Thank You For Visiting Sedona Legend-
The Jack And Helen Frye Story!
Sedona's Celebrity Love Story!
This is the Official not to mention Only web portal in the world
dedicated exclusively to the Legacy of Jack and Helen Frye!
The Frye Legacy-
a Lifetime of Accomplishment!
By Randall Reynolds
The Sedona Legend Web Site is a copyrighted historical photo enhanced narrative presented for
educational and entertainment purposes. Some materials may be displayed in regard to the
United States Fair Use Act. This web portal is totally non-profit and generates no income nor
does it seek or has it ever accepted a single donation. It is an independent venture.
Sedona Legend was envisioned and created to provide Red Rock State Park visitors a
comprehensive historic overview for Jack and Helen Frye and their Deer-Lick and Smoke Trail
Ranches. This effort is now officially cited by R.R.S.P. as an indepth historical venue
representing Jack and Helen Frye.
Sedona Legend is encouraged by the many friends of Jack and Helen Frye. A gracious thank
you to the Frye and Varner families for invaluable support and Red Rock State Park staff and
volunteers for their enthusiasm.
Sedona Legend Helen Frye a.k.a. the Jack and Helen Frye Story
A Decade of Research and Presentation- Created By Randall D. Reynolds
Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved
Herein you will find a historic perspective of Sedona that was nearly lost to time itself. The
REAL HISTORY of Red Rock State Park. A rich and valuable legacy which must not ever be
forgotten or swept under the carpet, a showcase of treasured information and documentation.
Sedona's history with Transcontinental & Western Air (T.W.A.), one of the world's largest and
most beloved airlines, and how this association helped put Sedona Arizona on the map!
Red Rock State Park, the "Crown Jewel" of the Arizona State Park system, a one-time private
playground of the rich and famous. Originally owned and discovered in 1941 by one of the most
glamorous couples in America and one of the greatest aviation legends this country has ever
known! An association so powerful, the original identity of the property will always be known as
the Frye "Smoke Trail Ranch" and the "TWA Ranch at Sedona".
Dare to delve beneath the surface and discover the hidden and forgotten history of one of the
most pristine, beautiful, and priceless real estate parcels of the Southwestern United States!
Thousands of park visitors each year are overwhelmed by this beautiful former ranch property,
once owned by the co-founder and president of Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA) and his
beautiful West Virginia wife (the former Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr.), now you can be
astounded by the rest of the story! (To learn more about the photo (above) taken at the Sedona
Ranch- please see Page 1948.)
(William John Frye)
With a passion for flight Jack created the first transcontinental air service for our vast country.
Later, with the development of the Lockheed Constellation airliner: the first scheduled
Trans-Atlantic air service, and soon after, round-the-world service. There are few people on this
planet who have not been affected by this magnanimous man's vision, for it is he who
envisioned the first pressurized modern airliner, designed to fly above inclement weather!
As an avid entrepreneur from the onset, Jack Frye, at 18, bought a half ownership in a
struggling air operation venture in Los Angeles California. One year later, he included two
partners, Walter A. Hamilton and Paul E. Richter, Jr. This operation eventually became known
as Aero Corporation and Standard Air Lines, with Jack Frye, as president of both.
To list all the associations of Jack Frye would be quite impossible! To give one an inkling, he
was inducted in to Harvard Business School's "Twentieth Century Greatest Business Leader's
Hall of Fame" (at just 1000 inductees). Frye is certainly well-placed, having exercised
phenomenal business connections and accomplishments in a very short life of just 54 years! On
June 20 1992 William John Frye received his highest posthumous honor as inducted into the
National Aviation Hall of Fame at Dayton Ohio (a black tie affair attended by 1000 guests). As
one of the greatest commercial aviation legends in our country this high-flying entrepreneur is
now listed alongside his friends and peers at this world-famous "Hall of Fame".
Whenever Jack was at the Sedona Ranch or anywhere else in the country his life was consumed
with the operation and responsibility of TWA. On his shoulders rested the safety of thousands
of airline passengers and the management of the many employees, all of which enabled TWA to
flourish and succeed! Jack was a rancher at heart, a lover of nature and rural living, yet his
career with TWA consumed his life. His beloved Sedona, only enjoyed in stolen moments.
