Gila Bend, Arizona (Images of America Series)

Gila Bend, Arizona (Images of America Series)

by Vincent Murray


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Named for its location on the bend of the Gila River, Gila Bend is an unusual community. It lies along a travel corridor used for centuries by American Indians, Catholic missionaries, American and French trappers, Spanish and Mexican settlers, military expeditions, and forty-niners. Beginning in the 1870s as a stage station, the town soon evolved into an important railroad changeover point in the 1880s. When the national highway system developed in the 1920s, the town was perfectly situated to provide automobile services. But when the technology in these two travel industries changed, Gila Bend suffered an economic downturn, restricting its population to around 2,000 people, while the nearby Phoenix metropolitan area grew by millions.In the 21st century, Gila Bend is on the cusp of a new era, as it is now the home to one of the world’s largest solar power projects.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738584751
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 03/05/2012
Series: Images of America Series
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.80(h) x 0.36(d)

About the Author

In this volume, professional historian Vincent Murray selected approximately 200 photographs from the collections of longtime citizens of the town as well as the Gila Bend Historical Museum and other sources.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 6

Introduction 7

1 A Big Bend in the River 9

2 Trains, Planes, and Doodle Bugs 23

3 Gila Bourgeois 41

4 On the Dam Highway 55

5 Once a Gila Bender … 79

6 Gila Buildings 97

7 Then and Now 107

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