Bruce & Pam Wachter - 
  Your White Mountains Realtors - Buy, sell White Mountains Arizona Real Estate - 
  Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside Cabins, Homes, Land

Bruce & Pam Wachter, REALTORS
  928-521-1713     928-205-9115

Whether you're buying or selling White Mountains Arizona Property, Bruce & Pam Wachter have the experience knowledge, and friendly attitude to make the process pleasant for you!  Call us for all your White Mountains Arizona Real Estate needs!

Lakeside Arizona

- Yesterday's History, Today's Opportunities -

Although combined with Pinetop as one large area, Lakeside has its own special attraction for many full-time and vacation home residents. The lovely gated community of The Shores at Rainbow Lake, Mountain Gate, Starlight Ridge, Thunderhorse Ranch & Porter Mountain areas, Blue Spruce Estates, Moon Ridge, Billy Creek - just to mention a few - offer tall pine and cool temperatures, cabins and traditional homes aplenty!

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Convenient to major shopping, medical facilities, goods services and MAJOR recreation opportunities, Lakeside is a wonderful choice for homes or land!


The history of Lakeside, Arizona, is inextricably linked with that of Pinetop - although they were thought of as separate areas historically, and by many still today. The following is a compliation of exerpts from interviews/narratives of those who remember early Lakeside, and scattered newspaper reports and statistical accounts which give a rough time-line.
In the mid-1880's there were a few settlers living in the Lakeside and Woodland areas during the time when the Penrods homesteaded in Pinetop. These were about six LDS families, according to records.

Around 1884, Hans Hansen, Sr., who was native of Denmark, was called to be bishop of the Show Low Ward. Back then the ward extended from Linden and Adair (Fools Hollow) all the way to Ft. Apache. The Show Low Stake History reveals: "Bishop Hansen was a familiar figure on his little bay mule, making his bishop's calls from town to town, (it took him a month to make them all.)"

Hans Hansen, Sr. apparently left Show Low in 1891 when his house was burned down. He then moved to the Warren Ranch in Pinetop, where he stayed for a year or so, then to Woodland in 1893. According to reports: "He bought a squatter's right there from Joseph Stock and added rooms to the small log house. He paid Stock twenty head of cattle for the place. The area had been called Fairview, and by some of the irreverent, Hog Town." It was called Hog Town because Al Young's hogs ran wild in the woods. Later, the area was named "Woodland" by Mormon President Jessie M. Smith.

In addition to the Stock family, other settlers in Woodland were Albert Crandall, Alex McCleve, John Marvin, Al Young, and Ezra West. Rufus Crandall was the first child born in Woodland. A "Spanish" family who "appeared rich" were also among early settlers, according to an interview with Augustus Hansen. Their names were Ojeno and Jose Guivera.

Hansen and his son, Hans Hansen, Jr., worked at the building trade. Sr. was a mason and brick layer. He and his son, Hans, Jr. did all the rock work at Fort Apache, built many of the first houses in Whiteriver, and nearly all the two story brick houses in the area.

Hans and Loretta Hansen raised vegetables which they kept year-round in underground root houses. With their own pork, chickens, eggs, milk and bare staples from the store, they could survive.

The only store in Lakeside was run by Billy Scorse, an Englishman, and for whom Billy Creek is named. He had been the only permanent resident until the Mormon families came. Scorse grew some hay, sold a few groceries, but apparently made the bulk of his living selling liquor to the soldiers from Fort Apache at his "Last Chance Saloon." Scorse owned outright 40 acres on the creek and had squatters rights to some land in town, according to a 1950 interview with Hans Hansen, Jr.

Soldiers created trouble every time they went to the dances, said Augustus Hansen. At one drunken brawl after a dance, they took a sheepman out and castrated him, he said. There are reports that Wyatt Earp tried to get the area under control, but failed.

The development of farms and orchards is noted in the 1890's along with legal battles over water rights, and the beginnings of schooling. Early schools were held in homes, woodsheds and root houses. In 1896, a school district was formed. Catherine Whipple, a descendant of those Pioneers wrote: "In those early days the schooling the children received was very scanty, two to five months in a year, but meager as it was, some will tell you that it was more practical than what some of their grandchildren are now getting with nine or 10 months of school a year."

In 1903-04 all the water on the Mountain dried up except Adair Spring, and Pinetop residents had to haul water from there. The following year, the Pinetop-Lakeside settlers experienced the wettest year they had ever seen, and that may have contributed to the decision to build a reservoir in 1904. Niels Hansen surveyed Show Low Creek in that year and decided where to build dams and irrigation ditches. Hansen, reportedly using homemade tools, was successful building the first dam on Rainbow Lake. >

In 1905, the sheep market failed, and many of the sheepmen had to sell out. Niels Hansen, Hans's younger brother, took the opportunity to buy the Will Amos ranch in December, 1905, and reportedly had built the adobe house for Amos earlier for $300. He, his wife, and their six children moved to Lakeside in the spring of 1906.

A story is told that one spring day, at the south end of Niels Hansen's barn in 1906, six men named the town "Lakeside." They were John L. Fish (who later bought out Billy Scourse), John Heber Hansen, Joseph Peterson, Louis E. Johnson and Alof Pratt Larson.

In her narrative, Leora Schuck, daughter of Joseph and Amanda Peterson, said her father had suggested the name. When the men decided on it, Belle Hansen tied a red cloth to a broom handle in lieu of a flag, and waved it, calling out, "Hurrah for Lakeside!"

Some of the men rode the area horseback, taking stock of its assets. At Adair Spring, one member proposed a toast. Lying down flat, they drank the pure mountain water and toasted "the mayor Lakeside."

When the early settlers and founders of Pinetop and Lakeside arrived on the mountain, it was quite different from what we see today.

Leora Schuck said, "Countless mature trees stood tall and straight, their trunks smooth and free of branches many feet off the ground. With a minimum of underbrush, one could see vistas through the trunks for hundreds of yards...It may be that sheep kept the small stuff grazed off, or that fires from the lightning cleared the ground. At any rate, it was only after the sawmills came in and cut down many old trees that new young pines suddenly sprang up in jungle-like proportions. ...we roamed the forest from Show Low to Paradise Creek and from Lake Mountain to Forestdale, unstymied, unfenced, unrestricted, except for a scattering of homesteads that we had to go around. And we knew everybody. Ah, yes, those were the days." "

As late as 1924, the native character of Pinetop and Lakeside were unchanged. According to an account in the Globe Silver Belt: "Several mountain streams are nearby. One of these, fed from a great spring, serves for the irrigation of the acre home lots of the villagers...In winter, thousands of wild ducks visit the streams fed from the springs in the vicinity to feed on watercress."