Kayenta’s Very Own Time Capsule
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Recently, Jeff, Nancy and I undertook the never fun but necessary annual ritual commonly referred to as “Spring Cleaning” around our office. COVID-19 had disrupted our typical work routines and so we took advantage of the opportunity (?) to tackle some mundane chores that had been put off for too long. While tackling our back-office filing cabinets and storage shelves (cleaning, organizing, and purging where required), we happened to stumble across a large, opaque plastic container previously unnoticed by us during the regular hustle and bustle. Curious as to what might be inside, we dragged our discovery into the front office where its contents could be viewed under better light.
So, what was inside? Well, sadly, no Apple stock certificates! Instead, we found stacks of paper of different shapes, colors and sizes…dusty; flimsy; sun or water damaged; faded with the passage of time. Several Kayenta newsletters dating back to the 1990s, full of interesting articles, community updates, recipes, new homeowner profiles; human interest stories; photos; and more. Terry and Matt Marten (both looking 20 years younger though otherwise much the same as today) and other Kayenta residents are easily recognizable in the images, though some of the photographs of people who have either since moved away from Kayenta or who have passed on are poignant and bittersweet.
One local St. George newspaper insert dates to the early 1980s and touts the promise and vision of the planned Kayenta community. Early development plans frequently change due to subsequent events, and such was the case with Kayenta, also. In this advert from almost 40 years ago (prior to Terry acquiring controlling interest in future development), it mentions a commercial center to be built in the heart of Kayenta at the corner of Kayenta Parkway and Sandstone Drive. (Fun fact: Sandstone Drive, once it actually became platted, became today’s Evening Star Drive). Here, one would be able to find major markets; a pharmacy; garden and hardware store; other shopping facilities; and a separate medical /professional complex.
In addition, this insert contains testimonials from several homeowners who gush, when referring to Kayenta, that “it’s like owning a little piece of heaven without going to heaven”. Such praise could easily be written by any number of us who live here 30 years on. Some things, apparently, DON’T change!
The box, of course, includes a wealth of real estate-related documents, which you might expect, given where we found it. Sales brochures from the late 1990s for Kayenta Patio Homes advertise homes starting at $200k (whereas nowadays homes seldom come on the market for under $500k); and estate-sized lots in Shonto being promoted for $80k – $100k that sell today for $250k-$400k. One glossy brochure introduces a brand-new Kayenta development to be named “Taviawk”! Most of these faded brochure maps of the community make no mention of the Posovi area; instead, the area north of the humpback hill just fades away into nothingness, much as ancient maps reflected unexplored areas by simply writing over the area “here be dragons”.
In short, the box, though short on stock certificates, is a treasure trove of memorabilia from Kayenta’s past. If you have any interest in learning about those who pioneered our community, how development occurred (and changed over the years), or how Kayenta was marketed during the early years, we invite you to stop by Kayenta Homes & Properties (in the heart of the Art Village) to find out for yourselves. We’re open daily until 5pm and are happy to share our discovery with our neighbors.