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Celebrating the Past and Present with The Tempe Historical Society

The Tempe Historical Society archives historical information specific to our city. We organize historical events and many among us volunteer at local museums in and around Tempe. You can find up to date information on what we’re up to and learn more about the city of Tempe by exploring our site.

Did you know?

Tempe is full of interesting history! It starts in prehistoric times when the ancient Sonoran Desert people, the Hohokam, farmed and irrigated the land. In 1865, farmers settled the city of Tempe, Arizona and used the ancient irrigation canals to feed their farms. The innovative Charles Trumbull Hayden arrived in 1870 and settled Hayden’s Ferry along the Salt River. He opened the flour mill that still operates to this day and you can still visit the Hayden home!

The city also has a unique Hispanic heritage, courtesy of the families that arrived in 1872 to organize the San Pablo neighborhood, known as “El Barrio”. Tempe celebrates their cultures each year during the Tempe┬áTardeada┬ácelebration.

The Arizona Historical Society Heritage Center is located in Tempe and is a great source of information on local history. It includes a museum collection, library archives, and hosts the Arizona History Convention.

Tempe is full of exciting locations to explore history in person like the AZ Heritage at Papago Park which has hands-on displays of Arizona history. The Tempe History Museum, Hayden Flour Mill, Hackett House, and Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights are just a few other exciting and unique historical locations that Tempe has to offer. We invite you to share our passion for the unique culture and history of our city!