Tag Archives: Prescott

Traveling Red Chair Making Stop in Prescott

"Red" at Blair Hill Inn, Greenville, Maine

“Red” at Blair Hill Inn, Greenville, Maine

A red chair from Cape Cod that has become an Internet celebrity is coming to Prescott this weekend to help celebrate the city’s sesquicentennial.

The Prescott Pines Inn, which you may remember from our October 2013 issue, will be hosting “Red” this weekend, starting Friday, April 18. The B&B’s owner, Dawn Delaney, will be photographing Red all over Prescott, including at Courthouse Plaza, the Palace saloon, Watson Lake and other picturesque locations. And on Monday, April 21, the public can visit Red at Prescott Pines and view a slideshow that documents the chair’s travels.

What’s the big deal about a red chair? The inn explains:

It all started in the winter of 2012 with a single photographic image. Innkeeper Beth Colt of the Woods Hole Inn on Cape Cod posted a picture on Facebook of her simple red chair perched on the ice behind her house, and then watched her page light up with “likes.” The picture was shared on the Facebook page of Julie Ann Cromer, a photographer from Santa Barbara, CA, who was inspired by the image to visit Beth’s inn and took an amazing second photo of the chair on a local beach. This inspired Colt to share the chair with other innkeepers beyond the Cape Cod area, expanding “Red’s” journey through New England in late summer and fall. This lucky chair has been staying at the best inns and B&B’s throughout the country, and has its own website and blog. …

As Red has traveled it has taken on a personality of its own and been photographed at each stop in iconic places throughout that inn’s region.  Due to the overwhelming response to this humble red chair, Colt decided to send the Red Chair coast to coast via a network of B&Bs to be delivered in the Spring of 2014 to the California-based photographer who inspired all this with her photo.

To keep tabs on the chair’s cross-country journey, visit its website. And for more information on its appearance at Prescott Pines Inn this weekend, visit the inn’s website.

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Filed under In the Area, News, Things to Do

Friday Fotos: A Salute to Prescott

Saija Lehtonen | Whiskey Row

Saija Lehtonen | Whiskey Row

Sure, Prescott has Watson Lake, but there’s plenty more interesting and beautiful stuff to photograph in Arizona’s first capital city. You proved that in this week’s Friday Fotos. We hope you enjoy this selection of the great submissions we received. For even more Prescott, pick up our May issue, which celebrates Prescott’s sesquicentennial. It’s on newsstands this month.

Have a great weekend!

By submitting photographs to Arizona Highways via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr or other social networking sites, the photographer grants Arizona Highways electronic rights. No financial consideration will be paid to anyone for publication on the Arizona Highways blog or website.

By publishing a photographer’s work to its blog, Arizona Highways does not endorse the photographer’s private business or claim responsibility for any business relationships entered into between the photographer and our readers.


Filed under Friday Fotos, Photography

Q&A: Scratchboard Artist Brings 1890s Prescott to Life on Our May Cover

This image shows our May cover as a work in progress. Douglas Smith estimates that he was about 50 percent done at this stage. | Courtesy of Douglas Smith

This image shows our May cover illustration as a work in progress. Douglas Smith estimates that he was about 50 percent done at this stage. | Courtesy of Douglas Smith

Our May issue celebrates the sesquicentennial of Prescott, a town with a history as unique as any in Arizona. For the cover of that issue (which you saw in Monday’s sneak preview), we turned to an equally unique illustrator, Douglas Smith.

Smith’s medium is scratchboard, a painstaking and labor-intensive art form that involves scratching away darkness to reveal light beneath. We thought Smith’s style would be perfect for the May cover, which depicts Prescott’s Gurley Street as it might have appeared in the late 1800s.

Smith spoke with us from his home on Maine’s Peaks Island about the process of bringing this vision to life.

Q: Take us through how this project came together. What kind of guidance did you get from us before you started?
A: Robert [Stieve, editor] provided a historical photograph, which is the same scene as in the illustration, but with some notable differences. It’s not very clear and doesn’t exactly look appealing; it looks kind of dark and dingy, and there’s not one wagon or human being or horse to be seen. The other difference is that there’s no sky — it’s just a flat gray.

The only direction from Barbara [Glynn Denney, creative director] was for me to add “life” to the scene.

