This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

When the streets in downtown Phoenix were named after Indian tribes


If you're like me, and like looking at old maps of Phoenix, you can see that when it was originally laid out, in 1870, instead of streets and avenues, the north-south streets were named after Indian Tribes. I'm sure that this worked fine when Phoenix only went from 7th Avenue to 7th Street, that is, from Yavapai to Apache, but Phoenix grew rapidly, and the system was changed to numbers. So, if you're a history adventurer, you have to know what names became what streets, and avenues, if you want to find your way around in territorial Phoenix.

I'm still working on all of this, but this is what I have so far -

Centre Street became Central Avenue
Montezuma Street became 1st Street
Maricopa Street became 2nd Street
Pima Street became 3rd Street
Pinal Street became 4th Street
Arivapai Street became 5th Street (actually, this is a misspelling, the actual Indian tribe is Aravaipi)
Tonto Street became 6th Street
Apache Street became 7th Street

and outside of the city limits:

Oregon Street (Park Avenue) became 8th Street
California Street became 9th Street
Nevada Street became 10th Street
Arizona Street became 11th Street
Franklin Street became 20th Street
Chicago Avenue became 44th Street
Delano Avenue became 48th Street

and on the west side:

Cortes Street became 1st Avenue
Mojave Street became 2nd Avenue
Papago Street became 3rd Avenue
Yuma Street became 4th Avenue
Cocopa Street became 5th Avenue
Hualpai Street became 6th Avenue
Yavapai Street became 7th Avenue

It must have been very confusing very a long time, and I like to imagine Mayor Christy trying to keep order at the Common Councils meetings, with people yelling at him that they would never change the gul-darn name of their streets, and they wouldn't stand for being pushed around! The old-timers must have hated the changes, too.


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