Exploring the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California.

The importance of Goodyear to the history of Phoenix


When Sands Chevrolet put Goodyear tires on my car last year, I was pleased. No, I'm no expert on tires, but I do have a fascination with Phoenix history, and Goodyear has been very important. And it all started with cotton for tires.

If you're a Phoenix history fan, you know that there were two communities centered around growing cotton for the Goodyear company, one south of Chandler and one in the west valley. The one in the west valley is still called Goodyear.

1918

Although cotton is nowadays mostly used for T-shirts, etc., there was a time when it was critical for the making of tires. And not just any cotton, long staple cotton. And when cars were becoming popular, they burned through a LOT of tires all of the time. And tires were very expensive, not only for the rubber they required, but for the special cotton that was necessary, that had to imported from the Middle East (Egyptian Cotton). And so the Goodyear company wanted to see if it could grow its own cotton in a climate similar to the Middle East, and they choose Phoenix.

1917

Goodyear developed what was to be called Pima cotton, which turned out to be great for tires. And not only was the demand for tires for cars going up, it went WAY up during World War I, from 1914 to 1918. And so Goodyear was growing cotton all over the valley, including places like Marinette, which is where Sun City is today.

Image above: the Goodyear sign on I-17 and Grand Avenue in 1968. The sign doesn't say Goodyear anymore, but the shape is the same.


1917
The Goodyear blimp in the 1940s


1917

1938

Become a PhD (Phoenix History Detective) today on Patreon!

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.

What women wore in Territorial Phoenix


As a man, I haven't a clue about women's clothing. As near as I can tell, it's the most complex activity that humans do, and it seems to be a lot of work, and not really very comfortable most of the time. And while that doesn't exactly qualify me as an expert in women's clothing, it does make me feel a bit of sympathy when I look at photos of women in Territorial Phoenix.

The photo above, which is from the 1890s, shows two typically-dressed women in Phoenix. They're on the grounds of the Territorial Insane Asylum (whether inmates or doctors I have no idea) at 24th Street and Van Buren and they seem to be weighed down with a lot of clothing. I have no idea what material their dresses are made of, but I just hope it's not summertime.

I wish that I had more to say, but I really can't. What women were supposed to wear in Territorial Phoenix is as much of a mystery to me as what they are supposed to wear nowadays. So I'll just show you some pictures. All I can say is "God bless the ladies!" And they did all of this without any air conditioning!


1910

1912

1908


Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please go to patreon.com/PhoenixHistoryAdventuring where you can show your support for as little as $1 a month. Thank you!

What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html

Whatever happened to the historic canals of Phoenix?


If you're a history buff, like I am, and you look at old photos of Phoenix, Arizona, you know that one of the major features of the landscape was the canals. There are still a few canals left, such as Grand Canal and the Arizona Canal. But there was a time, only a few decades ago, when many of the old historic canals could still be seen. And by historic, I don't mean Hohokam, I mean those built by the pioneers in the 1870s and 80s.

The good news is that the historic canals are still there. The bad news is that they're all covered up. But if you have a little bit of the detective in you, a Google satellite view, and some patience, you can find them. And the reason they are still there has to do with the difference between bringing water into the valley and taking it away.

Support Arizona history by becoming a patron on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring blog posts are shared there daily, also there's "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, and super high-resolution photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix pioneers like Jack Swilling dug canals to bring water from The Salt River into the valley in order to experiment with growing crops. It was a successful experiment! They named their new settlement "Phoenix" as they had seen that there had been a large city here at one time (the Hohokam) and, in a fit of poetic inspiration, they declared that their city would "rise from the ashes" of the ancient one.

By the 1880s, Phoenix had a lot of canals. In fact, if you look at maps of that era, it seems like it would be difficult to travel around without running into one. Eventually most of these canals were shut down, and the function of bringing water to Phoenix was mostly handled by the Arizona Canal.

The historic canals, such as The Maricopa Canal and the Salt River Valley Canal (Swilling's Ditch) were converted to storm drains. No, they're not sewers - they only flow rainwater off of the streets. They are now managed by the flood control district. It makes perfect sense - why fill in the old canals when they could be used as storm drains?

My favorite historic canal to visit is the Old Crosscut Canal. It still functions as a storm drain, but it also has a wonderful park built above it, running north to south from Indian School Road to McDowell at 40th Street. It was built in 1888 and "de-commissioned" as a canal in 1914. It was an open storm drain until the park was built in the 1990s - for over 80 years. Right now, on a beautiful morning like this, people are walking a few feet above one of the original historic canals of Phoenix. That's it up there in the photo when it was still a canal, and if you go there, turn around, look at Camelback Mountain, and time travel.

How to visit Pueblo Grande, Phoenix, Arizona


Pueblo Grande is all that is left of the remnants of the civilization that existed before the arrival of the Phoenix pioneers in the 1860s. It's Spanish for Big Town, but really the Big Town was all over the Phoenix area. It was a civilization that built gigantic canals, and huge buildings. And it had been deserted for hundreds of years by the time people like Jack Swilling arrived in the valley. The modern city of Phoenix grew right on top of it, and the modern canals, although much smaller, follow similar routes to those built by the People Who Had Gone - the Hohokams.

