TimeLine of Exploration and Discovery
500s AD - The people known as the Hohokam start building their towns and canals along the fertile banks of the Gila River and parts of the Salt River, in central Arizona.
800-1300? - Pueblo Grande settlement in Phoenix. Hohokam dig and maintain about 140 miles of canals
1400s - Around this time, the last of the Hohokam disappear, for reasons not entirely understood. They leave behind impressive ruins (Casa Grande, Pueblo Grande, Snaketown, etc...) and a network of canals called "the most impressive engineering projects" in prehistoric America.
1530s - Cortez, Cabeza de Vaca, Marcos de Niza and other Spanish explorers come to Arizona looking for the 7 Cities of Cebola.
1540s - Coronado explores Arizona, still looking for the damn Cities of Gold.
1680 - Revolt of the Pueblo Indians in Arizona and New Mexico
1687-1711 - The great Padre Kino explores the Southwest, mostly by himself. In over 25 years he never slepts on a mattress. Kino determines that California is not an island.
1744 - Padre Jacobo Sedelmair follows in the steps of Kino.
1750 - The Pima revolt begins. Most Spanish and Mexicans expelled from Arizona.
1767 - Carlos III expels Jesuits from New World
1771-1781 - Father Garces continues Kinos and Sadelmayers work, until killed by Indians in Yuma.
1774 - First of the Anza expeditions through Central Arizona to California.
1810 - Beginning of the Apache wars on Spanish and Mexican settlements in Souther Arizona
1821 - Mexican revolution begins. Republic declared in 1823
1820s - First Americans travel through Arizona. These are Jedediah Smith, Kit Carson, Pauline Weaver, James Pattie.
1820-30 - Several authors mention a smallpox plague that decimates Pimas. This may explain population decline in relation to Kino's visits and why Maricopas were later welcomed.
1827 - Major Apache attacks on Mexican settlements in Arizona. Missions abandoned. Franciscans expelled. Mexico controls only Tucson and Tubac.
1840s - Maricopa Indians move into Pima Lands to get away from Yumans and Mohaves near Colorado River, settling mostly between Pima Butte and along Estrellas up to the junction of Gila and Salt Rivers. Note: some authorities date this to the early 1810-1820s.
1843 - Lt Whipple reports a smallpox epidemic among Pimas (again!)
1847 - Mexican War begins. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Southwest annexed by US, including all of Arizona North of Gila River.
1848 - Gold discovered in California. Gold rush begins. Ferry at Yuma carries over 40,000 in 1949, all of them coming down the Gila Trail, from Tucson up to Maricopa Wells and then across the Southern end of the Sierra Estrella mountains in what was known as the "Jornada das Estrellas"
1851 - The Oatman massacre happens near Gila Bend. This was the most famous episode of white woman captivity in US history.
1854 - Gadsden Purchase. The US buys the rest of Arizona from Mexico to build a railroad to the Pacific.
1854 - Sylvester Mowry submits his "Memoir of the proposed Territory of Arizona", proposing the creation of a new territory, carved out of New Mexico. This was quite different from our present state, insomuch as it covered only the areas of the Gadsden Purchase, south of the Gila. the argument is that 1. No law, 2. Land is rich, 3. New Mexico is too far away and has too many Mexicans
1856 - Hi Jolly and his camels come to the US to work for the US Army.
1858 - The Butterfield Stage line is established.
1859 - Gila River Indian Reservation (110 square miles) is created by the US Congress.
1862 - Jeff Davis proclaims New Mexico a Conferderate territory (Arizona is part of New Mexico). Only Arizona battle of Civil War occurs at Pichacho Pass.
1863 - Lincoln creates the Arizona Territory
1866 - Nevada steals Pah-ute county from Arizona, including Las Vegas.
1867 - Jack Swilling comes to Phoenix area and starts building a canal, or rather, uses parts of old canals already built by the Hohokams.
1868 - A small settlement was formed in the general area of what is now the Insane Asylum (Arizona Mental Hospital) by Jack Swilling. Several names were tried out, including Swilling's Mill, HELLing Mill, Mill City, Salina, Stonewall and my favorite - Pumpkinville. An Englishment named Duppa, obviously versed in the classics, suggests Phoenix, because of the old Hohokam ruins in the area. So was the birth of East Phoenix settlement.
1870 - Phoenix is moved to present location and township is officially organized.
1871 - Maricopa County is formed, split off from Yavapai.
1871 - Charles Hayden establishes a ferry service on the Salt River, and builds the La Casa Vieja - The Valley's oldest existing structure. Duppa, again, names the city, calling it Tempe. The territorial officials divy up the spoils: Tucson gets the college, Tempe gets a Teachers school and Phoenix gets the Insane Asylum.
1875 - Phoenix has 16 saloons and 4 dance halls.
1881 - The City of Phoenix is incorporated, with a population of 3,000 - including 100 chinese.
1881 - The Southern Pacific railroad arrives in Maricopa. Connection to Phoenix is by horse, wagon train or stagecoach
1884 - The lost Dutchman mine is found and lost, never again to be found.
1887 - The Maricopa & Phoenix railroad arrives in Phoenix.
1889 - Phoenix becomes capital of Arizona territory
1899 - St John the Baptist mission established
1900 - Phoenix area has over 10,000 people and growing
1901 - Arizona Capitol building completed, with copper dome.
1911 - Roosevelt dam completed.
1912 - Arizona becomes 48th state of the Union.
1920s - Phoenix councilman declares that city is growing so rapidly that it will have 100,000 by the year 2000. In 1920 Phoenix passed Tucson as Arizona's largest city.
1922 - Phoenix opens "Colored" High School
1940s - As the USS Arizona sinks at Pearl Harbor, the State of Arizona booms, as hundreds of thousands of soldiers and airmen are sent here for training. The Phoenix area is home to over seven major aviation facilities. This is the birth of modern Arizona.
1950 - Phoenix metropolitan area has approximately 160,000 people.
2000 - Phoenix metro area has over 2,5000,000 people and growing fast. A large portion of agricultural land is taken up by new suburban housing developments. Loosely measured, the Phoenix area extends about 120 miles east to west (Apache Junction - Norton Circle) and 70 miles north to south (Queen Queek to Anthem).
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