This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California

One of the most historically significant places in Phoenix, Arizona - that looks like nothing at all


I like Phoenix. It's my town. I've lived there for a long time, and I've collected a lot of old photos. I know about its history, good and bad. And yeah, I know that compared to places back east, which have places like Liberty Bells, or Europe, which has stuff like castles, the history of Phoenix isn't really all that impressive. But like I say, it's my town.

So I don't expect tourists to crowd into some of the places that I consider historically significant in Phoenix, like where the candy store was. I know that the city isn't going to spend a lot of money on an elaborate plaque when there are a whole lot more important things it needs to spend its budget on. So, I'm not trying to convince anyone anything here, I just like these places. And one of the most historically significant places in Phoenix that I know of is Washington at Cactus Alley.

If you're a hardcore Phoenix history buff, you've heard of Cactus Alley. It was never listed that way anywhere on Phoenix maps, but people in Phoenix knew where it was - halfway between Central and 1st Street. It's where Donofrios Cactus Candy store was, in the Ellingson Building. It's where George Loring had his store, which he called "Loring's Bazar" (yep, he spelled it that way), which was in an adobe building in the 1870s.

It's an entrance to a parking garage now. If you want to stand there, and soak up some history, watch out for turning cars.

There are a lot of places like that around Phoenix. Sometimes I wish that a plaque was put up, but it really doesn't matter to me. Phoenix is a place of growth and progress, always has been, and hopefully always will be.

Washington and Cactus Alley (called Cactus Way by that time) in 1917. Donofrios Cactus Candy.