A Timeline and Overview of Phoenix, Arizona

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Breit Cantor Grana Buckner: Kevin Biniazan, Esq. Phoenix, AZ Abuse Guardian

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History of Phoenix

Phoenix is the capital of Arizona. With a population of 1,680,992 people as of 2019, it is the most populous city in the state and the fifth-most populous city in the United States. It is also the largest and the only state capital with more than one million residents in terms of population. The city is the anchor of the metropolitan area of Phoenix – the Valley of the Sun – and the seat of Maricopa County.

It was settled in 1867 by a Confederate veteran of the American Civil War, Jack Swilling, as an agricultural community near the emergence of the Salt River and the Gila River. Prior to its establishment, the area was home to the Hohokam people for 2,000 years before the Akimel O'odham (Pima), Tohono O'odham, Maricopa, Yavapai and Apache tribes started using the area.

On May 4, 1868, the new town of Phoenix was recognized. Its name represented a city being born from the ruins of a former civilization. It was incorporated as a city in 1881. Eight years later, the city of Phoenix became the capital of Arizona Territory. When the Santa Fee, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad arrived in 1895, it connected the city with Flagstaff, Prescott and other communities in the northern portion of the territory. On February 14, 1912, Phoenix became the capital of the state of Arizona as it was admitted to the Union.

Because of its location in the northeastern part of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix has a hot desert climate. However, through the usage of a canal system, the area thrived as a farming community. The original crops that grew in Phoenix were alfalfa, citrus, cotton and hay. Later, the Five C's – cotton, citrus, climate, cattle and copper – anchored the city's economy until after World War II.

During the war, the economy of the Phoenix shifted to distribution centers. Producing a mass amount of military supplies, it became an embryonic industrial city. In the years following the war, high-tech companies like Motorola, Intel and McDonnell Douglas relocated to Phoenix as the labor pool in the city grew and air conditioning made the hot summers of the valley more bearable.

As of today, Phoenix is the second-fasting growing metropolitan area in the U.S. Manufacturing, convention and tourism industries became the driving force of the city. Its 15 urban villages include:

  • Ahwatukee Foothills
  • Alhambra
  • Camelback East
  • Central City
  • Deer Valley
  • Desert View
  • Encanto
  • Estrella
  • Laveen
  • Maryvale
  • North Gateway
  • North Mountain,
  • Paradise Valley
  • Rio Vista
  • South Mountain

Regions and districts like Downtown, Midtown, West Phoenix, South Phoenix, Arcadia and so forth are also often referred to. Continue along the journey with an Early History of Tucson, AZ.

Sonoran Preserve

The Sonoran Preserve on East Sonoran Desert Drive in North Phoenix is an open desert park with miles of lush, green plains of cactus. It is owned and operated by the City of Phoenix Department of Parks and Recreation. Encompassing more than 9,600 acres of land, it offers 36 miles of trails for hiking and biking. Visitors can choose from the three trailheads Desert Vista, Desert Hills and Apache Wash. The park is open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Trails are available from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

South Mountain Park and Preserve

In the South Phoenix portion of the city is the South Mountain Park and Preserve on South Central Avenue. Offering more than 16,000 acres of trails, wildlife and drivable roads, it is also managed by the city's park and recreation department. One of the nation's largest municipally managed parks, it is home to the mountain ranges of Gila, Guadalupe and the Ma Ha Tauk.

The park features 50 miles of trails for recreational hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Bicyclists are also often seen utilizing the park. For residents and visitors who are photography enthusiasts or those who just want to catch a glimpse of the panoramic view of the valley, the Dobbins Lookout, sitting at 2,300 feet, provides a beautiful unobstructed view. It can be reached by following the hiking trails or Summit Road.

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