Despite the excitement when Webber Field was dedicated in Williams in 1925, the following years saw the deterioration of the airfield.
Elephant Rocks are a geologic feature consisting of about a half dozen basalt boulders spread out in a small area that resemble elephants and are located at the present day Elephant Rocks Golf Course in Williams.
A family stands in front of their car in Williams in the 1920s.
Children wait for their picture to be taken during a winter snowstorm in Williams in the 1920s.
The year 1921 stands unique in the history of United States aeronautics. World War I had just ended, and a stimulus of popular curiosity emerged regarding the aircraft that essentially won the war.
When Charles Lindbergh landed at Webber Field in Williams in April 1928, dozens of residents came out to witness the landing, including local resident E.O. Messimer.
Vintage cars park along Historic Route 66 in downtown Williams, circa 1925.
In 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first aviator to make a solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Lindbergh’s feat gained him immediate, international fame. Americans and Europeans idolized the shy, slim young man and showered him with honors.
The San Francisco Peaks can be seen off in the distance.
Downtown Williams in the 1920s.
Slagel Street in Williams looking toward the original high school ca. 1920s.
A spray job (spruce bud worm) on the North Kaibab district and part of the Grand Canyon National Park ca. 1960.
Out of the past: Williams Pay-N-Take and Billiards Hall
Williams experienced a heavy winter in 1948.
He was older —much older than most of the men on the small base in the mountains of Afghanistan. His men affectionately thought of him as the grandpa of the base and at 49, Michael Rioux was the oldest man in the unit.
Vikings football players play a game in the early 1950s in Williams.
In 1966, Roger Ely was 18 years old and was headed to college on a wrestling scholarship when, out of a sense of duty, he asked his uncle to drive him to the recruiter’s office where he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Shortly thereafter, he found himself on his way to Vietnam.
By 1950, WWII had been over for five years and the United States and countries around the world were still rebuilding — the last thing they wanted was to fight another war.
Looking at Walter you might guess he’s around 60 years old, so when he told me he just celebrated his 95th birthday my jaw hit the floor. His energy is contagious and you just can’t help smiling after spending any amount of time with him. Walter Olmsted Jr. was born in upstate New York on Sept. 22, 1922.
The Navajo Ordnance Depot was built in Bellemont in 1942 as an ammunition storage location for the Pacific Theater of World War II.
Fields of yellow calliopsis flowers, wide swaths of ponderosa pines, the majestic San Francisco Peaks. There is so much to see on I-40 between Williams and Flagstaff, so it’s not surprising if the communities of Bellemont and Camp Navajo slip by unnoticed.
The Big Indian Trading Post and Kentucky Fried Chicken were located on Second Street and Route 66 in 1981.
Downtown Williams 36 years ago.
Interstate 40 replaced Route 66 in this area in the 1980s, but lies in a similar location today.
Views of Williams in 1915 show dirt roads, the railroad and Sitgreaves Mountain in the distance.