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All about Tempe, Arizona

After establishing Fort McDowell on the eastern edge of Salt River Valley, many farmers moved into the area to grow food and animal feed to supply the fort. The farmers dug out irrigation canals left by the prehistoric Hohokam people to carry water from the Salt River into the fields. These farms provided plenty of food to Arizona’s military posts and mining towns.

The first settlers to move south of the Salt River were Hispanic farming families from the south of Arizona. These farmers helped construct the first two irrigation canals, the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch and the San Francisco Canal. In 1872, these settlers founded two towns called San Pablo and Hayden’s Ferry. Shops were quickly built and soon became a community and trade center for Salt River Valley. 

In 1879 this community was named ‘Tempe‘ by the Englishman Darrell Duppa. Duppa suggested the name because it reminded him of the Vale of Tempe in Mount Olympus, Greece. 

More farmers came and started raising alfalfa and grains for feeding livestock. A network of extensive irrigation canals ensured plenty of water and steady business for the farmers. By the 1890s, farmers started growing cash crops such as dates and citrus fruits.

The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad were built in 1887 and crossed the Salt River, linking the town to the nation’s transportation system. The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell housing lots in the booming city. Tempe quickly became one of the most critical business and shipping centers for the surrounding agricultural area.

The completion of the Roosevelt Dam in 1911 guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. And less than a year later, Arizona became the 48th state. The Salt River Valley was well on its way to become the new center of the Southwest.

Avista Senior Living Downtown Mesa near Tempe, AZ

Avista Senior Living in Downtown Mesa is located in the heart of Mesa’s historic district. We offer assisted living with all the comforts of home. A true sense of family fills Avista Senior Living, so come take a load off and enjoy your newly found freedom. 

At Avista, Our senior living community is within walking distance of museums, shops, and many restaurants to enjoy. An active lifestyle is vital for a healthy mind and body. Building friendships and having interaction with others promotes feelings of belonging. Our activities are tailored to the interests and needs of all of our residents. 

Arizona State University Art Museum & Avista Senior Living Downtown Mesa

Just over 7 miles from Avista Senior Living Downtown Mesa is the prestigious Arizona State University Art Museum, located in the Nelson Fine Arts Center. 

The museum facility is a masterpiece and well worth visiting with its striking Brutalist concrete architecture. Visit the three different levels of galleries and sculpture courts. Take note of the superb lighting and skillful use of skylights and windows. The building itself feels like artistry you can wander through.

This museum has year-round exhibitions that rotate seasonally and are well worth visiting while in Tempe, Arizona. Admission is FREE, and parking is validated. 

The exhibits are unique, thought-provoking, and playful. ASU Museum of Art is the perfect introduction to art with the most knowledgeable and friendly staff. Don’t miss this desert gem!

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