AJ, AZ High 81 Low 60
I have wanted to go to downtown Phoenix and explore Wesley Bolen Plaza and tour the capitol building for several years, so Saturday morning was the time. I figured there wouldn’t be a whole lot of traffic (there’s always a whole lot of traffic – just not as bad as rush hour) and that downtown would be mostly empty. Amazing how wrong I can be.
When we got down to the Plaza we discovered that all the streets were blocked off for some kind of fund raiser and there was no where to park. We drove around and around and finally decided we needed to go with Plan B.
There are some museums I have on my list to visit and I got out the GPS to figure out which ones were where. The only one close to us was the Phoenix Trolley Museum.
In 1887 the first mule-drawn streetcar rolled down Washington Street. At it’s peak in 1920, the system ran on over twenty miles of track on city streets. In 1947 a fire destroyed most of the streetcars and the city shifted to buses which ended the era of the Trolleys.
This is a photo of the car when it was running.
Car #116 was one of 18 built at a cost of $13,700 each. It has ten windows on each side and is 39 feet, 11 inches long and 40 reversible seats. Built in St. Louis and was wired for 600 volts DC electric current.
The volunteers had to restore Car #116 from top to bottom. What a lot of work and love have gone into their work.
This gentlemen was our docent and happens to be the youngest of the volunteers at 63. He was wonderful and had so much passion for his Trolley. He is a carpenter and did all of the woodwork during the restoration. We thoroughly listening to him and learned a lot from him.
This museum is one of those that is run by volunteers on an almost non-existent budget. They only have two cars of which only one has been restored. They have also been told by the city of Phoenix that they have to relocate the museum by October of 2017 and are desperately trying to figure out what they are going to do.
I’m really glad we were able to visit while we still could.