by Brad Fain, President & CEO, Fain Signature Group
The spirit of this hardscrabble and resplendent land has called many to migrate west and carve out a life filled with hard work and hardships – from economic depressions to droughts – but at the same time, it’s a land of breathtaking vistas spanning hundreds of miles. It is also a land of miles of opportunities. It is not the life for everyone, but it is the life of choice for many, including our family.
On her travels through the Arizona strip in 1911, Sharlot Hall wrote, “There is something better than making a living — making a life.” We have always cared passionately about our environment, loved ones and the families around us. We encourage our community partners and neighbors to connect with us, and work together to making an incredible life in Talking Glass.
Throughout all generations of the Fain family, gifts of land have helped create the progressive entertainment and cultural environment that Prescott Valley enjoys today. The Prescott Municipal Airport, Fitzmaurice Ruins, Bradshaw Mountain High School, Civic Center, Library, Yavapai Medical Center and Police Station have all been made possible through community partnerships and land grants from our family. Talking Glass is the embodiment of the Fain family’s legacy; and is Prescott Valley’s present and future.
As constant of a presence as the craggy and majestic rock-ribbed Bradshaw Mountains, the Fain family, for five generations, has tended, encouraged, cultivated and shaped the local and regional society through land. And this generation is as in love with the once-named Lonesome Valley today as when the first family members, newlyweds William and Carey, arrived in 1874 at Fort Verde. They were short on supplies and weary from their long journey, so William took up cutting grass and selling to the military. Later, Granville (Dan) Fain began establishing the Fain Ranch in Lonesome Valley, which continued to support Fort Whipple with cattle, grass and sheep supplies. Today, this location is the Rafter Eleven Ranch.
Why Talking Glass?
William Glassford was an Army lieutenant, who was dispatched to the Arizona Territory to complete the network of heliographic stations. He perfected the use of the heliograph, nicknamed the Talking Glass in 1889, with record ranges of 85, 88, 95 and 125 miles. It provided communications over a rugged and broken country using the heliograph and Morse code by using the sun’s rays reflected from mirrors — the 19th century’s internet, so to speak. Glassford’s network of Talking Glass stations in the new territory spread the news of the day – from weather alerts to local hazards, and news all around the region. One of the locations, Mount Glassford bears his name, as does the western street bounding the downtown entertainment and business district.
At Fain Signature Group, we are currently focusing our stewardship of the territory in bringing the cooperative spirit of early pioneers to a lifestyle uniquely crafted for today’s Southwestern living. It was necessary that we create a complete opportunity for “making a life”. That drove the development of Homestead at Talking Glass. The development is a thoughtful tribute to the history of the land and ancestors who came before. With this key component soon to be in place in the downtown community, it will truly provide that “live here, work here and play here” lifestyle that’s true to Prescott Valley. Homestead at Talking Glass is a multifamily development in the heart of downtown, graced with a beautiful neighborhood featuring not only traditional apartment units, but Brownstone-style walk-ups, garages and unique carriage-house units, all with accents that blend perfectly into the environment, entertainment district and business district.
Talking Glass isn’t a neighborhood, a building or an object. It’s a symbol that represents a way to communicate, to thrive and the living narrative of our past, present and future. As natural as the progression of Prescott Valley, Talking Glass is that living narrative — a circle to complete and to weave into the fabric of our land and our lives.
It was once said about Glassford, who sparked this movement, “He was a man of that fine type so aptly described as ‘An officer and a gentleman,’ and though his life reached so far into the past history of the West, he lived in the present and looked into the future.”
For more than 140 years, through five generations from my great-great grandfather William Fain in 1874 to my late father Bill, and now to my brother Ron and myself, along with our brother-in-law Jeff, our family board and our team of professionals at Fain Signature Group are committed to integrity. The word “Signature” in our company name is a symbol to how we live life and treat others. Your word means something. It’s more than just a promise. It’s a higher endorsement; it’s your bond. It represents the family’s core values of hard work, determination, integrity and ingenuity through all our livelihood endeavors – starting as farmers, ranchers, business owners, public servants, philanthropists and, today, as developers dedicating our lives to the pursuit of excellence in design and planning for our community and the central Arizona region. I know that those who reside here today come from all walks of life and different parts of the world, but understand this Valley has a language and a culture of its own. We are, simply, Talking Glass.
Living, and a sense of place
by Trevor Barger, CEO, Espiritu Loci Incorporated
What turns a group of homes into a neighborhood? What turns a mix of uses into a downtown? What is it that makes these places special or different than all other places in the world? Some people think that only age or money makes such places special.
