Photo caption: Yavapai College dedication ceremony, Oct. 19, 1976
by Robin Layton
Lon•gev•i•ty, noun, long existence or service.
In 2018, “longevity” best describes the Quad Cities, with many establishments celebrating multi-decade anniversaries.
The 35th busiest airport in the nation and the fifth busiest in Arizona turns 90 years old this year. The Ernest A. Love Field, also known as the Prescott Municipal Airport, boasts five flight training schools on site and is home to the U.S. Forest Service Tanker base. The airport was dedicated in 1928 and is stretched over 760-acres, at an elevation of 5,045 feet. The airport staff will be celebrating this milestone during the ERAU celebration in October.
Sharlot Hall Museum
“The Mother of Arizona Museums” turned 90 in June, with a community celebration to mark the special year. In 1928, founder “Sharlot Hall completed preliminary restoration of the old log building that had been Arizona’s first Territorial Capitol and home to its early governors. It was Monday, June 11, when she opened the doors to the Gubernatorial Mansion Museum and welcomed her first guest,” states the museum website, sharlot.org.
Monday, June 11, 2018, was declared “Sharlot Hall Day” and saw many children’s activities throughout the campus led by volunteers and Living History interpreters. Visitors created a “Community Quilt” to be hung on campus. The exhibits were open and drawings were held to reward visitors with annual museum memberships.
YRMC turns 75
On March 1, 1943, Prescott Community Hospital – now Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) – opened its doors to care for patients. By 9 p.m. on that date, Florence Yount, MD, had delivered the first baby born at the new hospital, according to yrmc.org. “In 1964, the hospital relocated to its current location on Willow Creek Road and changed its name to Yavapai Community Hospital. The hospital underwent another name change in 1984, becoming Yavapai Regional Medical Center. The rapid growth of Prescott Valley helped spur another important milestone for the community: the opening of YRMC East in 2006,” according to yrmc.org.
“YRMC’s 75th anniversary celebration theme ‘Yesterday – Today – Tomorrow’ highlights the meaning of community-based, not-for-profit healthcare. YRMC is giving people the opportunity to join this conversation by sharing anecdotes from their lives that involve the hospital.” The center is gathering video interviews, stories and images for the YRMC Memory Catcher project to honor the anniversary. Visit YRMC HealthConnect (yrmchealthconnect.org/memory-catcher) to explore YRMC’s history as told by the community.
Yavapai College turns 50 this year. It all started with a list of reasons from Dr. R.A. Perry to Mrs. Merle (Opal) Allen, Prescott PTA President, on why the time was right to form a junior college in the county. The rest is history.
Being born from a caring community, Yavapai College continues to give back to its home by sharing the Performing Arts Center, art gallery, sculpture garden, OLLI, College for Kids and non-credit classes. Students can choose from six locations, dozens of degrees and certificates, as well as many sports options. Anniversary celebrations are taking place from August to November at all locations and include: A performance by Jay Leno, guest appearance by Soledad O’Brien, food trucks, carnivals, live music, free cooking classes, health fair, fun run, block party and more.
“Some of you will learn for the first time about our humble beginnings and our transformation into the college that you see today. For others, the pictures and words may evoke meaningful memories. We hope that our historical reflection will inspire you to expect even more of your college as we continue to enrich the quality of life for all county residents,” Dr. Penny Wills said in a message on the college’s special anniversary website section, 50th.yc.edu.
Prescott Recreation Department
National Trails Day falls annually on the first Saturday in June and this year marked the 50th anniversary of efforts to preserve much of the country’s natural beauty.
According to the Prescott Recreation Department, “Prescott Peavine National Recreation Trail was constructed during the infancy of the Mile High Trail System, in the late 1990’s. Prior to its construction, the system totaled only two and a half miles in length. Adding 5.2 miles to the system, the Peavine Trail is by far the City’s most visited trail with over 70,000 visits annually. The Peavine Trail officially opened in time for National Trails day in June of 1999.”
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
This year marks Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s 40th year at the Prescott campus. According to an article by ERAU’s Jason Kadah, Embry-Riddle’s Western campus opened for the 1978-1979 school year with 240 students and only two majors offered (aeronautical science and aeronautics). Today, 2,650 students are enrolled in 26 majors. Although the university has its roots in aviation/aeronautics, other programs such as forensic biology, wildlife science, safety science, cyber security, space physics and simulation science attract the best and brightest students from all 50 states and 38 countries.
“The life of a university should be woven into the life of the community in which it resides, and so we welcome all to join us as we look forward to the next 40 amazing years here in Prescott,” Chancellor Dr. Frank Ayers said.
The university is celebrating with many events, including OctoberWest that runs October 5 to 7. The university is partnering with Prescott to stage a large airshow. Ayers said, “We’re actually partnering with the 90th anniversary of the airport and the 40th anniversary of the university. So we have the airshow performers, Matt Chapman, the Embry airshow pilot. We also have a Friday night ERAU alumni gathering to celebrate with fireworks.”
Celebrates 40 Years
Glassford Hill, quietly towering over Prescott Valley has produced archeological evidence of early man dating to 800 A.D. According to pvaz.net, Indian villages were settled around Glassford Hill in 1400. In 1582, Spanish explorers were in this vicinity as evidenced by the signs of Spanish mining efforts in nearby Badger Springs.
In the early 1900’s the area was homesteaded by the Fain family.
In 1966, Prescott Valley was founded, and it was incorporated in 1978 with a population of 1,520. Growing rapidly over 40 years, Prescott Valley now has more than 45,000 residents. The town has planned an entire celebratory year to mark this milestone. Events started at the New Year’s Eve celebration and continued to a March festival. May’s Prescott Valley Days was followed by a day of July 4th fun. In August, the town is featuring the 40th Anniversary Pinnacle Weekend event. It all wraps up in October with Gold Fever Days.