1929 Omar Turney map of the ancient canals.

It must have been astonishing to see. In my imagination I can walk around the valley and see the gigantic empty canals, the crumbling remnants of adobe buildings. By the 1920s people like Omar Turney were scrambling to map it all, to photograph as much as they could, and to preserve a tiny bit, which is what the Pueblo Grande at 44th Street and Washington is.

Support Arizona history by becoming a patron on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring blog posts are shared there daily, also there's "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, and super high-resolution photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

I've talked to a lot of people who have gone to the Pueblo Grande Museum. A large percentage had to go there on a field trip in school, some people went to the museum and came back wondering why they had even gone. So here's what I suggest:

Find out a little bit about the Hohokams in the Phoenix area. Take a look at the drawing at the top of this post, which is looking southeast towards where Tempe is today, and imagine Pueblo Grande. From the Salt River to the Phoenix Mountains. From Tempe to Peoria, and even more so. Then when you go visit Pueblo Grande, don't bother with the museum, or the gift shop. If someone hands you a pamphlet, just thank them politely and look towards the mountains. Pueblo Grande is a place, not a museum. When you see it, it's astonishing.

How Phoenix built its streets to protect neighborhoods


If you're like most people, you like to get to your destination as quickly as possible. As much as people love their cars, they hate to be sitting in them in traffic jams, or going slow. They want to get where they need to go as quickly and efficiently as possible, and with the minimum of delay. It just makes sense.

So take a look at the design of Phoenix streets. The main ones are wide and perfectly straight. They have multiple lanes in each direction, and a turn lane in the middle. They are designed to move traffic quickly. Now take a look at the neighborhood streets, and you will see something very different, and done by design.

Most neighborhood streets, like mine in Glendale, curve and twist all over the place. In fact, when I went to look at this house, many years ago, I had difficulty finding it! And aside from the fact that streets that gently curve are more attractive, they also discourage traffic. No one in their right mind would cut through my neighborhood, thinking that it would be faster or easier than using the main street. Every once in a while I see people who hadn't seen the "No Outlet" sign on my street, just turning around.

If you're curious to see how well this type of design works, the next time you are on a main street in Phoenix, exit to a minor street, and then to a neighborhood street. You will find those streets mostly empty, even during busy times on the main streets. Of course, the frustration of having to go the speed limit of 25, and going over speed bumps, slowing down to 15 for schools, and finding that a particular street may not even go through, will have you happily back on the main streets in no time. That's excellence of design. That's Phoenix.


Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please go to patreon.com/PhoenixHistoryAdventuring where you can show your support for as little as $1 a month. Thank you!

What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html

Elevators in Phoenix, Arizona


My fascination with elevators is kind of like my fascination with freeways. It puzzles people because they're taken for granted, and have been for a very long time. If most people think about them at all, it's with annoyance, that there's a delay.

Since I worked in the tallest building in Phoenix for several years, I got to use elevators a lot. And they worked great. You pushed a button, stood there trying not to make eye contact with anyone, and in a few moments the doors opened and you were at your floor. But when I started to learn about the history of elevators, I was amazed.


I found this article about men taking off their hats to women in 1909 and what caught my eye was that they were talking about elevators. Elevators in 1909? Yep, and taken for granted by then. Of course, back then they had to have someone inside of it all of the time, operating it. I often wondered about what kind of job that was? I'm sure that at the beginning it was an admired job, doing the miraculous task of taking people up several stories, safely. I've never seen an elevator operator myself, except in movies, but it looks like there were generations of them.

Follow History Adventuring on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

In the 1950s it all started to change in Phoenix. That's when elevators began to be modified, and built, to be operated with a push-button. And apparently people hated it.

Getting people to use a push-button elevator apparently wasn't easy. As near as I can figure, it was like trying to convince people to use ATM machines. But people learned, and learned to take them for granted.

Image above: the elevators in the Luhrs Tower in 1954, Jefferson and 1st Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona.

Donate to History Adventuring
If you like what you see here, and would like to make suggestions for future posts, please do. Any and all donations will be reinvested into more history adventuring. Thank you!

Understanding the Phoenix Indian School and the Steele Indian School Park


Walk with me. Today we're at Steele Indian School Park, which is the former location of the Phoenix Indian School, between Central and 3rd Street on Indian School Road.

I'm interested in Phoenix history, and to my amazement I have found very little written about this school. What I have found, for the most part, are racist comments and wild assumptions about it. And this makes me sad, as this place, and the people who attended this school, and taught there, deserve so much more.

The school closed in 1990, almost 100 years after it was first established. The building in the photo above, Memorial Hall, was built in 1922 when this school was at its highest enrollment. The Steele Indian School Park now sits on an enormous piece of land not far from downtown Phoenix.

