As with much of the surrounding area, Scottsdale, too, was the home of the Hohokam Indians. A peaceful people, the Hohokam enjoyed a quiet prosperity for hundreds of years. The more than 200 miles of irrigation canals built by the Hohokam attracted settlers to the outlying regions of Phoenix. By the year 1888, the area now known as Scottsdale welcomed its first arrival one Winifred Scott a chaplain in the U.S. Army. Mr. Scott purchased several acres of land and invited his brother George to farm the area. As the region continued to develop, locals decided on the name Scottsdale in 1894. The beautiful weather and congenial climate were recognized as beneficial for those who suffered from asthma and other respiratory ailments thus making Scottsdale a popular destination for health retreats. To accommodate the visitors city officials began a plan of resort development that continues to this day. The city incorporated in 1951 and the Scottsdale community elected their first mayor. Known as “The West’s Most Western Town”, Scottsdale’s positive quality of life was celebrated in an article appearing in a 1956 issue of Life magazine. Proclaiming Scottsdale “one of the most desirable communities in the West”, this favorable review drew a significant influx of newcomers and the city’s popularity just continues to grow. In 1993 the U.S. Conference of Mayors honored the City of Scottsdale with the Most Livable City Award a further declaration of Scottsdale’s desirability.
At the time of its incorporation, Scottsdale was a one square mile in size with 2000 residents. Today the city covers over 184 square miles and has a population of over 216,000 making it the fifth largest city in the state. The median resident age is 41 and the median household income is $57,000 with a local unemployment rate of 3.5%. The city of Scottsdale is a part of Maricopa County and is located within 13 miles of Phoenix, 14 miles from Tempe and 15 miles from Carefree. Both Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Scottsdale Municipal are less than 20 minutes away.
The mild climate and ever changing patterns of light have always attracted artists to the southwest. Following the Second World War, many artists moved to Scottsdale and it became a dynamic center of creativity. Frank Lloyd Wright, forever drawn to the subtle beauty of the desert, set up his studio at Taliesin West and for the remainder of his life called Arizona his home. Today tours take visitors through the unique complex that was the matrix of Wright’s architectural wonders. Another fascinating artistic retreat is Cosanti, the studio of Paulo Soleri renowned architect and artist. Soleri is famous for his unusual wind-bells that sound throughout the building and his avant-garde interpretation of functional living space. For a fascinating glimpse into the Old West, a visit to the town of Rawhide in downtown Scottsdale is a must. Rawhide was painstaking recreated to provide an authentic feel of what life was like in small western town. For outdoor recreation nearby Bartlett Lake, Roosevelt Lake and Salt River are popular destinations for tourists and locals alike. The city of Scottsdale has so much to offer, natural beauty, engaging attractions, great restaurants and a lively nightlife and a quality of life that is rich and engaging.