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

Why Valley National Bank built such cool buildings


If you live in the Phoenix, Arizona area, you have probably seen some very cool-looking old bank buildings. My favorite one is at 44th Street and Camelback, and is a Chase Bank. But it was originally built as Valley National Bank, and it's a reflection of the vision of one man, Walter Bimson.

Walter Bimson

Time-travel with me to Arizona in the 1930s. It's the time of the Great Depression, a time of despair. Many people felt that the great American dream was over. The roaring twenties had crashed terribly in 1929, and the United States was suffering from the worst unemployment in its history. Banks had collapsed, many taking with them life savings. Needless to say, confidence in banks was low.

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

But Walter Bimson, who became president of Valley National Bank in 1933, was one of those "unreasonably optimistic" people who somehow seem to make things happen anyway. His goal was to make loans, which he did. Nowadays giving loans to people who may or may not be able to pay them back seems like a bad thing, but back then it was considered a good thing. And Walter Bimson was so enthusiastic about loans that he decided to build branches all over Arizona, and gave a tremendous amount of authority for branch managers to say "OK".


Of course, convincing people that they didn't need to go downtown to get a loan meant getting them into the branches. So the branches were beautiful. They were opened with ceremony and fanfare.


But it wasn't all just business. Walter Bimson collected art. Valley National Bank had a full-time art curator, who oversaw the collection, which included painting and sculpture. And that attitude was reflected in the branches, which were architectural works of art themselves.

44th Street and Camelback Valley National Bank Branch in the early 1970s. Now Chase.

The Five Tribes - United States veterans since 1863


If you were at the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Celebration this year, you saw a color guard. That's a group of soldiers, often veterans, showing respect by carrying flags, including the United States flag and the POW (Prisoner of War) flag. And if your first thought was "ho-hum, same old thing that every community does on a special occasion", look again. These people are Indians, and they have served the United States since 1863.

If you're like me, and learned about "cowboys and Indians" from old western movies or TV shows, the Five Tribes Treaty makes no sense. I mean, aren't the cowboys supposed to be fighting the Indians? That's what I was taught.

But this was an alliance. The United States military needed the help of the Five Tribes, and the feeling was mutual. They had a common enemy - the Apaches.

Now, waitaminute, this was a long time ago, and the Apaches have not been the enemy of the United States for over 100 years. In fact, neither are the French, the Germans, or the Japanese. You have to take this all in historical context. But it's important to note that the Five Tribes fought along with the United States. They fought against the Apaches, they fought against the Japanese (Google Ira Hayes and you'll see what I mean), they fought against the Viet Cong.

If you've read Farish and McClintock, you know that the Salt River Valley was a war zone, and had been for generations. But there were people who dreamed of peace, of ending the war that had gone on for what seemed like forever. Those people were the Five Tribes, and they did so, with their alliance with the United States. That's over 153 years of service, and that deserves respect.

By the way, the guys in the photo up there, from 1889, may not even have been born yet when the treaty was signed, but they carried on the alliance, which continues to this day.


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

Visiting the Tal'-Wi-Wi Ranch in the 1930s, Bumstead, Arizona


If you look on Google maps at about Litchfield Road and Peoria, you will see the name of Bumstead. And for years I thought that this was the only thing left of the Tal'-Wi-Wi Ranch of Dale Bumstead. But the ranch is still there, it's where the reeeealllly tall palm trees are, along Litchfield Road. If you live out in the west valley you've probably driven past them a million times. Let's time-travel back to the 1930s and visit the original ranch.

According to a booklet that I have,  Tal'-Wi-Wi is Hopi for Happy Village. I don't know if that's true or not, I'm skeptical about things attributed like that, but since this is a blog post, if I find out more, I'll come back here and update it. Update - see comment below. But now let's go meet Dale and his wife Eva.



In the mid-thirties, this area was part of the Agua Fria Project, which was a failure. The idea was to bring water down from Lake Pleasant and turn the area between the White Tank Mountains and the Agua Fria River into rich farmland. It was all privately-funded, and although I have documentation about how great it was all going to be, it looks like when it all failed people didn't talk much about it. Luckily, Dale wasn't in on that. He never relied on canals and dams, he relied on groundwater, like Sun City does to this day.

It's quite a place in the 1930s. Dale and Eva are growing all kinds of stuff, including grapefruit trees and date palms. In fact, there's so much growing that you would hardly believe that just a few years ago this had been empty desert.