Fashion Designer- Illustrator- Artist
Sedona Legend- Her Legacy
Jack and Helen Frye were one of the first "power couples" in a time when wives were expected
to be seen and not heard! Standing solidly beside her husband (not behind him) Helen offered
support and an innate knowledge of execution. Helen Frye; however, was much more than a
social figurehead. Previously married to a direct descendant of one of the wealthiest and most
powerful families in American history she gained much experience observing an exclusive
"man's world" of money, power, and business. At the side of Jack Frye, one of the nation's
most powerful and influential corporate leaders, Helen was an invaluable asset and was treated
accordingly by Jack Frye and Howard Hughes.
As a society leader in early Sedona, Helen Varner Vanderbilt Frye forged several bridges of
cultural and artistic expression. Her interest in the arts stemmed from her own talents as an
artist and gifted writer. Helen endeavored to find support for other early Sedona artists as well.
Helen's aunt (in her previous marriage) was Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, a consummate artist
and the founder of the Whitney Museum of American Art at N.Y.C. This added association
likely influenced a young Mrs. Helen Vanderbilt toward a life long association with the fine arts.
In the spring of 1959, Helen Frye, George Babbitt Jr., his wife Madeline Hunter Babbitt, Nassan
Gobran, and other associates launched "Canyon Kiva" which evolved into the Sedona Arts
Center "Barn". The Sedona Artist's Studios is yet another association of these efforts.
As a life-long animal lover, Helen also saw the need for an animal shelter in Sedona. Earlier in
life, as Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt Jr., Helen was shopping on 5th Avenue in N.Y.C., when she
noticed unsavory people beating a German Shepherd police dog in an alley. Without an ounce of
fear, this socialite walked up to the dog, grabbed the leash and walked away, to the amazement
of the abusers. Sonja, as Helen named the rescue, became Helen's loving companion for the
remainder of Sonja's life. This experience galvanized Helen and opened her eyes to the plight of
unwanted pets. This humanity eventually resulted in her co-founding the Sedona Humane
Society. Previously, with no Sedona facilities, the cast aside pets of Sedona were housed by
Helen and other founding members in their own homes, at their own expense.
The first telephone service in "rural" Sedona? This came directly as associated with Helen Frye
and Transcontinental & Western Air, or TWA as we know it today! Many attempts were made
by the Fryes to establish a phone link from the rural Frye Ranch to the outside world via the
local phone company, which had limited resources. The matter was only resolved after Helen got
the brilliant idea to send the short-sighted telephone company copies of Jack's TWA telephone
bills. In no time at all a dedicated phone line was installed at the TWA ranch! This primitive
telephone connection was soon smoking with Jack's frequent calls to TWA and Howard Hughes.
As an entrepreneur real estate developer, Helen Varner Frye, with partner Nassan Gobran, and
other associates, developed a small portion of the Frye Smoke Trail Ranch into the beautiful
"Cup of Gold" estates. Envisioned and planned for all homeowners to have unfettered access to
Oak Creek, the development was a Sedona real estate success of 1955!
The Frye Ranch consisted of the adjoining Frye Deer-Lick Ranch (1941 to 1947) now as Cross
Creek Ranch Estates. In 1954 Helen Frye developed an adjoining southern parcel as Cup of
Gold Estates. To the north, a section added in 1950 by Jack Frye, is known today as Smoke Trail
Ranch Estates. At one time the Frye Ranch consisted of more than 700 acres of Sedona's most
valuable and pristine creek-side property known as "Smoke Trail Ranch" named by the Fryes.
Currently, a remaining portion (286 acres) of this famous ranch remains today as Red Rock
State Park. Frye landmarks include the House of Apache Fires or the "Apache Fires" house as
Jack and Helen called it. The Wings of the Wind House and the Willow House (so named by
Helen Frye). Other landmarks were various other ranch buildings to include the historic
dwellings at the now named Cross Creek Ranch Estates. Lastly, there was Sky Fires House
(now demolished) at the Ridge (renowned golf course) in the Village of Oak Creek, (Sedona).
