One nice touch about Christy's discovery was that it happened in Flagstaff, for it was there in 1930 that Pluto had been found in the first place. That seminal event in astronomy was largely to the credit of the astronomer Percival Lowell.
Lowell, who came from one of the oldest and wealthiest Boston families (the one in the famous ditty about Boston being the home of the bean and the cod, where Lowells spoke only to Cabots, while Cabots spoke only to God), endowed the famous observatory that bears his name, but is most indelibly remembered for his belief that Mars was covered with canals built by industrious Martians for purposes of conveying water from polar regions to the dry but productive lands nearer the equator.
Lowell's other abiding conviction was that there existed, somewhere out beyond Neptune, an undiscovered ninth planet, dubbed Planet X. Lowell based this belief on irregularities he detected in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, and devoted the last years of his life to trying to find the gassy giant he was certain was out there.
Unfortunately, he died suddenly in 1916, at least partly exhausted by his quest, and the search fell into abeyance while Lowell's heirs squabbled over his estate. However, in 1929, partly as a way of deflecting attention away from the Mars canal saga (which by now had become a serious embarrassment), the Lowell Observatory directors decided to resume the search and to that end hired a young man from Kansas named Clyde Tombaugh.