Looking towards the White Tank Mountains from the Tal'-Wi-Wi Ranch in the 1930s

The Central Village of the Tal'-Wi-Wi Ranch in the 1930s

I discovered the Tal'-Wi-Wi Ranch from old documents that I found many years ago. And for years and years I thought how it was that it had all gone away. I posted pictures on social media, saying that it was long gone. Then one day someone made a comment on my Google+ page which simply said that he hadn't realized that it was gone. And sure enough, there it was! I had been looking in the wrong place. Just look for the very tall palm trees on Litchfield Road.

Looking towards the White Tank Mountains from Litchfield Road between Peoria and Olive, modern day.

Dale Bumstead in 1949. This is the only photo I have of him, and I never found one of Eva. By this time she was gone.

The Tal'-Wi-Wi Ranch 1930s booklet (pdf)

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.

Relaxing at the King's Rest in the 1940s, Phoenix, Arizona


Time-travel with me to Phoenix in the 1940s. We're relaxing at the King's Rest, which is at 801 S. 17th Avenue, which is 17th Avenue between Van Buren and Buckeye Road, or back in the 1940s just along along the highway. The highway takes a sharp turn at Van Buren and goes all of the way to Apache Junction, by the way.

As of this writing, May of 2016, the King's Rest is still there, and is called Las Casitas. But the glory days of the old highway are long over, and it puzzles modern day people like me, who have difficulty imagining that 17th Avenue was an important highway. But it was.

It's a sunny day and feels good to relax out in the sun on the lawn. There are sun umbrellas on the table, but I don't really need it, I just tipped my fedora slightly to the southern sun. It's winter, and it's seasonably cool, but luckily the King's Rest is Air Cooled if I want to come back in the spring or summer. There are other people out there enjoying the day. Some are chatting, some are just marveling at the clear desert air. It feels great out here.

There's a steady stream of cars going by on the highway, and I can hear the train, which is just north of here. This really is a nice place. The architectural style is Mission Revival, and it's kept up very nicely. I mean, look at that neatly trimmed hedge, and is that a Saguaro cactus there?

Thank you for relaxing with me.

Looking north on 17th Avenue towards Buchanan in the 1940s, Phoenix, Arizona.




Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Reference number 87001882. Last restored in 2006.


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!

The history of air pollution in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles


When I moved to the San Fernando Valley, which is part of Los Angeles, California, in 1986, the air pollution was terrible. The air was always brown, and the mountains could only be seen on rare clear days, like after a rain.

Efforts had already begun to try to get air pollution under control in Los Angeles, but it really hadn't shown much, except that it made people angry that they had to follow a lot of new rules, such as having their cars inspected for emission controls. The air pollution devices that had become popular in the 1970s were pretty easy to remove, and so the state enforced laws requiring their use.

Nowadays, when I visit there, I am amazed at how clear the sky is. People wonder if I am kidding, as it's still pretty dirty, compared to the blue skies of Minneapolis, or Phoenix. But it is so much better!

Even before the suburbs started growing in the San Fernando Valley, it was a windy and dusty place. My research has shown that apparently the thought was that once trees were planted that the dust and air pollution would be gone. The trees would take care of it! Well, it didn't really happen that way.

Of course, now attitudes about air pollution have changed dramatically. Pollution controls on cars are taken for granted. There are even very strict pollution controls for buildings. When I lived in the valley, there was more of an attitude of freedom, which included having a car that belched out smoke, and just plain not letting the government tell you what to do. Los Angeles was all about "doing your own thing", not behaving in a communal way. That was for places that were crowded, like San Francisco. The valley was a wide-open place, with lots of room, and you could do what you wanted, which included taking off the pollution controls on your car, which just affected performance and gas mileage, anyway.

I like blue skies and clean air. That's part of the reason that I left Los Angeles and moved back to Phoenix. And then I watched Phoenix start to have to deal with the same problems. Luckily, pollution controls are so tightly woven into how modern cars work that they really can't be disabled, and people don't even think about it.


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

Following the water of the Salt River from Scottsdale to Peoria, Arizona


Let's follow the water of the Salt River, beginning in Scottsdale and ending in Peoria, Arizona.

If your first response is "hey, there's no water in the Salt River", sorry, you're just looking in the wrong place for the water. The Salt River marked on maps is just an empty gouge that goes south of the airport. There's some water over by Tempe, but most of the water of the Salt River flows through the canals, and has done so since the 1880s.


