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Wickenburg Art Club

In 2007 The Wickenburg Art Club celebrates its 43rd year. We were organized formally on November 23, 1964. Our long association with February’s Gold Rush Days actually began before the Club was formed when Chuck Brown was asked to chair an art show for the 1961 event. That first show was held in the parking lot next to what is now Ben’s Saddlery on Tegner Street. In 1964 the Gold Rush Art Show was held on the American Legion lawn where one hundred paintings were exhibited. It moved to its present location in and around the Wickenburg Library in 1971 …

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Wickenburg Airport: Before and During

Right now, Wickenburg Municipal Airport, one of the best facilities in Wickenburg, is closed. It’s getting a major runway overhaul, with 1,500 feet added to the northeast end and 500 feet taken away from the southwest end to result in a net 1,000 foot increase in length. The completed runway, which should be opened to air traffic again in mid September, will be over 6,000 feet long.

This is a great thing for Wickenburg. The airport can now accommodate more private and fractional jets — aircraft that bring affluent people to town where they (hopefully) spend money at our guest …

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Rancho Grande Motel

One of the old photos of Wickenburg that I tracked down is this old postcard of the Rancho Grande Motel in downtown Wickenburg.

I’m no expert, but I’m guessing that this postcard was from the 1950s or early 1960s. (It would be a lot easier to tell if there were cars in the photo.)

The Rancho Grande Motel, circa 1950s or 1960s.

The motel still exists. It’s now the Best Western Rancho Grande Motel and, as you can see in the photo below, it’s been expanded a bit with a huge sign. The cover over the drive-through area for …

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La Siesta Motel

La Siesta Motel was one of the many motels that lined route 60 in Wickenburg between Phoenix and California — the old California Highway. Located just east of the Hassayampa River, its outstanding feature was a huge rock formation. Water flowed from this formation in a manmade waterfall and the motel office was built right into the rock.

This postcard image, from the late 1950s or early 1960s, shows a classic roadside motel like so many of the driving vacation era.

La Siesta Motel, circa 1960.

When I first came to Wickenburg in the late 1990s, La Siesta Motel …

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The Mecca Motel

In our never-ending effort to match up old photos with current ones for our new Before and After Section, here’s a photo of The Mecca Motel or “Haven of Rest” as it was labeled on this postcard from the 1940s or 1950’s. As you can see, one of the features of this downtown motel was covered parking for guests.

The Mecca Motel, Haven of Rest, 1940s or 1950s.

When I first came to Wickenburg in 1995, those covered parking spots still existed. Subsequently, Sonja Green, a local Realtor, purchased the property and made some changes to the exterior. The …

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