I have spent my life studying these places around the world – neighborhoods and cores that have a strong “sense of place,” and I know those things can help, but do not, on their own, make it happen. Most of the best places in the world have a strong identity. Like strong people, they are rooted in their past, but live in the present. We began our planning for the future with an investigation of the past – Prescott Valley’s ranching history, mining history, homesteading and military history. Out of these roots a piece of communication technology came to the forefront that embodied the area’s heritage and was relevant in its present – the Talking Glass. This pioneers’ version of the internet was the way that early residents of Lonesome Valley remained connected to the outside world. Now filled with more than 40,000 neighbors, the Valley doesn’t seem so lonesome any longer, but the Talking Glass is an icon of our desired to be connected.
The ability to connect people is another great quality of cores with a strong “sense of place.” These places mix locals with tourists, young with old and encourage chance meetings, encounters and exchanges. The Entertainment District has the beginning of these elements, and as it begins to expand now into the Talking Glass district, it will add downtown residents (Homestead) and new unique areas in which to linger in Talking Glass including Rafter 11, Gabby’s, Freedom Station, Harkins Theaters and other restaurants, shops and businesses. Each of these elements is grounded in the history of the area, and takes their cues for colors and materials from the natural high desert grasslands we call home.
In time, the last element that will develop to turn the Talking Glass district into a “place” will be signs of being loved. As each steward begins to add to the community life of the place, these signs start appearing – flowers in planters, street performers, street vendors, sculptures and art. It is in these physical ways that people show their appreciation for the great place, adding a bit of themselves to the public realm.
Sharing the same values
by Tom Dolan, Executive Vice President, Foothills Bank
Prescott Valley and the Talking Glass region is one of Arizona’s most dynamic markets, with a continued effort to enhance the lifestyle of its residents and businesses. At Foothills Bank, we share the same values and have been focused on serving local residents and businesses since opening our doors 20 years ago. Our success is driven by our commitment to our tagline “consider it done” and our ability to meet our client’s needs with logical and timely service.
Our new branch located at 3322 N. Glassford Hill Road, Suite D – within Talking Glass District, and will be open and ready to serve the community in mid-December. The Prescott Valley location is a new concept for our bank. Clients will not see a teller line when entering our office. Instead, they will see a comfortable sit-down layout with a modern feel. We are honored to become a part of Prescott Valley’s Talking Glass District and are ready and able to continue investing in the local economy through our free-checking options, mobile and web-based banking products, and diverse and competitive loan offerings. I invite you to stop in, say “hello,” and meet our team, led by Kari Reily and Cheryl Rolland. Visit our website today at foothillsbank.com. We feel that the addition of Homestead at Talking Glass will allow us to enhance these efforts through increased attendance, community participation and the creation of an area that people will visit as a destination. Being connected to Talking Glass will only add value to our efforts and service to the region.
Enriching the downtown
by Scott Norton, General Manager, Prescott Valley Events Center
As the new General Manager of the events center, I feel it is very important that the venue is located in the growing Talking Glass entertainment district. Our facility was designed and strategically located, along with our shopping and dining offerings, to draw people to Prescott Valley. And now with the addition of Homestead at Talking Glass, the positive economic growth in the area has received a huge boost, which will benefit the entire region. Once open, the new residences at Homestead will enhance an already vibrant downtown area and create a true “live, work and play” environment for our growing community. In my experience, cities and towns that offer these amenities, and an opportunity to live in a city’s center, are the ones that thrive, so we are super excited to welcome new residents to downtown Prescott Valley’s core at Talking Glass.
In addition, I believe having more people move downtown, similar to other growing cities, will spur additional development in the area to service the needs of these residents. We have already seen new businesses either opening or making plans to open, and with the Town of Prescott Valley being very aggressive from an economic development standpoint, we anticipate this trend to increase as numerous projects come online.
As we work to bring in new content and events to the center, including the recently concluded PRCA Turquoise Circuit Rodeo Finals, the Justin Moore concert in January, and of course, another exciting season of NAZ Suns basketball, it’s important for us to remember our role in enhancing the quality of life for residents, and not just of Prescott Valley, but also the entire Quad-City area. With this in mind, our goal, as Spectra Venue Management, is to program a wide variety of entertainment options at the events center at Talking Glass and to attract new and different events on an annual basis. We feel that the addition of Homestead at Talking Glass will allow us to enhance these efforts through increased attendance, community participation and the creation of an area that people will visit as a destination. Being connected to Talking Glass will only add value to our efforts and service to the region.