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Thread: Santa Fe Pump Station near Winslow Arizona

  1. #1
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    Default Santa Fe Pump Station near Winslow Arizona

    The ruins of the Santa Fe Pumping Station are located in Clear Creek Canyon about 5 miles southeast of Winslow Arizona. I came across the site recently when I paddled up the lake that now backs into the canyon. Information on the history and operation of the station is pretty sparse. David Myrick’s “The Santa Fe Route” only mentions Clear Creek as a water source. There is nothing on the pump station.
    From what I have been able to piece together elsewhere, the station was built in 1898 with the pump machinery located in the bottom of the canyon. Water was pumped to the rim and then piped the 5 miles to the railroad yard and was also used by the town. Coal was brought in to run the equipment. The best known feature of the site was the 1000 step staircase that extended from the rim down to the bottom of the canyon. With that staircase now missing, it is impossible to travel from the rim to the bottom of the canyon or vice versa. After looking over the site from the lake, I returned to my truck and then drove and hiked over to the canyon rim to look things over from above. Evidence now at the site suggests that at some later date, the pumps were moved up away from the canyon bottom and were probably also converted to electrical power. There is a huge storage basin on the rim. I do not know when the pumps were shut down. A 1949 newspaper article about an elderly woman who had gone missing mentioned that she lived at the pump station. The site today is listed as a “brownfields” polluted site, scheduled for future clean-up.
    The first photo was taken from lake level. I believe that the rock wall seen on the skyline was part of the foundation for the building seen in the photo below. The large concrete foundation does not appear in the early photo. The stone wall at lake level is also in the early photo. The second photo was taken from the rim. The pump bases were not accessible. The third photo is of the storage basin on the rim. The 4th photo is the only photo that I have been able to find. It is an early 1900’s view of the pump station in operation.

    I have other photos at: www.azbackcountryadventures.com/clear.htm
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  2. #2
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    Very cool! I need to check that out. I wasn't even aware of the pumping station until last fall when I stopped at a small coffe shop in Winslow (I don't recall the name, it is right off I-40, I think it is the second Winslow exit coming into town from the west) and saw some historic photos of it on the wall. Thanks for posting this. I'm very interested with the Santa Fe's history in AZ.


    Joe

  3. #3
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    Perhaps some old photos of the site could be found by contacting these folks: http://www.oldtrailsmuseum.org/. They are located in Winslow.

    Joe

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    Very interesting. Thanks for posting . . .....
    - Wolfgang -

  5. #5
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    campp is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Excellent, had no idea that was there. I'd like to know how coal was transported to the site. Wagon/truck, I presume.

  6. #6
    Vulture's Avatar
    Vulture is offline Rock Crawlin GPS Moving Map Totin Trailblazing Expert Ghost Towner
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    Nice find! What a beautiful place. Any fishing there?

    <
    "The good things a person needs-stubbornness, thinking for himself-don't make him a useful member of society. What makes him useful is to be half dead." Sylvan Hart

  7. #7
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    Joe, thanks for the info on the diner and the museum. I will be back in the area in a couple of weeks and will try to look them up. BTW, regular gas prices on the Interstate last week were $3.13 per gallon. They were practically giving it away.....

    And Steve, I think that I read that coal was brought in by wagon in the earliest days of the station.

    Vulture, the canyon is very scenic! Coming across the pump station was just a nice bonus. In fact, I only learned the history of the site after I returned home. I had gone to the lake for the paddling. There is fishing. I believe that it is considered to be a warm water fishery. I have caught trout in Clear Creek closer to the Rim. I don't know if they make it down to the lake or not. There were fishermen north of the Highway 99 bridge, but none in the canyon.

    Ernie
    www.azbackcountryadventures.com/clrcrk.htm


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  8. #8
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    excellent pics and story TOY!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    campp's Avatar
    campp is offline Rawk Crawlin GPS Totin Ghost Towning Expert
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    Wow, that is a nice tight panel there. Beautiful! Thanks for posting.

  10. #10
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    Here is the coffee shop I mentioned in my earlier reply: http://m.yelp.com/biz/mojo-cafe-winslow. They have great coffee and burritos. There are numerous historic photos of the Winslow area hanging on the walls.

    Joe

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