Flagstaff, Arizona has always been a “favorite town” of mine. But before there was a Flagstaff, Lt. E. F. Beale blazed his wagon road thru the Flagstaff area in 1857 with his camels in the lead, built his road in 1858 as his camels rejoined him there from California, and he found its (BWR's) winter operational conditions to be OK on his return from California in February 1859.
The BLM land survey of 1878 (see below) specifically identifies and locates the Beale Wagon Road (BWR) passing across northern Flagstaff. See the old BWR crossing Sec. 2 & 3 in the 1878 BLM Initial Land Survey for T21N, R7E, Gila and Salt River Meridian. Sec. 16 shows the location of the original Flagstaff pole, now at 1778 N. Thorpe Avenue and, it is believed, Antelope Springs (a Beale watering hole), now located at 913 West Lower Coconino Avenue, Flagstaff, Arizona. The BLM website for the 1878 land survey is at:
The BLM survey of 1878 shows that connecting wagon roads (Overland Road) soon developed from the northside BWR south to the Flagstaff campground. From the campground, the road went on southwest around Mars Hill (Lowell Observatory), passing by Antelope Springs in 0.7 miles. After the Civil War, this area (from the campground to Antelope Springs) quickly developed into "Old Town" Flagstaff, then in 1884 and two years after the arrival of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, "Old Town" burned, and a "New Town" Flagstaff was built about a half-mile east at the location of the new A&P (now BNSF) railroad station. Later immigrants slowly rebuilt homes over the "Old Town" area and Antelope Springs lost its name. Today, "Old Town Spring(s) Park" historically recognizes this historic site, at 913 West Lower Coconino Avenue (a stones throw south to the BNSF railroad passing east-west thru Flagstaff).
Also, see Google Maps for the site of “Original Flagstaff Replica,” Flagstaff, Arizona, with Frances Short Pond built on "Rio de Flag" in the background with a related historical marker at the base of the flag pole seen in attached pictures. Similar pictorial coverage is available in Google Maps for Frances Short Pond and Old Town Spring Park in Flagstaff.
"East Linda Vista Drive" tracks the Old Beale Wagon Road from Old US 66 at US 89 (in northeast Flagstaff near Flagstaff Mall) west across Northern Flagstaff a few miles to N. Paradise Road. The BWR then went northwest a few miles passing near the intersection of US 180 with Schultz Pass Road, just northwest of the Museum of Northern Arizona, in northwest Flagstaff.
It seems many Historic US 66 buffs driving the Mother Road thru Flagstaff today believe that "New Town" (downtown) Flagstaff is "Historic Old Town" Flagstaff. To those that know the BWR and flag staff stories, prior to the arrival of the A&P Railroad, we know better..