The Memorial Hall in the 1940s.

If you think that you already know everything about the Phoenix Indian School, this is a good place to start fresh. If your cup is already full with prejudice, there's nothing that the school can say to you. Speaking for myself, I have emptied my cup, and I am ready to learn more. It's the least I can do to show my respect.

Thank you for walking with me.

Newspaper article from 1919

The Indian School football team, the Braves, in 1921.

Become a PhD (Phoenix History Detective) with Brad today on Patreon!

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.

Phoenix, Arizona, successfully stopping freeway construction since the 1960s



If you've ever sat in a gridlocked traffic jam in Phoenix, you may be wondering why Phoenix didn't build more freeways? For example, why isn't there an east-west freeway that would take you from the west side of Phoenix all the way to Scottsdale, say at about Camelback Road? And why isn't there a loop around Phoenix that would allow traffic from Los Angeles to Tucson to bypass the downtown area? I'm sure that you can think of more, especially if you're in bumper-to-bumper traffic, either on a freeway in Phoenix, or on one of the surface streets.

If you're an old-timer, or a Phoenix history buff, you know that stopping freeway construction is something that the people of Phoenix have successfully been doing for over 50 years.

I've been living in Phoenix for a long time now, and the most common thing I've heard about freeways is that it would make Phoenix like Los Angeles. That is, if freeways were built, it would make a lot more people move there, and it would get crowded, like Los Angeles. And the solution that I've hears from old-timers is to just somehow stop new subdivisions from being built.

Of course, people have been moving into Phoenix at a rapid rate since 1870, and there really is no way to stop them, or to stop new subdivisions from being built. And so Phoenix has been struggling with its transportation infrastructure for a very long time!

Image above: 1960s recommended freeway map for Phoenix.

Become a PhD (Phoenix History Detective) today on Patreon!

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.

The importance of the Pima Indians to the history of Phoenix


If you're like me, you probably don't know much about the history of Indians in Arizona. You may have visited the Heard Museum, or gone to an Indian Casino, and maybe someone has tried to teach you the names that the tribes now prefer. And it all becomes a blur. And much of history gets lost that way, but really, in one way, it's better that way.

But since I have been taking the time to learn about Phoenix history, I have discovered something that absolutely amazes me - the importance of the Pima Indians. And if you want to learn more, please journey along with me. But please step with caution.

In the 1920 ad there, the Busy Drug Store, along with encouraging you to take your Kodak to them to have photos developed, has done a bit of editorializing. And to me, it's amazing to think that they are trying to remind people that what they may consider "savages" to have been an important ally of the pioneers of Phoenix (here using the offensive term "white man"). It had only been a generation or so and apparently people had already forgotten.

But really, the war was over. If you know your Arizona history, you know that the war between the Pimas and the Apaches had, as the ad says, been fought with a fury born of generations of hatred. So this reminder, decades later of that war seems in poor taste, to say the least. Apache and Pima children by the 1920s had been attending the same school, the Phoenix Indian School. Their parents may have remembered the war, but the children had forgotten it. And like I say, maybe it's just as well.

Real history is wildly complex. If you're interested in learning more about the the Indian wars in Arizona, I recommend James McClintock's Arizona, the Youngest State, which was written in 1916. He doesn't simplify any of this stuff, and goes into such gory detail that I had to skip over a lot of it, and it will be a long time before I am able to read that book again.

Trying to understand the history of Phoenix without the Pima Indians gives a strange distortion. The Pima people and the pioneers of Phoenix have always been allies, and are to this day.

Image from the Library of Congress http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84020558/1920-10-10/ed-1/seq-21.pdf


Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please go to patreon.com/PhoenixHistoryAdventuring where you can show your support for as little as $1 a month. Thank you!

What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html

The good old days of Phoenix


One thing that everyone seems to agree about is that the good old days of Phoenix were better. People were friendlier, there was less hate and violence, children were better behaved, that sort of thing. Depending on your age, it could be the '90s, the '80s, the '70s - heck, I know people who fondly remember the good old days of the 1940s. And if you're a history fan, like me, you may enjoy visiting the good old days of territorial Phoenix. I kinda like the 1890s myself.

And what I have discovered that the good old days are anything you want them to be. I often think of future generations who will look back at today with fondness as the good old days. A simpler time, before, well, I don't know yet.

Follow History Adventuring on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

Yeah, you can tell I love the good old days of Phoenix. And I really can't get enough of them - as I post them on the web. And yes, I love the good old days. But ultimately I am an optimist for the future - and I know that there will be more good old days to come!

Image above: in front of Green the Hatter in the 1890s at the Fleming Building, 1st Avenue and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona.

Donate to History Adventuring
If you like what you see here, and would like to make suggestions for future posts, please do. Any and all donations will be reinvested into more history adventuring. Thank you!

Excellence of design - Phoenix freeways


As a Graphic Design teacher, people often asked me where they could go to see great Graphic Design? When I suggested their local mall, many people were confused. Isn't that just where the stores are? And nowadays when I want to point out excellence of design, I tell people to look at the 303 freeway.

