Arizonans often joke that whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting. Water's value to the state was made evident by the 1934 "war" with California as well as by longstanding disputes with neighboring states over allocation of the Colorado River.…

"Mother and daughter, father and son, may all be found splashing about in the cooling water of the Salt River canal, commonly known as the 'Town Ditch,' almost any evening now. There are regular canal 'beaches' where Phoenicians congregate in great…

Built in 1956, the Hotel Valley Ho never had time for its original grand opening. The rooms filled up far too quickly to bother. And the full bookings continued as tourists came to participate in Scottsdale’s vibrant arts and culture and industrial…

Hitching posts, knotty pine and board-and-batten bedecked storefronts, Western names and stylized architecture are Old Town’s lasting memorials to early Scottsdale’s efforts to craft a unique identity for the town—one that would bring tourists in and…

Scottsdale, Arizona—and much of the American Southwest—would not be the same without its Mexican-Spanish heritage and culture. From its earliest days, Scottsdale enveloped a mélange of peoples and cultures, with Anglos coexisting alongside Pima and…

Prior to becoming a popular watering hole and part of the set-dressing of Scottsdale’s self-conscious efforts to become “the West’s most Western town,” the building now housing the Rusty Spur Saloon was the Farmers State Bank of Scottsdale. The…

Built in 1909, Scottsdale’s Little Red Schoolhouse is a testament to the Progressive values, attitudes, and aesthetics that shaped the growing community at the turn-of-the-century, and women and children were at the center of it. Middle-class values…

Lloyd Kiva New was a leading artist and designer in Scottsdale's burgeoning arts and crafts community following World War II before emerging as a national leader in arts education. Born in Oklahoma in 1916 to Cherokee and Scot-Irish parents,…

When the Hotel Valley Ho opened it 1956, it quickly became a playground for Hollywood refugees. James Cagney, Rudy Vallee, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Marilyn Monroe all relaxed under its roof. Like many local resorts, the…

The hooves of galloping horses echo as they pound across a vast expanse of desert and neither rain nor sleet nor dark of night keep the Hashknife Pony Express from reaching its destination. Every winter since 1958, more than two dozen riders from the…

On March 12, 1956, America met Scottsdale on the pages of LIFE Magazine. Nina Leen’s photographic essay, “Sands of the Desert Turn Gold” introduced the burgeoning Western town, which had been incorporate only 5 years earlier. Here was a place where…