History of Scottsdale


Yes, Scottsdale is a modern destination with some of the best luxury travel amenities that you’ll find. But our sunny city has a storied history, too. Here’s a look at some of Scottsdale’s most significant milestones.

Cavalliere’s Blacksmith Shop

Jokake Inn

Taliesin West

Maine Chance Spa

Scottsdale Sadium

  • A.D. 1: The Hohokam begin settling in the area now known as Scottsdale, bringing to life a sophisticated agrarian society.
  • 1500s: Tragic circumstances, including massive flooding and internal political conflict, force the Hohokam to abandon their villages and canals.
  • 1888: United States Army Chaplain Winfield Scott moves to the area and purchases 640 acres of desert land at the whopping price of $3.50 per acre.
  • 1894: The town is named “Scottsdale,” after its founder.
  • 1897:  Scottsdale’s first General Store is built on the corner of Brown Avenue and Main Street (now downtown).
  • 1910: George Cavalliere builds his blacksmith shop on Second Street, on “the outskirts of town,” and Scottsdale’s first luxury resort, the Ingleside Inn, brings golf to the area.
  • 1917: Cotton farming booms in Scottsdale during World War I. Mexican immigrant families are sponsored to help in the cotton fields and the Tomas Corral family is 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.
  • 1920: Built on the property of artist Jessie Benton Evans, the Jokake Inn served as a tearoom and guesthouse in the 1920s. It now stands on the property of The Phoenician resort.
  • 1937: Frank Lloyd Wright sets up a rustic outdoor camp at the base of the McDowell Mountains that later becomes known as Taliesin West.
  • 1940: Cosmetics mogul Elizabeth Arden opens Maine Chance Spa as a retreat for local society mavens, celebrities, and royalty from around the world.
  • 1951: The town of Scottsdale is incorporated and signs its first contract with Rural Metro Fire Department for $4,260 per year.
  • 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 here.
  • 1970: “America’s original art walk,” the Scottsdale ArtWalk, comes to downtown and continues every Thursday evening as a free event.
  • 1990s: Scottsdale citizens overwhelmingly approve a special sales tax to fund the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, protecting one-third of the city’s land.

Interested in more Scottsdale history? Be sure to check out the Scottsdale Historical Museum, which is housed in Scottsdale’s original schoolhouse. This free museum chronicles the city’s history with photographs, artifacts, and changing displays.