As a frustrated architect (I couldn't do the math) I've always been fascinated with all types of buildings. And that includes the kind of structures that surround us, and we take for granted, airports, shopping malls, and even freeways.

If this point of view is new to you, I suggest that you start by looking at great architecture from the past. No one seems to have any difficulty recognizing excellence of design if it's old enough. Maybe the Pyramids, or the Roman Coliseum.

If I could time-travel, I'd go back and see great things being built. I'd go watch them build the Hoover Dam in 1933, I'd see the Grand Canal being dug through Phoenix in 1878. And so when I have the opportunity to see what I call "history in the making", such as the construction of the 303 freeway, not far from me, I go look at it.

I can't put it into words, because excellence in design is a completely different language. It starts with looking at it. So if you go take a look at it, don't be surprised if people are wondering what you're looking at, because they probably can't see it. But maybe someday they will. And when you see it, it's breathtaking.


Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please go to patreon.com/PhoenixHistoryAdventuring where you can show your support for as little as $1 a month. Thank you!

What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html

How self-driving cars will change everything


I used to love driving. Back when I lived in California, I would take my sports cars out onto twisty roads and it was pure joy. But lately I have come realize that that type of driving isn't the type of driving that most people do.

The type of driving that most people do is commuting and errands. And while I have fond memories of driving, I really haven't done much commuting, or errands. And so when the subject of self-driving cars comes up, I realize that I am at a disadvantage to see how most people view driving.

I'm ready for a self-driving car. I have no interest in holding onto a steering wheel for six hours to get to Los Angeles. I have no interest in driving a crowded street in Phoenix so I can go from one building to another. I have no interest in commuting, or errands. No, I don't want to hire a driver, anymore than I want to hire someone to post this to my blog. I want a computer. I was an early adaptor to personal computers in the 1980s, and I remember the people who said that they would rather just use a pencil and a piece of paper. I suppose if I had been around 100+ years ago, when cars were invented, people would have shouted at me, "get a horse!".

My career grew up with computers. I rely on them. I understand them the same way that I understand dogs, and we like each other. We know what we're good at, and we like doing what we're good at. I'm good at being creative, dogs are good at sniffing around, computers are good at repetitious tasks.

I've met people who are good at repetitious tasks. They can sit behind the wheel of a car for hours, staring at the dullest stuff that I can imagine. And I'm jealous of those people, the same way I'm envious of people who can remember birthdays, and appointments. But luckily, I don't have to do that, I have a computer.

I love the idea of being able to go anywhere just by telling my car "take to Malibu!". My phone already has maps and GPS, and I see no reason why a human being needs to be involved with that at all. There are so many other things that I would like to do rather than repetitious tasks - which I'm not good at, and computers are.

Once I get my self-driving car, I'll probably sign up at the Bondurant School and drive on a track. That's what driving has always meant to me, anyway. And that I like to do!

The Central Arizona Project, supplying water to Arizona since 1994


If you've lived in the Phoenix area in the last forty years or so, you have heard of the Central Arizona Project (CAP). That's the aqueduct that brings water from the Colorado River to Arizona, including Phoenix, and Tucson. And if you're a history buff, you know that the water of the Colorado River is shared between Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, and California because of the Hoover Dam, which was built in 1933.

And so, a lot of people in Phoenix are under the impression that the city gets its water from there. In fact, I've even read books that claim that the water for Phoenix comes from "hundreds of miles away". And yes, some of it does come from CAP, which began in 1968 and was completed in 1994.

But Phoenix has been around since 1870. And, speaking for myself, I lived in Phoenix before the completion of the Central Arizona Project, way back in the 1980s. And the water then, as now, mostly comes from the Salt River.

The Salt River supplied water to the Hohokams, it's where the first canals were dug by the pioneers in the 1860s. In 1911 a huge dam was built to control the massive flooding. The canals that were built, such as the Arizona Canal, which is just north of me, brings water from the Salt River. If you drive along Lincoln Boulevard just north of the Biltmore you will see one of the gigantic water treatment plants that clean the water so that people like me can take showers.

Take a look at an satellite view of the Salt River Valley. Look east towards Roosevelt Dam. Then look at the series of canals that flow all over the valley of the sun. The next time you're out driving in the valley, make a note of how many times you cross over canals. That's where the water comes from, and it's been flowing through the valley quietly for over 100 years.

Image at the top of this post, the Central Arizona Project (CAP).

Grand Canal in 1896.

How to enjoy Phoenix, Arizona


When I was going to ASU, I remember that most people made arrangements to travel away from Tempe during the breaks. When I told people that I lived in Tempe, and wasn't going away, most people just gave me a sad look. And I gave them a sad look, too. Because I was going to get a chance to enjoy one of the most incredible cities in the world, Phoenix, Arizona, and they were just going away.

