Commercial Property Development
Probably the first commercial business in Lake Mohave Ranchos was (Fane) Bell's Service Station. This is across the street from the Community bldg. & the building was the one there today with the false front & wooden porch. This was opened in the spring of 1962 (and torn down Sept 2019)
1962 was a great year for development & Mr. Cliff Privett was the builder for so much of it. Frank Zimmerman's Grocery Store was opened in July 1962 & was in the present building, on lot 14, Lake Mohave Ranchos Commercial Center. Cliff Privett & Lee Francis opened the trailer park on lot 21 in August 1962, Mr. & Mrs. Tony Restino opened the 4 R Variety Store the 1st week in Sept. 1962, this building is now the county library. (On Don Nell behind Family Dollar and American Legion)
When Mr. Privett completed the construction of the Variety Store, he then started construction of the Mt Shadows Motel for himself and Mr. Francis. They also opened a small cafe in the large motel room next to Pierce Ferry Rd. Realizing soon that it was too small Tom White & Mr. Francis convinced Mr. & Mrs. Harold Bier to have Mr. Privett construct them a cafe on lot 4 & this building opened Feb 1963 today serves as a laundry mat.
Lloyd and Opal Starr's service station went under construction in February 1963. This is now the Mobil Station on lot 22.
I might say in order to dress up our commercial center Tom White personally planted an elm tree at each commercial property and all owners agreed if I would they would care for them. Very few did, however, some survived & you can see them today. (In 2019 the only remaining two trees are in front of the Post Office and Hot Diggity Dog)
Pierce Ferry Rd. Paving and subdivision the dirt Pierce Ferry Rd from U.S. 93 to what is now Dolan Springs stayed in terrible shape regardless of how much Tom White bladed it. The traffic generated by our sale office thru out the nation kept the road in constant need of blading &in the flash flood season I've seen ditches across the P.F. Rd. 4 ft. Deep in several places. Traffic would be trapped until Tom could get the road repaired.
By the summer of 1961, Tom White began asking our present residents to attend our county supervisor meetings, write them letters, & ask for help in any way possible. This was a thorn in their side, ?? action. In the fall of 1961, Tom White requested our people to attend the Monday supervisors meeting as a group. All weekend I also asked all nonresident property owners here to be there? to stay over if possible & also attend the meeting.
Tom had asked Mrs. Frank Lloyd to be the resident spokesman for the group & I would speak for the Corp. Mr. & Mrs. Lloyd constructed the house & resided across the road from the feed store. (The corner of Stirrup and Pierce Ferry) Tom over the past months had convinced the Corp. Officers that we should also offer what financial assistance to the county that we could.
We made newspaper headlines that day. There was 75 of us attended the supervisor's meeting & they could not ignore us. Before the Mohave County Courthouse was added on to it was really rather small. We packed the meeting room, jammed the hall & spilled over to the lawn, such a crowd the supervisors decided to hear our problem first so they could disband us & continue with their meeting agenda. Mrs. Lloyd spoke for our group approximately 15 minutes and as expected the Supervisors said they realized we had a problem, however as the road dept. was very short of funds, there was nothing that could be done at this point. As prearranged Tom White took the floor & asked the Supervisors if they could oil the road & maintain it if we helped by supplying material ?? & water for the project, loan them our dozer, blade, & water truck & purchase the road oil.
Waving something like this in front of politicians is like waving candy at a child. I could see their wheels turning, here was a chance for the county to gain an improvement at very little expense & the Supervisors get credit for the job. We were told they would consult the county engineer & attorney & would get back to us. Two weeks later we were notified our offer was accepted.
At this moment we threw our wheels in motion, as we really didn't have enough cash for the road oil purchase. A plea went out through the Southwestern Life newspaper for donations. Our property owners thru out the nation had soon sent in some $40,000.00 & our project was on its way. The Pierce Ferry Rd. was paved from U.S. Highway 93 to Dolan Springs & the loop around the commercial center in July 1962. Two problems arose over the years. L.M.R. Corp. gave the county the P.F. Rd easement & somehow, they failed to (include?) it which later was indeed a problem. The second problem was the county agreed to maintain both the Pierce Ferry Rd & the commercial center loop over the years this agreement was lost by the county.
When the Tom White family arrived in March 1959, Jordon Engineering was surveying lots & roadbeds in Gateway Acres from U.S. 93 to 7th St. Actually, these scattered properties were all the Corp. owned at that time, keep in mind, Gateway Acres was originally sold in 1929 & 1939 so what the Corp. was selling was what could be picked up thru past foreclosure & tax sales. As it was very difficult to keep an operation so far from town & low wages it wasn't long before Tom had to physically take over road construction. Tom would run the blade & later a dozer also for the 5 weekdays while his wife Florence drove out the customers to show their land. In the evening's Tom, Florence, & daughter Sheila would stencil street signs then they could go out in the evenings & install the signs. All of this required 4 years to install roads & signs from U.S 93 to 23rd St.