Frye cattle ranches outside of Sedona included the 22,000-acre Frye Sunshine Ranch near
Meteor City and Sunshine Arizona (now known as the Red Gap Ranch) and the 4,500-acre Frye
Spring Valley Ranch, north of Williams Arizona (at Spring Valley) adjoined by the Grand
Canyon Railway right-a-way. By 1948 the Frye's owned over 50,000-acres of ranching property
in the state of Arizona alone (according to newspaper articles). Jack Frye also had sizeable
ranch holdings in the panhandle of Texas, as well as, oil interests. In the 1950's, Jack bought
the "Nevajac Ranch" at Crystal River Florida. Mr. Frye was the first rancher outside of the
King Ranch in Texas to own and breed Santa Gertrudis cattle at his Sedona and Crystal River
Sedona Airport on Tabletop Mountain? Jack and Helen Frye, personally, surveyed the location
in 1941 and found it suitable for an airstrip, however; by October, Jack Frye acquired another
parcel of property near Cornville Arizona and developed it as a landing field, to be called Verde
Valley Airport. This local semi-private airport was known locally as the Frye Ranch private
airstrip where the Fryes landed their private TWA Lockheed Electra Jr. and Lodestar airliners.
A long time ago in a decidedly different time,
over the spires of Sedona, a silver airship climbed.
Banking, dropping, low to the ground,
Jack and Helen Frye had found their little town.
Property rugged, too rough to land,
they both vowed to return as soon as they can.
Return they did, with maps in hand,
staking their claim, to this most beautiful land.
A vision, Jack and Helen willed, became the House of
Apache Fires which took years to build.
On the Wings of the Wind, Jack and Helen Frye came,
Smoke Trail Ranch they soon tamed.
These two celebrities, travelers from afar,
in the end became Sedona's First Celebrity Stars!
Sedona Biz Internet Portal (left). The Comprehensive Sedona Visitor Website!
Web Sites Below Are Highly Recommended! Please Click On Logos-
The once isolated and picturesque Frye Ranch at
Sedona Arizona remains today in part as the
286-acre Red Rock State Park. This former
ranch property survives as the most undeveloped
parcel in all of Sedona. For information on
visiting this beautiful property click (left) for the
official Red Rock State Park Web Site.
Jack and Helen Frye's Poem
Left- Jack Frye at the height of
his TWA career (about 1946).
Written by Randall Reynolds, administrator creator of
Sedona Legend Helen Frye. Photo by Robby Robinson
Shown (left) the stunningly beautiful Helen Frye with her
two nieces Sharla and Sheryl Reynolds at Clarksburg,
West Virginia. Jack and Helen had flown down there in
Jack's private transport, a Lockheed Electra Jr. (12A)
tail number NC18137. Photo about 1942 or 1943.
Helen Varner Frye
(Helen Varner Anderson Vanderbilt Frye)
|Welcome To Our World: The World of Frye!
Helen Frye, truly a remarkable woman, married Jack Frye
during the years in which TWA really matured as a world
airline. Jack had just brought his friend Howard Hughes on
line (1939) after which TWA enjoyed a seemingly endless
flow of capital. A time-period appropriately coined the
"Camelot Years of TWA" the beloved airline truly soared!
|We are but mere actors in this pageantry called life
returning again and again to this planet called "Earth"
TWA Flight Attendant Kaye Chandler's comprehensive and
glossy website is a worth see and a showcase of TWA memories!
TWA Senior's Club (right) is a must visit for
former TWA employees and TWA fans!
They also could use your participation to continue offering invaluable
information to former TWA associates! Please check them out today!
In an effort which would make Jack Frye very proud, finally, an
official TWA Museum has been launched by dedicated volunteers
adjoining Jack's executive office @ 10 Richards Road (downtown
Kansas City airport location). I applaud this monumental effort!
Patrick Chateau's- Everything
TWA- CDG Airport Website
Jack Frye is considered the
"Father" of Transcontinental &
Western Air or as you may know
it (TWA) Trans World Airlines.
Why is this and what do we know
about his life?
Jack Frye created an airline
dynasty. In brief, Jack had a
dream, and he fought for that
dream for 25-long-years.
This website was built with love and dedication. Because these pages represent Jack and Helen
Frye they are written with honor, integrity, and professionalism. Herein you will find
well-researched reflective original writings and fresh images. On other venues you will find
repeated text and re-circulated materials. There is a difference! Sedona Legend is recognized as
the Gold Standard of Frye History because of the attention to detail and the 10-year-dedication
to this project. Nationwide travel has been conducted in search of materials and interviews for
this work with an enormous amount of time invested compiling the valued information you find
here. This is the original Frye historical over-view, the one and only comprehensive Frye story!
The Gold Standard Of Frye History- Unique and Treasured!