Let's start in Scottsdale, at Pima Road a little over two miles north of Indian School Road. We could have started further east, in the Salt River Pima–Maricopa Indian Community, or even as far back as Roosevelt Dam, but it's a long trip, so this will make it shorter. And we will go most of the way across the valley! But don't worry, we won't need to paddle our little boat very much, we will be going with the current, as the valley slopes west-southwest. We're on the Arizona Canal.

We will be traveling due west until just past Hayden, when the canal takes a sudden bend south at, appropriately enough, Indian Bend Road. It will begin its gentle curve back west as we approach the intersection of Scottsdale Road and Camelback. It's clear sailing until we get to about 56th Street, and we'll need to carry the boat around the falls. Don't worry, there are stairs nowadays. And there's a beautiful view of Camelback Mountain.

Arizona Falls, just north of Indian School, east of 56th Street. The falls are still there, and there's a little park, too.

Looking east at Camelback Mountain along the Arizona Canal from the hill of the Wrigley Mansion.

Now the canal starts to go north, continuing to parallel Indian School Road. As we approach 32nd Street, we can see the Arizona Biltmore, which we go right past, between the main buildings and the golf course. We get a nice view of Piestewa Peak, which used to be called Squaw Peak. Past 24th Street we see the water treatment plants, and as we go under the I-17 freeway, we approach Metrocenter, and another water treatment plant. By the way, these treatment plants are for the fresh water that we use every day. You know, the water that comes out of your tap when you make coffee in the morning. Salt River water.

Once we pass 51st Avenue, the diversion channel begins to widen out into Thunderbird Paseo Park. Just past 75th Avenue we can see Arrowhead Towne Center just to the north, on Bell. We are in Peoria. And now the Arizona Canal ends, and the water from it pours out into the diversion channel, to join up with Skunk Creek, New River, the Agua Fria River, the Gila River, then down to Yuma and out into Baja, California and into the Pacific Ocean.

Thank you for floating along with me on the water of the Salt River.

The Arizona Canal at Northern and 7th Street


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

Why the Thunderbird School of Global Management isn't on Thunderbird Road, Glendale, Arizona


The Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Arizona, is on 59th Avenue and Greenway Road, which is a mile north of Thunderbird Road. If you ever wondered why, all you have to do is to do some time-traveling.

Let's go back to Glendale in 1940. Now let's go waaaaayyy north of Glendale, out into the middle of a bunch of empty desert. We're standing in the middle of a square mile bounded nowadays by Thunderbird Road, Greenway, 59th Avenue and 51st, and it's been dedicated as Thunderbird Field. No, not because of Thunderbird Road, it was just because it was a cool name. Really. And the main buildings, which were at the northwest corner of the field, were designed to look like a Thunderbird from the air. You can still see it, although a lot of other buildings have been added. Take a look at Satellite view and you'll see it. The Thunderbird is flying towards the northwest.

Flying over Thunderbird Field in 1942. You're looking northwest.

Thunderbird Field in the 1940s. You're looking southwest.



Inscription on the plaque at the top of this post:

"The last of the Helmet and Goggles.

Thunderbird Pilots Memorial.

This memorial is a symbol of man’s love for his flying machine and fond remembrances of the fellow pilots who shared in the joy of mastering the Stearman PT-17. I stands as the mark they leave on the grounds of Thunderbird.

No longer do these men wear a helmet & googles, or stand on the lower wing of a biplane, or strap themselves into an open cockpit, or feel the blast of the prop on their face or breathe the burning exhaust of aviation gas. They were the last of this era of aviation history.

An executive order committed the United States to build 50,000 planes and to train 100,000 pilots for war. The response to the training was answered by the civil aviation community, resulting in clearing a square mile of desert land to be know as Thunderbird Field, where flying began in 1941, ending with the war’s end in 1945.

The students were military cadets. The airplanes were military PT-17s. The instructors, known as the Thunderbird Pilots, were civilians, flying more than one million hours to train over 16,000 cadets from the United States, Great Britain, and China."

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.

How to visit the La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, California


When I lived in Los Angeles, back in the 1980s, I use to love to visit the La Brea Tar Pits. Part of the reason is because it was free. And it still is.

No, I don't mean that you can go into the museum for free. But the Tar Pits are free. That is, the open space between Wilshire Boulevard and 6th Street between Fairfax and Curson. Yes, those are the tar pits. And it's what the greater Los Angeles area looked like before it was all covered up with concrete, freeways, donut shops, and malls. It was tar.

