If you know me, you know how I feeL about trains….
John surprised me one day last week with a visit to Southern Pacific Engine 2355. What a beautiful piece of machinery! It is a truly amazing accomplishment these steam engines were! 2355 was built in 1912 in Philadelphia (Fly Eagles Fly!) and there ten engines in its class (T-31). Engine 2355 ran the Sunset Route from LA to New Orleans, passing through Yuma, Phoenix and Mesa. One of the citizens of Mesa, Mr. Brinton, brought the old engine to Mesa, so that future generations could see first hand what steam engines were like.
Also at Pioneer Park is a statue commemorating the founding pioneers and a plaque commemorating the group of pioneers who dug a canal to irrigate the desert and a monument to the pioneers who developed Mesa.
The Pioneer Monument is dedicated to the first settlers in 1877-1878. They decided to settle in Mesa when they found the remains of an irrigation system built 1000 years earlier by the Hohokam. That’s a well built system for the remains to still be there and be recognizable! They also had a plaque commemorating the “Honeymoon Trail” a fascinating story of how settlers who met and decided to marry in Mesa had to travel 400 miles to St. George Utah to the St George Temple to marry! The design of the monument was to symbolize the accomplishments of the pioneers, building homes, bringing cultural activities and reclamation of the lands and bringing agriculture.
The Founding Fathers statue commemorates Charles Robson, Francis Pomeroy, George Sirrine and Charles Crismon and their city planning that became the city of Mesa.