Don't get me wrong, I did go back home for Christmas once to Minneapolis. And the only thing that it reminded me of is the reason why I moved to Phoenix. And after that, I swore that whenever I had a chance, I would go exploring in my own backyard, which was Phoenix.

I still feel this way. I know a lot of people who get up every morning, stare at the taillights of the cars in front of them, look at freeway exit signs, do a job, and then go home and watch TV. And when they get some time off, they spend time in airports, or driving on a freeway, maybe going to another state, or city. And I saw the same thing when I lived in Santa Barbara. I felt like saying to these people, "do you have any idea where you live, and how beautiful it is?" Mostly I would get dull stares.

If you live in a world of elevators, and sitting in your car on the freeway, and staring at your TV, it really doesn't matter where you live. But I decided a long time ago to live in some pretty cool places, and Phoenix is one of them. If you disagree with me, and live in Phoenix, and say that there's nothing to do, nothing to see, well, I can't blame you. Most people have been telling that about wherever I've lived all of my life. I have a feeling that if the most interesting city in the world could be invented, most people wouldn't even see it, even if they lived there.

I'm an explorer, and an adventurer. My friends know this, but most people can't even imagine it. So I use a trick that I learned from the book "Cannery Row". If you recall, Doc wanted to just walk around America and see it for himself. But people were distrustful, so he told people that he was doing it all on a bet. So, I have reasons that other people can understand, if they don't understand adventuring and exploring for its own sake. I can say that I working on my fitness, or walking my dog, or doing some research because of my interest in history.

So, if you ask me if I'm going away on vacation, I will say that I need to stay in town to work. But really I just love being in Phoenix, and there's so much to see!

Image above: driving along the Arizona Canal in 1915, Camelback Mountain in the background.


Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! To support History Adventuring on Patreon, please go to patreon.com/PhoenixHistoryAdventuring. Thank you!

What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html

The difference between racism and tribalism


Every once in a while, someone wonders if they can get some of the Indian Casino money they hear about. They may say "look at my cheekbones!", or "I have a photo of my great-grandparents, and they look they might be Indian!" But that's race, not tribe. In order to prove that you are a descendant of a particular Indian tribe, you need documentation.

This is not race. Race is a nonsense concept. Trying to categorize people into various races based on skin color, or the shape of their heads, or whatever, has been attempted for hundreds of years, and it has failed. Of course, just because something doesn't exist, doesn't mean people don't believe it exists, especially if it fulfills some type of need in their life, especially financial.

And that brings me to tribalism. And this is where people often confuse race with tribe. Unlike race, a tribe is not a nonsense concept. It's cultural, like being a citizen of a state, or a city, but it's also hereditary. And if you've been paying attention to the successes of Indian Casinos in the last few years, it's important that you understand.

If I use myself as an example, I have a connection between two tribes - the Angles and the Saxons. I know it might sound goofy, but really, those tribes really existed, and I am a descendant of them, and I can prove it with documentation. I won't ask you to look at the color of my eyes, or my skin. I have ancestors from England. I have written records of my ancestors. Yeah, that won't get me any Indian Casino money, I know!

Being part of an Indian tribe, and therefore deserving of your share of the money that is dispersed, requires proof that you are of that tribe. For many people, this is so easy that they don't need to give it a second thought. I have several Indian friends, and they know their tribes, and have no doubt about it.

Being a tribalist is like being a culturalist. It's a celebration of the unity of a group of people. And yes, they may look a certain way, and you may want to try to classify them by race, but if you take a second look, and classify them by tribe, it all makes sense.

Image above: Pima and Maricopa people in 1899, and a cowboy.

Football uniforms in 1902 at the Tempe Normal School, now ASU


Although this photo of the football team at the Tempe Normal School (now Arizona State University) is obviously posed, especially showing the year on the football, the guys are wearing their full uniforms as they would wear during a game. The main difference during a game, of course, is that they would be covered with mud.

The N on their jerseys stood for "Normal", and although it sounds kind of goofy now, was what a school that taught teaching "norms" was called back then. Yes, it was a teacher's college.

Support Arizona history by becoming a patron on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring blog posts are shared there daily, also there's "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, and super high-resolution photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

As you can see, there wasn't much shoulder padding although there was a bit for your thighs. And the helmets, while they may look plastic in the photo, were leather. Plastic wouldn't be invented for decades! Football players at the time were often called "Leather heads". Note the nose guard on the helmet of the player at left.

Then, as now, football was wildly popular. And as the school grew, the team went from being called the Normals, to the Bulldogs, to the Sun Devils of today.

Why you should avoid Grand Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona


Personally, I like Grand Avenue, but I recommend that people avoid it. It runs at a 45-degree angle starting at 7th Avenue and continuing up through Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, etc.

If you're used to driving the square grid of Phoenix, as most people are, Grand Avenue can be very disorienting. When I recommended to my parents many years ago to avoid Grand Avenue, I was told not to treat them "like old fools". After they got all turned around on Grand Avenue, they later told me that it had been good advice.

