A ",field_main_title:"most enjoyable evening: music in early Prescott and Flagstaff, Arizona Territory, ca. 1865-ca. 1890

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Although one finds much scholarship on nineteenth-century music in America, one finds relatively little about music in the post-Civil-War frontier west. Generalities concerning small frontier towns of regional importance remain

Although one finds much scholarship on nineteenth-century music in America, one finds relatively little about music in the post-Civil-War frontier west. Generalities concerning small frontier towns of regional importance remain to be discovered. This paper aims to contribute to scholarship by chronicling musical life in the early years of two such towns in northern Arizona territory: Prescott and Flagstaff. Prescott, adjacent to Fort Whipple, was founded in 1864 to serve as capital of the new territory. Primarily home to soldiers and miners, the town was subject to many challenges of frontier life. Flagstaff, ninety miles to the north-northwest, was founded about two decades later in 1883 during the building of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad, which connected the town to Albuquerque, New Mexico in the east and southern California in the west. Although the particular resources of each town provided many different musical opportunities, extant newspaper articles from Prescott's Arizona Miner and Flagstaff's Arizona Champion describe communities in which musical concerts, dances and theatrical performances provided entertainment and socializing for its citizens. Furthermore, music was an important part of developing institutions such as the church, schools, and fraternal lodges, and the newspapers of both towns advertised musical instruments and sheet music. Both towns were home to amateur musicians, and both offered the occasional opportunity to learn to dance or play an instrument. Although territorial Arizona was sometimes harsh and resources were limited, music was valued in these communities and was a consistent presence in frontier life.