Q: Besides the historical photo, did you use anything else for reference?
A: I used a previous magazine cover, as well as a previous illustration of Prescott, but not of that street. I also did research on what sorts of vehicles would be appropriate for that time period.

Q: You mentioned previously that the scratchboard process is somewhat labor-intensive. Other than that, did you run into any challenges?
I had a lot of trouble deciphering the deep shadows that were totally cloaking a lot of the buildings. Finally, I said, “I just have to make some of it up,” which Barbara said was fine, as long as the general scene was captured.

Also, the photograph showed a somewhat unpleasant-looking area on the left, near the white fence. It looked like there was some construction going on there, and everything in front of the courthouse area was kind of a mess — it looked like a drainage ditch or something. So I made that into a path and put a couple of wagons near there.

There was a very humorous element that Barbara had noticed, too: a set of stairs, which looked like a wedge of cheese, put up against the white fence, but not quite as high as the fence. I said, “Barbara, should I draw that?” It looked like they had forgotten to build a place to get through, so they put those stairs there so people could climb up and jump over. Who knows what they were supposed to do from the other side of the fence. (Editor’s note: If you’ve got any idea what’s going on with those stairs, let us know in the comments.)

Q: In the May issue, we include an excerpt from a story that ran in a 1938 issue of the magazine — a fanciful imagining of what life was like in Wild West-era Prescott around the time this illustration depicts. Did you think about including any gunfights or passed-out drunks in the illustration?
A: I didn’t get any direction to do that, so I assumed that wasn’t desired. Being a lifelong Easterner, I would have just been showing my ignorance. I didn’t want to Hollywood-ize the illustration. Barbara said to add some “life,” not some “life or death.” (Laughs.)

Q: We love the illustration. Were you satisfied with the final product?
A: Pretty much so. There are certainly things, and this is not unusual for me — you have to be a little obsessive-compulsive to do what I do. There are endless little things where I could say, “Let me just go and refine that and touch it up.” That could apply to any line in the piece. and then I might decide later that I should leave it as is.

I wonder whether I should have put more light and fewer ruts in the road, but I think the ruts add a lot of character — like there’s a lot of activity going on. I’m always fooling around with the clouds — should they be lighter, more dramatic underneath?

It’s never-ending with me. It’s a weird life that I live because of this technique. There are scratchboard artists who don’t take as long as I do, but I think I tend to pack my things with more detail than other artists do. I make trouble for myself that way.

For more information about Douglas Smith, visit his portfolio page or pick up a copy of our May issue, which exclusively features Smith on the Contributors page.


Filed under Covers, History, Q&A

Sneak Peek: Our May Cover Is Spectacular!

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.11.05 AMOur May issue is dedicated to Prescott, which is celebrating its sesquicentennial this year. Check in with us on Wednesday for a Q&A with the artist behind this remarkable cover illustration.


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Filed under Covers

Q&A: Spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service Talks Wildfires & Spending Cuts

Photograph by Jag Fergus

Photograph by Jag Fergus | Doce Fire

Arizona is still mourning the June 30 loss of 19 “hotshot” firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire, and while it will be a while before we know exactly what happened, we do know that the fire spread very quickly — much like the other recent wildfire in the Prescott area. That blaze, the Doce Fire northwest of Prescott, is now almost fully contained, as is Yarnell Hill. But if previous fire seasons are any indication, these won’t be the only dangerous wildfires Arizona faces this year.

As detailed in a recent Associated Press story, reduced federal funding for “fuels reduction” programs, such as prescribed burns, could make wildfires more severe and difficult to fight. Before the Yarnell Hill Fire broke out, we spoke with Cathie Schmidlin, a Southwestern Region spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service, to learn how budget cuts could affect Arizona this fire season.

If more money had been spent on prevention, might Arizona’s recent wildfires have been less severe, or easier to control?

When wildfires occur, a lot of factors come into play, including weather, fuels conditions and terrain, so it isn’t really possible to speculate about [specific wildfires]. What we do know is that we have many examples of places, including Arizona, where reducing hazardous fuels has helped moderate fire behavior, made fires easier to control and made it easier for firefighters to protect lives, homes, and communities.

