Rodeo Grandstand - Prescott AZ
The Prescott Rodeo grounds at the Yavapai County Fairgrounds were constructed with the help of the New Deal in the mid-1930s.
Among the improvements to what was then known as the Northern Arizona State Fairground were a large rodeo grandstand, administration buildings, an infirmary, two barracks, a bakery, a kitchen and mess hall, and two water wells.
Many of the buildings no longer exist, but the grandstand is still in use. It is uncertain whether the stone Doc Pardee building and Danny Freeman building behind the grandstand are also New Deal in origin. One source (World’s Oldest Rodeo) is definite that they were, but it also says that the work was done by the WPA and CCC – though there is no evidence of the latter being involved. Relief workers also built a fishpond, trails and small bridges the granite rock formations behind the fairgrounds, in their spare time.
The work began as a Civil Works Administration (CWA) project in the winter of 1933-34 and apparently continued under the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) in 1934-35. Relief workers were housed at the fairgrounds in what was then known as “Camp Prescott.” Work may have continued under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) after 1935.
In 2011, city workers and volunteers unearthed the remains of the “Trail to the Top,” a route that begins behind the Doc Pardee and Danny Freeman buildings and climbs to an overlook. Through the years, the “Trail to the Top” had become obscured with overgrown brush and dirt. The city spruced up the route and reopened it for public use.
Cindy Barks, Venue of ‘World’s Oldest Rodeo’ has more than a century of history. The Daily Courier, July 4, 2018. https://www.dcourier.com/news/2018/jul/04/venue-worlds-oldest-rodeo-has-more-century-history/
Project originally submitted by Shaina Potts on March 4, 2013.
Additional contributions by Richard Walker.
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