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From the prehistoric Native Americans to the first wave of pioneers in 1877 and all who came later, the desert lands east of Phoenix have been a rich and fertile home to a wide diversity of people. Surmounting the early challenges of settling the mesa top and moving water uphill gave rise to a resilient agricultural community famous for cotton, citrus, grapes, and other crops. The boom years that began in the 1950s ushered in a new wave of industry and change to the city of Mesa. Large corporations created jobs, new freeways formed a corridor into the heart of the community, educational and health care facilities improved and expanded, and the advent of air conditioning brought tourists from all over the world. Now boasting a population of over 450,000, Mesa has truly evolved from its pioneer beginnings to a modern city in the Valley of the Sun.
About the Author
In this engaging retrospective, authors Lisa A. Anderson, Alice C. Jung, Jared A. Smith, and Thomas H. Wilsonrepresenting the Mesa Historical Museum and the Arizona Museum of Natural Historyhave compiled more than 200 vintage images from both museums’ extensive archives to illustrate the unique story of this community.