If you're a Phoenix old-timer, you remember the lights on Grand Avenue that took a loooooong time to change. I used to have cars that tended to overheat at idle, so I stayed away from those lights! Nowadays it's still a good idea to avoid crossing Grand Avenue, unless there is a bridge, as the lights can still be long, and you run the risk of having to wait for a train (the train tracks parallel Grand Avenue).
Map of entrance and exit to Grand Avenue at Olive. I made this map in 2006 to help me try to figure it out. They've since improved it, but it's still confusing.

A few years ago, improvements were made to Grand Avenue that made it even more difficult to drive. The exits and entrances are so convoluted that it seems as if they were designed as more of a joke than anything else. For several years the traffic was very thin on Grand as people discovered that it was very difficult to figure out. I made a point of studying maps, and puzzled out the bizarre exits and entrances, and found it to me kind of fun, like solving a maze. One of my favorite places I called "the street with no name", which isn't far from me, and which had no sign on it until a couple of years ago. It was my secret exit from Grand which took me to 67th Avenue. They finally put a sign up, and you can tell it's an afterthought, and it just seems kind'a like cheating.


The "street with no name" exit in 2006. They've put a sign up now.

I suppose nowadays if you focus on your GPS, it will guide you along Grand Avenue. And that's probably why Grand is getting more use these days. If you just try to puzzle it out, without looking at a map, you will find it like being inside of a maze, with almost no markings to guide you. By the way, sometimes the signs don't say Grand, they say 60. Sneaky, right?

Image at the top of this post: Grand Avenue going past Glendale in the 1920s.

What a Phoenix Bird is


I love living in Phoenix, and I really enjoy seeing images of Phoenix Birds. They're the legendary birds of ancient mythology that rise up out of their own ashes, and are usually portrayed rising up out of fire.

One of my favorite things to see is Phoenix Birds in stained glass in churches. The first time I saw one was when I got to see the Bethel Methodist Church, at 7th Street and Osborn, as it was being converted into Taco Guild. Most of the stained glass was preserved, including the Phoenix Bird pictured above. Yeah, it kind'a looks like a chicken, but it's a Phoenix Bird - look at the flames below it. I saw another Phoenix Bird at a local church here in Glendale last weekend, so I need to go back and take a photo.

Phoenix Bird at Town and Country Shopping Center.

The most famous images of Phoenix Birds were created by Paul Coze. There's one in Terminal 2 of Sky Harbor, and there's also one at the entrance to Town and Country Shopping Center on Camelback Road east of 20th Street.

Phoenix Bird at Terminal 2 of Sky Harbor Airport, Phoenix.

By the way, don't confuse a Phoenix Bird with a Thunderbird. A Thunderbird is an Indian image, and is usually portrayed with wide shoulders. Thunderbirds are still pretty cool, and I like them, but they aren't Phoenix Birds.

Become a PhD (Phoenix History Detective) today on Patreon!

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.

The War of The Lamanites and Nephites


When my family visited the Salt Lake City LDS visitors center, when I was 12 years old, I was absolutely blown away by the paintings that I saw there. When we came back to Minneapolis, one of my neighbors was kind enough to give me a Book of Mormon, but no one could explain to me who the people in the pictures were. When I would ask someone about The Book of Mormon, if they spoke to me at all, they talked about Joseph Smith. But I wanted to know who these heroic figures were. I've been working on this all of my life, and have made small progress. This is what I know -

The old man in the picture is the King of the Nephites, Mormon. At his side is his son Moroni. What you see in the distance are vultures circling, indicating the terrible slaughter that their army, and the army of the Lamanites, suffered. This war destroyed both civilizations, and there were just a handful of survivors after it. Next to Mormon are The Golden Tablets, which were the written history of his people, and were given to his son Moroni, who buried them in the hopes that one day they would be recovered.

I am not Mormon, but many people in my family are. And I live in Arizona, where a lot of these people of this faith live. Their preferred name, by the way is Latter Day Saints, usually abbreviated to LDS. My interest in history led to an interest in genealogy, and that led me to The Family History Center in Mesa, Arizona. I was also fortunate enough to have spoken to a student of mine at the Art Institute of Phoenix in the late 90s about it, and she was kind enough to give me some books - mostly for children - that helped me to understand her faith.

In a longish life I have come to realize that the faith of one person is the cult, or superstition, of another. Having respect for other people's faiths is something that I have been striving to do since I was 12 years old, and it's part of the man that I wanted to grow up to be. I'm still working on it.

Image above: Mormon's Farewell, painting by Arnold Friberg. More of his work for the Book of Mormon here http://bookofmormonclassics.com

Why trees were planted in territorial Phoenix


Contrary to popular belief, Phoenix, Arizona has a lot of water. Yes, the valley is a desert, but it's along the course of an enormous amount of water that has rushed down for the past ten thousand years along the course of the Salt River, whose source begins in one of the largest watersheds on planet earth, the uplifted area northeast of Phoenix.

