Arizona History

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Big Surf Waterpark
The former site of Big Surf Waterpark, one of America's oldest water parks and a Tempe icon, was sold this week, according to a press release from Velocity Retail Group. California-based Overton Moore Properties, a commercial real estate company, bought the 35.5 acre site for more than $49 million.
Apr. 13, 2022
Tovrea Castle East Patio
Phoenix may not have a history of monarchs and royalty, but the city is home to a castle fit for a queen. In the case of Tovrea Castle, the queen was Della Gillespie Tovrea Stuart, and she protected her kingdom with sharp wit and a shotgun.
Apr. 13, 2022
KJZZ's The Show
In the late 19th century, when most Navajo children were being forcibly taken from their homes and educated in government-run boarding schools rife with abuse, one place on the reservation did things differently: Ganado Mission. The complicated history is rigorously documented in Jim Kristofic’s book, "Medicine Women: The Story of the First Native American Nursing School."
Mar. 30, 2022
Valleywise Health Medical Center
Two years into a three-and-a-half-year project, the metal skeleton of the new 10-story Valleywise Health Medical Center stands out near 24th and Roosevelt streets. The new building will be about half a block west of the 50-year-old facility once known as the Maricopa County Hospital, then the Maricopa County Medical center and now Valleywise.
Mar. 28, 2022
Arizona Humanities has announced the awarding of over $75,000 dollars in grants to nearly a dozen organizations in the state.
Mar. 13, 2022
Mystery Castle
With 18 rooms and 13 fireplaces, the Mystery Castle at South Mountain is a longtime Phoenix landmark that has drawn visitors from around the world. But the nearly century-old castle is closing for tours March 10-13 after a serious case of vandalism.
Mar. 8, 2022
Boxes of documents AZ State Archives
The pandemic made life difficult for restaurants, bars and retailers. But it has also affected historians.
Mar. 2, 2022
The Arizona History Convention has teamed up with the Historical Society of New Mexico for a joint conference this spring.
Mar. 1, 2022
Papago Park
Language changes all the time, but the Tohono O’odham have long rejected a term that’s ubiquitous here in the Valley: Papago. That name, the story goes, was given to the Tohono O’odham by Spanish settlers.
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Feb. 22, 2022
Karyn Gitlis Ash Avenue Tempe
Ash Avenue in downtown Tempe has long been a cross-section of Valley life. With houses that date back to the early 1900s, the neighborhood is bordered by railroad tracks on one side and ASU’s ever-growing campus on the other.
Feb. 10, 2022
kathy nakagawa at baseline flowers
In the years following World War II, you could drive along Baseline Road in south Phoenix and see every color of the rainbow — in flowers. And you could smell their sweet scent for miles. Now, only one flower shop remains.

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Feb. 9, 2022
ads from the weekly arizona miner
These days, a lot of people begin the dating ritual by swiping left or right. But long before the internet age, things weren’t so different. Just in time for Valentine's season, Arizona newspaper librarian Sativa Peterson dug into the earliest personal ads she could find in those papers. And she found a Valentine’s gold mine.
Feb. 1, 2022
Verde Valley Archaeology Center
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved funding for rural infrastructure projects, including some in Arizona, which is good news for a central Arizona museum. The Verde Valley was once home to a number of Indigenous groups who left behind numerous dwellings and artifacts.
Jan. 31, 2022
Enslaved Navajo men Juan Carson and Gabriel Woodson
For many years, Fort Garland Museum and Cultural Center in southern Colorado paid homage to Kit Carson, a frontiersman and U.S. Army officer, who was well-known for leading campaigns against Native Americans in the region. But recently, a new exhibit took center stage there, telling a completely different story.
Jan. 28, 2022
1977 Pontiac Trans Am
Saturday opens one of gearheads’ most anticipated events of the auto show season, the Barrett-Jackson collector car auction.
Jan. 21, 2022
Chiricahua National Monument
A popular national monument in southern Arizona could become a national park under a new bill introduced in Congress.
Jan. 21, 2022
soldiers at the uss arizona memorial
Over 1,000 men died aboard the USS Arizona during Pearl Harbor, but 80 years later, their stories remain.
Jan. 21, 2022
Thomas Olmsted
Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s time as leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix is likely nearing an end. Jan. 21 was the theologian and lawyer’s 75th birthday.
Jan. 20, 2022
Bisbee High School
A piece of Bisbee history is for sale. The original high school, built in 1914, is on the market. According to the county, the three-story, 45,000-square-foot building was once recognized by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! because all four levels of the building have an entrance at street level.
Dec. 28, 2021
people lay their hands on a casket during a funeral
Historians believe that obituaries were first published in ancient Rome and that they became a regular part of publications in the mid-1800s. The form has changed dramatically since then, but its purpose hasn’t — to inform the public about someone’s death
Dec. 28, 2021


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