Early days of Hunt Highway

A photo of early Hunt Highway, circa 1913. (Courtesy of town of Queen Creek)

A photo of early Hunt Highway, circa 1913. (Courtesy of town of Queen Creek)


“When our auto turned at the Higley end of this new highway and started for Florence, the driver shifted onto the high gear and made the 35-mile home run in one hour and five minutes,” Arizona Blade, February 1913.

Just six months prior to this 1913 report, an automobile party composed of the Honorable Lamar Cobb, State Engineer; Jas. A. Parker, assistant state engineer; Geo. H. Binkley, of the Mesa Improvement Co., Chandler; Geo. T. Peabody, secretary of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce; L.H. Sarey, postmaster and merchant at Higley; and Oris Holdren, arrived in Florence from Higley by way of the old Silvestre ranch. The route skirted the foothills of the mountains, a range we now refer to as the San Tan Mountains; “…lying south of Webster station and north of Sacaton.” The party returned to Higley by the road that follows along the Arizona-Eastern railroad tracks.

The purpose of the trip was to acquire knowledge of the topography of the country between Florence and Higley and the character of the surface material with a view to locating the most feasible route for the state highway between Phoenix and Florence. Mr. Higley proposed that if the state would locate the road directly from Higley to Florence, and clear the right-of-way, he would put on his teams and completely grade the road-bed from Higley to the Pinal county line without cost to the state.

And in February of 1913, another auto party left Florence for a run to Higley over the new state highway that was just receiving the finishing touches, aside from the culvert work, which would be held in abeyance until a standard for state highway culverts could be decided on.

“Starting from the Florence depot, the new highway trends almost due west for about 25 miles, then turns at a right angle and goes seven miles due north to Higley railroad station, the present terminus of the highway. If it can be dragged just once more and rolled after the next heavy rain, it will be the finest 35-mile stretch of highway in the state, without a single exception.”

Reprinted courtesy of the town of Queen Creek website.

The Queen Creek Independent is mailed each month to 24,000 homes.

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