Of course if you walk around Phoenix, all you see a desert. If you were to walk around Phoenix 100 years ago, you would have seen a LOT of desert. Dirt, cactus, tumbleweeds. And all of the engineers in the world could have pointed to the technology of the series of dams along the Salt River, including Roosevelt Dam, without making much of an impression on people who were thinking of investing in the Salt River Valley. They wanted to see if things really could grow there. And just like Southern California, it started with trees, especially palm trees.

Support Arizona history by becoming a patron on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring blog posts are shared there daily, also there's "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, and super high-resolution photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

Seeing a pamphlet, or a map, that explains the steady supply of water that an area has isn't as impressive as seeing something growing in the desert, like trees. And Phoenix had a lot of trees. It all comes down to selling real estate. And nothing says oasis like trees.

The Salt River Valley Watershed. Impressive, but not as impressive as trees.

What Phoenix, Arizona looked like before the arrival of people


I often hear people talk about how idyllic the Phoenix, Arizona area must have been before the arrival of people. Apparently rivers flowed, deer and antelope played, everything was lush, etc. But it's not true, sorry. Before the arrival of people (and yes, that includes native people) it was just a raw desert. If you want to see what Phoenix looked like hundreds of years ago, just drive out into the desert today. That's it. All rivers, including the Salt River, were typical riparian washes that ran hard after a rain or a snow melt up north, and then dried up. The area was brutally hot, as it is today. People didn't turn this area into a desert, it already was. People turned it into an oasis.

The Hohokam people at Pueblo Grande. The view is looking southeast towards where Tempe is now, and South Mountain.

When people came to the Salt River Valley (yes, including native people), they dug canals. When the water flowed, they directed it towards areas where they could grow crops. People have been doing this sort of irrigation farming for thousands of years - just go look at the ancient Egyptians. With this type of irrigation, people can make farmland out of desert.

When pioneer settlers came out here in the 1860s, they saw abandoned canals. The people who were living there at the time described them as belonging to a race of people "who had gone" called the Hohokams. So, the early Phoenix pioneers figured that it could be done again. Darrell Duppa, who was particularly poetic, called the area Phoenix, because he saw a city would grow again from the ashes. He was right.

Image at the top of this post: the Arizona Canal in 1896, flowing through what would someday be Phoenix, Arizona.



Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please become a patron.

Become a Patron!

Why do people live in Phoenix, Arizona?


I'm interested in the history of Phoenix, and I collect old photos, and I always wonder "why do people live there?" I'm writing this in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, in the summer, and it will be another day that will be hot enough to fry and egg on the sidewalk. I mean, really, who would live in a place like that? And since over 4 million people call the Phoenix metro area home, and Phoenix itself has been around since 1870, I get a lot of answers.

Don't get me wrong. I love Phoenix. I hope that I can live here until they carry my old bones away. And since I've made arrangements to donate my carcass when I'm done with it to the University of Arizona Medical School, which is in downtown Phoenix, I'm hoping to be able to stay in my favorite city for as long as I can!

My category, which is fairly large, is someone who escaped the snow and cold of Minnesota. I also fit into another category, as I lived in Southern California for many years, and I am in the category of people who got out of Southern California. So I have a lot to talk about with people who have no desire to see snow again, and have no desire to stand in line for just about everything (that would be Southern California). If you're wondering what my California looked like, watch L.L. Cool J's video about it - Going Back to Cali - I don't think so!

Another fairly large category that I've found is people who grew up in Phoenix. I gotta tell you, these people boggle my mind. I can always recognize them by their comments on my Phoenix page, usually "with that jacket that person is wearing, it can't be summer!" I suppose if Phoenix had its own language, there would be a 1,000 words for heat, kinda like the 1,000 words for snow which Eskimo is supposed to have, which it doesn't, because Eskimo isn't a language. How these kids managed to play in the summer I have no idea, but the people I talk to just shrug their shoulders and say, "We were kids".

I feel very fortunate that I have found a place to live in that I love so much. Phoenix has been good to me, and I always figured that the heat of the summer keeps the riff-raff out. For me, the size of the city is just right, not too big, not too small. Believe me, after living in LA, Phoenix felt like a small town, and it felt good. But not so small that they roll up the sidewalks at night. Still, it's kinda nice to see the traffic lights here in Glendale flashing red or yellow in the wee hours of the night.

So I ask people why are they living in Phoenix? And when I read about someone, maybe a pioneer, I ask the same thing. There are so many reasons, and to me they're all interesting.

Image above: Flying over downtown Phoenix in the 1970s. From a postcard.

If you liked this article, and would like to see more, please consider supporting history adventuring on Patreon. If you're already a patron, thank you! You make this happen!

Click here to become a Patron!
History adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.

Using the suicide lanes in Phoenix, Arizona


If you're a Phoenix old-timer, you know what the suicide lanes are. They are lanes in the middle of major streets that allow travel in any direction in order to make a left turn from the street that you are traveling on. Used correctly, they are very good for traffic flow, as traffic doesn't need to stop if someone is making a left turn. Unfortunately, they get their name for a reason.

