History of Scottsdale

A look at Scottsdale’s storied past GravesGuestRanchHorseBuggy-LibraryPhoto

A.D. 1

The Hohokam, a sophisticated agrarian society known for constructing a canal system still used by Arizona cities today, begin settling in the area now known as Scottsdale.

1450

Following devastating floods in the area, the Hohokam abandon their villages and canals. Although the Hohokam can only be traced to the area until 1450, they are believed to be the ancestors of the Pima and Tohono O’odham tribes of Arizona.

1888

United States Army Chaplain Winfield Scott moves to the area and purchases 640 acres of desert land for farming. He pays just $3.50 per acre for the land.

1894

Although originally planned to be called “Orangedale” for its citrus groves, the town is instead named “Scottsdale.”

1897

Scottsdale’s first general store opens on the corner of Brown Avenue and Main Street, an area that is now Old Town Scottsdale. That same year, the first rooms are rented to guests at the “Oasis Villa.”

1910

George Cavalliere builds his blacksmith shop on Second Street, then considered “the outskirts of town” but today located in the heart of downtown. That same year, Scottsdale’s first luxury resort, the Ingleside Inn, opens and brings the first golf course to the area.

1917

Cotton farming booms in Scottsdale during World War I. Mexican immigrant families are sponsored to help in the cotton fields, with the Tomas Corral family one of the first to arrive in Scottsdale. Today, the Corral family still owns downtown’s Los Olivos restaurant, a Scottsdale favorite for more than 60 years.

1926

Built on the property of artist Jessie Benton Evans, the Jokake Inn serves as a tearoom and guesthouse in the 1920s. It now stands on the property of The Phoenician resort.

1930

The U.S. Census lists the population of Scottsdale as 2,761.

1937

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright chooses the base of the McDowell Mountains for the site of his winter home and his architecture school, Taliesin West.

1946

Cosmetics mogul Elizabeth Arden opens Maine Chance Spa as a retreat for local society mavens, celebrities, and royalty from around the world. Today, the spa is the site of The Canyon Suites at the Phoenician.

1947

The Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce is incorporated and creates the slogan for Scottsdale, “The West’s Most Western Town.”

1951

The town of Scottsdale, home to a population of 1,200 and just one square mile in size, is incorporated.

1955

Scottsdale Stadium, now the Cactus League spring training home of the San Francisco Giants, is built on the corner of Civic Center Boulevard and Osborn Road. The Baltimore Orioles are the first Major League baseball team to play at the stadium.