I went there a few years ago with my brother, who, naturally, seemed puzzled when I said, "We're here!" as we walked out into the open space.

The Tar Pits isn't a museum, it's a place. It's a place of oozing tar, which was been oozing for over a thousand years. When you walk there, the bottom of your shoes get black with tar, which is oil. You know, Black Gold, Texas Tea.

The land under the greater Los Angeles area is richer in oil than Texas. But instead of pumping all of the oil out, it has become a place where people love to live. And looking at the La Brea Tar Pits makes you wonder how that area became a place where people could live?

The oil was cleaned up. And so was the swampy area (La Cienega means swamp) to sell Real Estate. And it worked! So the Real Estate people became rich, but a tiny area was preserved. That's the La Brea Tar Pits.

I recommend that you visit there, no entrance fee.

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!

Visiting the Gila River Indian Community for the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Celebration


Like most non-Indian people in Phoenix, the only thing I know about the Pima Indian Communities around Phoenix is that there are casinos there.

Actually, the only Indian Casino that I've been inside of was the Talking Stick, which is over by Scottsdale. And just south of where I live, in Glendale, is the Vee Quiva (gotta do some research on that!) which is in Komate, which is part of Laveen, Arizona, on the Pima Gila River Indian Community (Reservation).

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

This past weekend I went there. No, not the casino, the Gila River Indian Community. My interest in Phoenix history had led me to find out more about the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Celebration. And since I'm not interested in "back in the way" or "the old west", but instead the continuous story of Phoenix, the fact that it was the 153rd Annual celebration (yes, the one hundred and fiftieth) was very meaningful to me. That is, this treaty has been celebrated since its signing in 1863, at a place that has belonged to the Pima people for hundreds of years, and has been an officially-recognized Reservation since 1859.

To go there, all you have to do is to cross the Salt River. There are bridges on 51st Avenue, 67th and 91st.

Time-travel with me. It's the 1860s and the only reason that non-Indian people are traveling back and forth across the Salt River is to get to the gold mines. That is, up towards Wickenburg. And the route takes them through the Pima Villages around Maricopa via the Gila River from Yuma. Yuma was the entrance point for Arizona, as ships sailed from San Francisco up through Baja California. Seems like a strange route nowadays, but crossing the desert wasn't really a good idea, and gold was heavy stuff that needed to get back to civilization, which at the time was San Francisco, California.

But there's a pretty serious problem when anyone crosses north over the Salt River Valley. Apaches. They didn't really live there, no one did (and hadn't since the Hohokams disappeared), but they guarded it. And anyone foolhardy enough to make the trip along the White Tank Mountains to the gold fields and back is taking a terrible risk. Yes, a lot of people died for that gold. If you're wondering where the oldest cemetery in the Salt River Valley is, just trace that route.

But gold is a pretty powerful incentive. And when the United States Military got involved, they looked for allies, which were the five tribes, the Pima (Akimel O’odham), Maricopa (Pee Posh), Yuma, Hualapai, and the Chemehuevi people.

So this past Saturday I just wanted to stand there and think about that. I looked at the mountains in the distance, I looked into the eyes of descendants of people who had been there. I was very obviously the only non-Indian person there at the celebration, but I knew that my people were part of the alliance, too. I am enjoying learning about this, and it makes living here much more meaningful to me.

Thank you for walking with me.

By the way, the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace Celebration is held every April (sometimes early May) in the Gila River Indian Community. This year it was at the District 7 Service Center and Park, which is on 83rd Avenue just south of Baseline.

The timeless quality of Santa Barbara, California


There is something wonderfully timeless about living in Santa Barbara. There's really no sense of the passage of time because of the wonderful marine layer that keeps the shadows soft all day. The days always start very soft, and the fog "burns off" at about 10, but the sunlight isn't harsh. I would often look out and wonder if it was 11 am or 3 pm. It was just daytime.

And the seasons never seem to change in Santa Barbara. Not really. Not like the seasons I grew up with in Minnesota, where it's mosquito season, then it snows. It's always nice in Santa Barbara. I would forget if it was February or September. It all felt the same.

Even the postcards that I used to buy when I lived there in the 1980s were of images from the 1950s and 60s. No one seemed to notice, or mind. The first time I grabbed a couple of postcards to send to friends I didn't even notice how old the images were, I just mailed them off.

But the timeless quality of Santa Barbara worried me. I was in my mid-twenties when I lived there, and I could picture just hanging around there for the rest of my life. I remember the old surfer dudes with the grey hair who were doing the same things that they did thirty years before. And I didn't want that.

