and Dunlap. (40)

In 1945 after again walking the streets with petitions, to convince the Postal Authorities that there was sufficient need for a full scale Post Office in Sunny Slope, we succeeded in having them convinced and a Postal Sub-Station, No.7, in Ralph's Drug Store. What a big help to the citizens, especially at Christmas time, as we previously went to the Sub-station at Cactus (Hyatt's Camp). (42-3)

In April 1948 The Valley National Bank purchased 240 feet Oil East Dunlap and also leased quarters for Banking purpose at 319 E. Dunlap. The Bank then built on its purchased property and occupied it in 1952. Since then a new Bank has been built at this same location. (43)

In 1924 a Mrs. Smith built a Sanitarium on 19th Avenue about one-half mile north of Peoria Avenue, This was named "Valley View Sanitarium" and is the first Sanitarium in this desert area that I have found, other than Hyatt's Camp up Cave Creek Way. (47-8)

We should look back to when Robert Gosnell, Sr., worked evenings and week-ends to build his first venture, the result being the "Green Gables" at 24th Street and Thomas in Phoenix. Long hours were spent in his desire to develop a dream which he had had for many years. It was to the Green Gables that many of us took our visiting guests and relatives, especially those with children, for an evening of enjoyment.
While many of the predictions were that this establishment was too far out from Phoenix to succeed, those same skeptics began enjoying the ride, to see Gosnells employees dressed as Sir Lancelot riding a white horse meet their cars and lead them to a vacant parking place. The children enjoyed walking into the lobby, to be met by Littlejohn at the door (straight from Sherwood Forest) and on to meet Lady Guinevere and Maid Marian. (49)

Much of the wood was iron-wood and when it was burning in a heater in the house all of the neighbors knew what kind of wood we were using. That iron-wood has a definite unsavory odor when burning. (58)

Home-owners who suffered severe damage from the flooding were screaming ''I'll sue the County", "I'll sue the Water user's", or "I'll sue the Insurance Company". However, as this was called "Act of God" legal suits were not effective. At the insistence and cry of "Why Don't Somebody do Something", a Flood Control District was formed, the Corps of Army Engineers (a Government Agency) was brought into use and plans were made for a channel to be built. (59)

Christmas trees became more affordable and the tumbleweeds that used to blow across the desert were no longer needed for this purpose. (63)

Those of us who resented being called street walkers because of the same people doing the walking each time, preferred to be called Petition Carriers. (67)

Mr. Wallace was invited to come in but he came only to the porch and met Mr. Mac. "I was in town today and heard about a device that could work on the desert for us. Some of the workers had used an orange crate, covered the inside around the crate with a gunny sack, used an old piece of garden hose for water md made holes in one side of it, every so far. In connecting the old garden hose to the faucet, turning it on just enough to keep he gunny sack wet (not wasting the water) and letting what-ever breeze there is blow through this. It cools the house some, but you had to keep a window, or flap, open in the other side of the house. Putting a fan outside of the wet sack blows the air thru it and speeds up the cooling." (71)

Later the name "SWAMP COOLER" was coined by some one for this gadget. (71)

Mr. Ken Coffin was the principal for many years, was honored by the students and residents alike. For instance, when the students thought they would like to put an "S" up on top of the tallest of the North Mountains he went along with it. By using a walky talky he directed the students from the ground while they did the climbing. Many of the adults living in Sunny Slope today remember as a student they got so dirty filling the cups with the lighting fuel used on the "S" at Christmas time and during home comings. (90)

INCORPORATE OR NOT INCORPORATE, that was the question; but to change the name of Sunny Slope to OSBORN was about the worse idea that any-one could have. Never-theless it was true and the map was drawn including Sunny Slope Valley Heights and Desert Cove with the eastern boundary being 16th Street (an area known as Dreamy Draw). Who in the world would want to say that he or she lived in "OSBORN", Arizona? The Incorporators thought that Sunny Slope had a certain stigma attached to it, many sick veterans had found it and called it home. (94)

Conditions became so bad, prostitution was rampant - so bad that during World War II and there-after, Phoenix was offlimits to the armed forces. This was a real loss in revenues for the City of Phoenix, as instead of spending their 'fun' money in Phoenix they had to go to Glendale, Scottsdale, Tempe, etc. (103)

I was surprised to see my colleagues honoring me in our little meeting place which I was so proud to have had a hand in the building. IT WAS AN HONOR. (125)

Across the street, to the northwest corner of First Avenue and Adams was the Phoenix Title & Trust Building and on the southwest corner was the Miller Cafeteria, owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Pigg. This is where I had my lunch for many years, accompanied by Helen Strom. (135-6)

Del E. Webb . . . became one of the most respected and widely known citizens of Arizona. . . .
After numerous small jobs, during the 1930 depression, his first large contract was for the U.S. Government, building a camp at Poston, about 20 miles south of Parker, Arizona. This camp was to house the Japanese-Americans during World War II. At one time there were about 20,000 inhabitants in this one camp. This camp was in the desert area where dust storms seem to find their way more than most areas. And for this reason, and perhaps such inhabitants during the construction period of rattle snakes and other desert animals, it was hard to get workers to stay on the job. This was a Defense contract and because the need for such within a given time, Mr. Webb was fortunate to complete the job even with the various difficulties he was faced with. (140)

(Gosh, let's all take a moment to feel the suffering of the poor widdle concentration camp builder. . . .)

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