If you've driven much around Phoenix, you may be under the impression that these lanes are designed to allow drivers to drive in them, usually with their right turn signal on, waiting to merge into traffic. They aren't. And so a lane that was designed to be used safely becomes extremely dangerous when a driver is going in a particular direction, looking over their shoulder backwards, in a lane that allows traffic in either direction. So don't do that. By the way, just driving along in a lane like this with your right turn signal on, waiting to merge, can get you a nasty ticket.

Most suicide lanes aren't marked with the turn arrows like in the image above, but that's how they should be treated. If you need to turn left, signal, move into that lane, watch traffic until it clears and make your turn. If you're unsure how to use the suicide lane, stay out of it.

Support Arizona history by becoming a patron on Patreon

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring blog posts are shared there daily, also there's "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, and super high-resolution photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona

Chances are slim that you'll get a ticket for using one of these lanes incorrectly. But chances are so good that you will cause a collision that the lanes have come to be known as suicide lanes.

Oh yes, and please look twice for motorcycles. Thank you.

Surviving the summer in Phoenix, Arizona


It's July 14th as I write this, in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, and there's only one word for the awful heat here right now - unbearable. And yet people do bear it. I've been doing it for over twenty years now. Of course, I've had it easy. I've had air conditioning.

My interest in Phoenix history always makes me wonder how it was for the pioneers. And in spite of the people who insist that "it wasn't so hot back in the day", it was. Long before freeways, and asphalt, and swimming pools, it was the Sonoran Desert, which has been a very hot desert since the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago. So, whenever I think about the people who lived there before the invention of air conditioning, from Indians to pioneers, I cringe a little.

My favorite description of it in the 1870s is from Phoenix pioneer George Loring, who wrote this in a letter back home:

“If a man can get up at three o'clock and sits perfectly still in some open spot (where he can get the advantage of what small breeze there is) without a rag on, he can get comfortable, the sweat will not run, but understanding that he has got to keep perfectly still. If he moves his toes they will be covered with perspiration, he must not wink more than once in fifteen minutes…"

And it goes on and on, and gets more sarcastic and miserable. Author Patrick Grady did the original research on this, and it's in his book "Out of the Ruins" if you'd like to read more. If you have the book, take a look at Chapter Six, "A Frontier Love Story". And all I can think is, "what in the world were people doing here?" Well, they were looking for opportunity, and being what I call "unrealistically optimistic" about the chances of a great city like Phoenix growing in such an inhospitable spot.

Like I say, I've been lucky. I've always worked indoors, with air conditioning. And thanks to the nice people at General Motors, I can travel around Phoenix with cool air inside of a bubble. George Loring would have loved it!

Above: the rugged face of Phoenix pioneer George Loring

Become a PhD (Phoenix History Detective) today on Patreon!

Click here to become a Patron!
History Adventuring posts are shared there daily including "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos of historic Phoenix, Arizona. Discounts for seniors, students, teachers, and veterans.

The end of the use of the swastika


If you like old books and maps, printed before World War II, you have seen the swastika. It goes by many names, but, well, it's a swastika. And although I consider myself a pretty good time-traveler, and I know that it didn't have its evil meaning before it was used by the Nazis, it's still pretty shocking to see.

It's an ancient good luck symbol that has been used for centuries by many cultures, but once it became associated with the Nazis, it was forever tainted. If you know your history of World War II, and the Nazis, and the horror they created, you understand. If you don't, then it's time that you learned.

And just to clarify, no, it's not not a conspiracy if you see a swastika on something that was created before World War II. Before the Nazis, it had no evil connotations, but after the Nazis, it did.

So I will not post images of swastikas, nor will I defend its use. No amount of time-traveling can remove its stain, and horror.

Image above: Fred Kaboti, Hopi (left), and Miguel Flores, Apache, are about to sign a parchment document proclaiming the ban in 1940 on the use of the traditional swastika symbol from all designs in their basket weaving and blanket making as a protest against Nazi acts of oppression.

Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please become a patron.

Become a Patron!

How Barry Goldwater saved Camelback Mountain


When Arizona Senator and resident of Paradise Valley, Barry Goldwater, lost the Presidential election to Lyndon Johnson in 1964, he found himself with more time on his hands than he had expected.

So he got together a group of his friends and neighbors and created a group to petition to make further development on Camelback Mountain, above a certain line, illegal. And they did it, in 1965.

By the 1960s, houses were being built up higher and higher on the mountain, with no end in sight. The image above, from a 1956 postcard, is the Camelback Mountain that Barry and his friends wanted to see. And while the city has grown all around the mountain, it didn't grow on top of it.

Thanks, Barry!


Thank you to my patrons on Patreon who help support History Adventuring! If you like these blog posts, and would like to make suggestions for future ones, please go to patreon.com/PhoenixHistoryAdventuring where you can show your support for as little as $1 a month. Thank you!

What Patreon is http://bradhallart.blogspot.com/2016/03/supporting-creators-on-web-with-patreon.html