Los Angeles was only an hour away. And at age 28 I decided to just move back there, and get a real job in the big city. The culture shock was awful. Don't let anyone tell you that Los Angeles has ever been "laid back". Not like Santa Barbara!

Leaving Santa Barbara was very painful for me, but I knew that it had to be done. She was beautiful, more beautiful than spoken words can tell.





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.

Searching for ancient Hohokam relics in downtown Phoenix in 2016 - Block 23


If you know your Arizona history, you know that the Hohokam people didn't just live around 46th Street and Washington, which is where Pueblo Grande has been preserved. Their civilization spanned out all over the Salt River Valley, where Phoenix is nowadays, and way beyond. And so with every step you take anywhere in the Phoenix metro area, you are walking on ancient Hohokam ground. I call it all "Pueblo Grande" from anywhere you stand in the valley, looking in any direction - towards South Mountain, Camelback Mountain, the White Tanks, you name it.

The Hohokams at Pueblo Grande. You're looking towards Tempe over the Salt River.  South Mountain is in the background at right. This is 46th Street and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona.

So, if you're wondering why it wasn't all preserved, well, it's because the city of Phoenix is on top of it. And if you live in or around the Phoenix area, that means under where you are right now, where your car is parked, where you work, where you go shopping. Yes, every inch was once one of the greatest, and largest, civilizations of the Americas. We call them the Hohokam, which just means "those who have gone". We really know very little about them, but they built some gigantic canals (bigger than the modern ones we have nowadays) and a lot of buildings in the Salt River Valley.

Map showing the Hohokam canals in 1929, Phoenix, Arizona. By Omar Turney.

So the city can't not build on top of Hohokam ground. It isn't possible. But it can stop construction for a little while and give the archeologists a chance to take a look before a new building is built. And that's the hope for Block 23 in downtown Phoenix.

Block 23 is bounded by Washington, Jefferson, and 1st and 2nd Streets. It's the location of the original Town Plaza in 1870, where the Fox Theater was built in 1931, where the downtown JC Penney's was built in 1953. And the archeologists have never really looked there, so this could be their chance. And it will be their only chance.

The plan, as of this writing, May 2016, is to build a Fry's grocery store there. Exactly where on the block I have no idea, but any construction on Block 23 gets my attention. And certainly the attention of the archeologists of Pueblo Grande, who do more than just sit around 46th Street and Washington. They go out and take a look any time major construction is done, like when the light rail went in.

I'm just a spectator of all of this, an interested amateur. And I understand that progress marches on. I wouldn't be able to live in Phoenix if it didn't! So I look forward to the new construction, and I will also be curious to see what the archeologists find. I'll let you know what I find out.


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

How to see the peacocks of Glendale, Arizona


I've lived in Glendale, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, for over twenty years now. But it still amazes me that there are peacocks living right nearby.

The peacocks live at the Sahuaro Ranch (yes, it's misspelled that way), which is between the Glendale Main Library and Glendale Community College (between Peoria and Olive and 59th Avenue and 63rd Avenue).

Peacock at the Sahuaro Ranch in the 1940s, Glendale, Arizona

No, they aren't in cages, or in some type of display, they just wander around the grounds. They roost in the trees there, or on the buildings. Sometimes they wander over to the library, but I've never seen them on campus. And from what I've been able to find out about them, they've been there since the 1930s.

The Sahuaro Ranch itself has been there since the 1890s, and is now a park which includes historical buildings, picnic areas, playgrounds, and stuff like that. And there are peacocks wandering around.

Peacocks are amazing to see, especially when you see one of them display their tail feathers. Not surprisingly, the peacocks tend to stay in the less-crowded areas of the park.


If you want to see them, this is what I recommend: park at the library and walk into the ranch through the the entrance behind the library. Many of them roost in the trees right there, so you see them right away.

Their calls, by the way, are very weird-sounding.


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.

Understanding the importance of the Gila River Indian Reservation to Phoenix, Arizona


My fascination with the history of Phoenix has introduced me to the Pima and Maricopa Indian people. And the more I learn, the more I realize how much these people have been woven into the history of Arizona, and especially Phoenix.

Walk with me. It's 1859 in what would one day be Arizona. We're Pima Indians, and we have been watching strangers wander through our land, which stretches down to Mexico from the Gila River, which is just south of where Phoenix will be someday, for hundreds of years. Our tribe has welcomed peaceful trade, and has strongly defended against attack. A reservation has been created by the strongest ally we've ever had, the United States of America.

