WPA Construction of the Tannery


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WPA Unknown bug544pa.jpg BU-G-544 B&W 1403.0544.0001 bug544pa Print 4x6 Historic Photographs 1935 Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives

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The following information is taken from Mona McCroskey's presentation to the Westerners Corral on May 2, 1997.

WPA Construction of the Tannery near the Dells. One of the most unusual undertakings of the WPA was the building of a tannery in the Chino Valley area. It was the only one in Arizona, and its need was predicated on the basis that Arizona was the leading cow, sheep, and goat raising state in the nation. Up to that time hides and skins had been shipped out of state for processing, and a tannery in Yavapai County would stimulate the local economy. The tannery was located 6 mile east of Prescott on Ash Fork Highway, on property donated by Charlie Weston. It had a daily capacity of 250 goat or sheep hides, and 125 cow hides.

The tannery was equipped with modern machinery that reduced the time required for tanning to three to five weeks. It was stated that hides went in at one end of the building in their raw state and came out as finished leather at the other end. A 65,000 gallon reservoir was erected to furnish water for the tannery.

More photos are available upon request.

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