Desert Messenger

February 15, 2012

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February 15, 2012 Desert Messenger celebrates the arizona's centennial with Voices from The Past in Quartzsite, AZ Excerpts from "In the Shadow of Saguaros" by Rosalee Oldham Wheeler 1912 Auto Race to Arizona State Fair The first Arizona State Fair was scheduled for October 28 thru November 2, 1912 and automobiles were a headliner with one promotional poster featuring a gloved and goggled lady at the wheel of an auto with a Boston terrier at her side. Since 1908 the Maricopa Auto Club of the American Automobile Club (AAA) had sanctioned auto rac- es from Los Angeles to Phoenix featuring the automobiles of various manufacturers in order to draw attention to the need for the construction of more roads out West. Between Los Ange- les and Phoenix there was 511 miles of dirt trails over sandy desert terrain, rocky hills, and a bridgeless Colorado River. The races were a true test of endur- ance for the automobile manu- facturers and their teams. By 1912 the races had become well known and would help publicize the first Arizona State Fair. The entries includ- ed a White Steamer, a KisselKar, a Franklin, three Cadillacs, an Apperson Jack Rabbit, a Simplex, Rambler, Mercedes, Maxwell, and an Ohio among others. In front of the Hollenbeck Hotel in Los Angeles, a total of 24 autos were poised for the start at 11:05 p.m. on Saturday the 26th day of October. The race would be very important for Ralph Hamblin, the authorized Los An- geles Franklin automobile dealer and the only auto that featured an air- cooled engine. With water a scarce commodity over most of the course, Hamlin wanted to showcase the desert-friendly Franklin. With his mechanic Andrew Smith beside him Hamlin steered the Franklin through Los Angeles, where the only im- proved roads on the course ex- isted. Less than two hours out on the course the race almost came to an end for the Frank- lin. A Buick had overturned and lay twisted in the center of the road. With Smith guiding the way, Hamlin steered around the crumpled auto. The Mercedes following Hamlin was not so lucky and added to the crumpled metal in the roadway. Near Banning the Franklin Chiropractic $ Dr. Michael Cole, D.C. Providing Chiropractic care to Quartzsite! Adjustments WINTER HOURS: Quartzsite 25 Friday 9am-noon/2:30-5pm • Sat. 9-11am Dr. Michael Cole, D.C. Chiropractic Care 225 N. Central Suite #7 Quartzsite For more information call: 928-533-4588 928-859-3057 passed two of the Cadillacs. Smith shouted to Hamlin, "There are only two autos ahead of us now!" The townsfolk in Quartzsite, being on the main route between Los Angeles and Phoe- nix, were anxiously looking forward to the race cars coming though town. Bill Keiser and a man by the name of Fowler had bor- rowed a buckboard from Anton Hagley, the proprietor of the boarding house where they resided, and were on their way to the first Arizona State Fair. They had hitched their horses to the borrowed buckboard early that morning with the idea that the race cars would pass them somewhere on the trail to Phoenix. They had no idea at what point the automobiles would over- take them, but they were concerned that Page 17 the roar of the engine from these new noisy modes of transportation might scare the horses and cause a runaway. Bill drove the team and Fowler kept an eye out for the race cars coming up behind. Several times they saw dust rising but it turned out to be just dust devils. When a long dust streak grew wider and taller they felt sure it was from the lead race car and pulled off the trail near where the village of Brenda is now located. The mechanic of the lead car, the third Ca- dillac, waved as they roared like the wind past the buckboard. The team of horses seemingly paid no attention to the car and dozed during all the excitement. Bill sur- mised that the horses had seen more auto- SEE RACE PAGE 36 The best little RV Park in Quartzsite! NIGHTLY • WEEKLY • MONTHLY RENTALS Al‛s RV Park Clean and comfortable On the quiet side of Quartzsite at the corner of S. Riggles Ave. and East Kuehn. Call 928-927-6715 56480 Hwy 60 (1/2 mile West of Vicksburg Rd.) VICKSBURG AREA Open for Lunch & Dinner 11am - 8pm "If you are hungary for good Mexican Food"

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