Time-travel to 1863. The Five Tribes Treaty of Peace is signed, creating an alliance with the United States Military and the the five tribes, the Pima (Akimel O’odham), Maricopa (Pee Posh), Yuma, Hualapai, and Chemehuevi people.

It's now 1891 and the United States Indian School at Phoenix is established. And within a few years tribes from all over the southwest, including California, would be attending there. The road to it is called Indian School Road.

In 1990 the last graduating class left the Phoenix Indian School. Now it's a park, called Steele Indian School Park.

As of this writing, May 6th, 2016, the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace will be celebrated for the 153th year, tomorrow at the Gila River Indian Community's District 7 Service Center and Park, 8035 S. 83rd Avenue, Laveen, Arizona. 83rd Avenue just south of Baseline Road.

Thank you for walking with me.


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

When Phoenix was a city of trees


Even I remember the trees in Phoenix. I collect old photos of Phoenix, and from 1870 to about the 1980s the city had trees. There were a LOT of them back before air conditioning was invented, but the trees really started disappearing after the 1980s.

I guess I can understand why people have cut down the trees. I suppose with the very efficient air conditioning in cars and buildings nowadays trees aren't really necessary. And they do take up space that can be used for more parking spots, or lanes of traffic.


To my surprise, I've even seen people comment on social media that apparently trees can't be grown in Phoenix, and that's why there's so few. I wish that I could take them back in time to the trees that I remember, and have them see the trees in the old photographs of Phoenix.

Trees along a canal in the 1920s, Phoenix, Arizona

Yeah, I'm a tree-hugger. I hate to see trees being cut down. I give a sad smile when someone proudly tells me that they've cut a tree down because the leaves were too messy, or that they thought that it was good for the environment. And then these same people will drive around a parking lot, looking for the shade of what sparse trees there are.

I have a couple of big trees on my property. Their shade is delicious. And I'm no good at math, so I have no idea how much money they save me on my air conditioning versus how much money it costs me to maintain them.

When I drive around Phoenix I look at trees. When I see new construction I am overjoyed when it includes trees. Yes, I know all of the reasons people give for not planting, and caring for, trees. I've heard them all. But I live in Phoenix, and I like shade. And I like trees.

Eucalyptus trees along the Arizona Canal, 7th Street and Northern.

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

Click here to become a Patron!
History adventuring posts are shared there daily. The basic tier is a dollar a month, and the PhD tier, which includes "then and now" photos, billboards, aerials, videos, and super high-definition photos, is five dollars a month, and is discounted for seniors, veterans, and students.

The Five Tribes Treaty of Peace and the real history of Indian people in Phoenix, Arizona


If you're like me, and you've learned about "cowboys and Indians" from old movies, TV shows, and simplistic memes on the internet, you probably think that you know the real history of Indian people in Phoenix, Arizona.

If you do know your Arizona history, you know that the Five Tribes Treaty of Peace was an alliance created in 1863 between the United States Military and the the five tribes, the Pima (Akimel O’odham), Maricopa (Pee Posh), Yuma, Hualapai, and Chemehuevi people, and has stood for over 150 years. It's celebrated every year at the Gila River Indian Community.

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

Time-travel with me to what would someday be Arizona, and Phoenix. In 1863, it was the New Mexico Territory. To say that things were a mess would be a terrible understatement. The United States was in the middle of a civil war, and the Indian tribes of the southwest were engaged in a terrible war, as well.

How anyone could actually be living in the Sonoran Desert at that time just puzzles me. But Indian people were living there, especially the Pimas, whose territory spanned from Mexico to the Gila River (which is just south of Phoenix). And the Salt River Valley, which is where Phoenix is, was empty. The people who had farmed there hundreds of years ago, the Hohokams, had long since gone. The Salt River ebbed and flowed, as it has been doing for thousands of years, but the people were gone. When people did visit the Salt River Valley, it was a battlefield. No, I'm not going to write anything about that here in my blog, it's beyond horrible. If you've read Farrish, or McClintock, you know. This was a war that had gone on for generations between Indian tribes, and the word slaughter understates it.

When the United States Military arrived, the goal was peace. And that meant uniting as many tribes as possible. From what I've read, it seemed an impossible dream. But it was done, and it became an alliance. It took many more generations, but peace came to the Salt River Valley. And in 1891, the United States built an Indian School in Phoenix, which would continue that alliance.

Thank you for walking with me.

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!