Streetcar, Prescott


Unknown Unknown t0102pd.jpg T-0102 B&W 1095-0102-0004 t0102pd Copy Negative 4x5 Historic Photographs 1910 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives


Electric Streetcar on Gurley Street. Thumb Butte is in the background.

Looking for ways to expand the use of electricity, Frank L. Wright decided to build an electric railway. Originally he planned to run the streetcar tracks to Groom Creek and Walker in the Mt. Union mining district, but the railroad threatened a fare war, so he decided on an in-town street-car system and founded the Mt. Union Electric Street Car Company in Prescott, Arizona. 

Tracks were installed in 1905 and the trolley car system was soon up and running.  A November 15, 1905 article in the Journal-Miner announces the opening of the street car line the previous day under a headline which reads in part: "It was a notable event in the history of Prescott's progress and advancement when the first street car to Fort Whipple made its initial official run.

The cars were heated, lighted, and carried up to twenty-eight passengers at a fare of five cents a trip.

The first streetcar line ran from just east of Park Avenue on Gurley Street east Arizona Avenue, then north next to Citizens Cemetery and then east on Sheldon Street and northeast to Fort Whipple. 

Later, a line was added from Gurley and Cortez Street north on Cortez Street to the Depot. The Mt. Union Electric Street Car Company, never a moneymaker, apparently ceased operation about 1912.

It was exactly 2:00 o'clock when the car in charge of motorman Eli Stauffer left the Burke corner. . . . "The run was made to the end of the line in eight minutes, one stop being made for a couple of ladies who boarded the car at Mount Vernon Street, who were surprised to find that they had unwittingly become a part of an event of an historical nature."

Source: “Prescott Trolley | 1905-1912.“ Western Heritage Center. Accessed May 5, 2018.


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