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Flagstaff History: Woman was in intensive care after freak accident involving car

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Flagstaff History

125 years ago

1896: One of the wonders of Coconino County. Arizona is known chiefly to the world at large as the hottest place in Uncle Sam’s domain, and here the information of a great many otherwise intelligent people ends. Arizona is a country of extremes and contradictions. For instance, the southwest corner near Yuma approaches to within 100 feet of sea level, while the San Francisco Peaks tower above. These curiosities are situated right around the town of Flagstaff.

They may be reached by a delightful drive through the pine forests, over smooth and level roads. It is the last place in the world where one would care to look for caves, for there is not a mountain within a dozen miles, and the rolling country is densely wooded. But there are caves and admittance is gained by crawling through and under three large boulders. None but small men and new women may enter, for one must crawl backward through a passage just large enough to squeeze one small body through. Here the air is decidedly cooler, and a little ice is seen in the cracks of the irregular walls. The passage to the lowest chamber is more perilous and difficult than any yet encountered. The floor of the cave is of solid ice and the walls are wings coated with sheets of pure ice that sparkle in the candlelight like diamonds and crystals. The contrasts are remarkable. Above the warm summer sun smiles down through the palm of atmospheres and the mercury marks 85 degrees in the shade. This is tropical Arizona. 100 feet below is the perpetual ice of the arctic regions. That is the other extreme.

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100 years ago

1921: Begins to look good for the new high school. The building delayed by inability to sell $275,000 bonds floated by Flagstaff District One more than a year ago has kept the needed improvement in the background. However, the Board of Supervisors was recently offered power with accumulated interest from August 1920. The bonds will have to be readvertised and bids made in the usual way.

There is little doubt that this time the bonds will be sold -- which means that the new high school should be ready for occupancy before the beginning of the next school year. This is fortunate, as the present school quarters are so crowded that it would be almost impossible to get along for another year without at least adding to the present building.

50 years ago

1971: A Flagstaff woman remains in critical condition in the intensive care unit of Flagstaff Community Hospital following a freak automobile accident early Sunday afternoon. The injured is Mrs. Ida B. Polachowski, 69, of Flagstaff, who apparently had her 1966 Ford station wagon roll backward over her and who suffered multiple injuries because of the freak mishap. Flagstaff police said the accident apparently came about when the woman left the residence of friends on north Alta Vista Drive and had her car stall on the street. She apparently left the car in one of the moving gears in its automatic transmission, and she started back for her friend’s house. The car began rolling backward, and witnesses indicated the woman ran to the vehicle and tried to stop it. The car continued in its downhill progress, ran over the woman and dragged her for about 40 feet.

The progress of the vehicle was stopped by one of the tires coming to rest against the woman’s head. The car was removed and the woman’s body  freed by two brothers, both in Flagstaff, who tied on to it with a chain and pulled it away with their pickup truck. The woman was then taken by ambulance to the hospital. The hospital described her injuries as multiple cuts and bruises. But what about her head?

25 years ago

1996: Make way for those elk! If you build a path for elk, they will come. If you don’t, they will still come, but with potentially dangerous results.

Many elk around the Continental area regularly visit Elden Hills golf course just off Country Club Road. They partake of the grass on the putting greens and the water of the duck ponds. But when they are done munching, they don’t have a road that takes them out of town. For years the animals that naturally want to leave the course by going east or north have wandered across Country Club Road somewhere near Flagstaff Athletic Club - East. The pattern was interrupted earlier this month when landowner Michael Edgley built a fence around property he owns between the athletic club and the golf course.

Edgley built the fence around his 3 1/2-acre chunk of land so he could start a Christmas tree farm. He now realizes how important the row it is to the elk and has agreed to work with Arizona Game and Fish to set aside a half-acre for an elk corridor. Edgley said he was perfectly willing to give up that amount of productivity to protect animal safety. He said they now plan to grow about 15,000 blue spruce trees that will be ready to be sold in five years.

All events were taken from issues of the Arizona Daily Sun and its predecessors, the Coconino Weekly Sun and the Coconino Sun.

Bruce Carl Ertmann assisted with compiling the events.


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