In 2006, the Forest Service initiated a program to evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed fire and mechanical treatments designed to reduce the risk of wildfire.  When a wildfire starts within, or burns into, a fuel-treatment area, an assessment is conducted to evaluate the resulting impacts on fire behavior and fire suppression actions.  In 2011, the Forest Service made the effectiveness assessment mandatory whenever a wildfire impacts a previously treated area.

Results show that, of almost 1,200 cases in the database, 93 percent of the fuel treatments were effective in changing fire behavior or helping with control of the wildfire; 56 percent of these fuel treatments were effective in helping keep wildfires less than 10 acres; and 61 percent were effective in helping keep wildfires less than 20 acres.

Because our capacity to treat fuels with prescribed fire and mechanical treatments is not adequate to restore all national-forest lands in need, it is especially important that wildfire itself be used as a tool, where possible, to restore forests. Appropriate wildfire response can include a range of actions from aggressive suppression to confinement, point protection and monitoring.

Are there areas of Arizona that could benefit from more prevention funding?

An emphasis, for more than a decade, in Arizona has been to treat hazardous fuels to reduce the risk of unwanted fire on communities, livelihoods, municipal watersheds and infrastructure. Treatments are focused in areas where risk is high, risk can be effectively mitigated, and communities are committed to implementing changes to become more fire-adapted.

Areas of focus in Arizona include the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (Coconino, Kaibab, Tonto, and Apache-Sitgreaves national forests), White Mountain Stewardship (Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests) Rim Communities (Tonto National Forest), Flagstaff Watershed Restoration Plan (Coconino National Forest), and Prescott Basin (Prescott National Forest).

We’ve had two gigantic wildfires (Rodeo-Chediski and Wallow) in the last decade. If funding cuts continue, could we be looking at another Wallow Fire somewhere else in Arizona in the near future?

The Wallow Fire actually was less severe due to treatments. The fire became easier to control in several areas that had been treated near Alpine, enhancing firefighters’ ability to protect property there.

We really can’t speculate about the impact of any future funding reductions. Reducing hazardous fuels is key to reducing the risk of extreme wildfires, and we will continue to do our best with the funds we have available.

The role and importance of fire in Southwestern forests is well-documented. Fire history (footprint of fire) directly affects fire severity, and it serves as a metric in anticipating future fire severity.

—Noah Austin, Associate Editor


Filed under Eco Issues

Honoring 19 Fallen Heroes

As you know, the wildfire in Yarnell has not only devastated the tiny Arizona town near Prescott; on Sunday afternoon, it also claimed the lives of 19 hotshot firefighters, making Sunday the deadliest day for firefighters in the U.S. since September 11, 2001.

Yesterday, Prescott Fire Chief Dan Fraijo read the names of the 19 fallen heroes. We honor your service and we pray that you will never be forgotten. May you each rest in peace.

— Andrew Ashcraft, 29

— Kevin Woyjeck, 21

— Anthony Rose, 23

— Eric Marsh, 43

— Christopher MacKenzie, 30

— Robert Caldwell, 23

— Clayton Whitted , 28

— Scott Norris, 28

— Dustin Deford, 24

— Sean Misner, 26

— Garret Zuppiger, 27

— Travis Carter, 31

— Grant McKee, 21

— Travis Turbyfill, 27

— Jesse Steed, 36

— Wade Parker, 22

— Joe Thurston, 32

— William Warneke, 25

— John Percin, 24

There is a sacredness in tears. 
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. 
They speak more eloquently than ten 
thousand tongues. 
They are messengers of overwhelming grief…
and unspeakable love.
–Washington Irving

Words can’t convey how saddened we are by this horrific tragedy, and like so many of you in Arizona and across the country, we want to help.

Below is a list of organizations that are accepting donations both for the families of the 19 firefighters and for the residents of Yarnell, many of whom lost their homes to the blaze.

As for the fire, it has consumed more than 8,000 acres and is currently at zero percent containment.

100 Club’s HEROS Fund in memory of the Granite Mountain Hotshots

Red Cross Arizona/Grand Canyon Chapter

Prescott Firefighter’s Charities

Bashas’ supermarkets (Food City, AJ’s)

Arizona Diamondbacks


Filed under Eco Issues, Make a Difference