Pictures of places we have been and things we have seen on our member fieldtrips.  Join us on our next adventure by becoming a member of the Maricopa Historical Society.

Maricopa Historical Society meetings are held the first Monday of the month at the Library in the Redwood room and will start at 5pm.

Our next meeting Aug 5th Bill Luther – “Antidotes of the Civil War”

Sep 3rd (Tue) – Kent Charles – “Maricopa Train Station”

Our next Friday Member Field Trip 

Next fieldtrip will be in October 2024

 During the summer months we plan to have local guest speakers tell us about the history of Maricopa as they recall memories and stories of how it all began. Later in October we will be inviting guest speakers from around the area to come and talk on a variety of topics.

The City Has New Updates to Heritage Park

The city has been busy adding to the Heritage Park site with a new Ramada for future activities at the park. The new mural on the side of the building was created (in just one day) by the very talented Mauriel Morejon, of Casa Grande. There are also two horses, created by local artist, on the grounds, one by the museum building and one located next to the Silver Horizon train car. Looking forward to the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the City’s Incorporation in October.

Past Guest Speakers

Jun 3rd – Chad Chadderton – “The Butterfield Stage”

May 6 – Joe Wujek – “Maricopa Wells” the rest of the story.

Apr 1 – Steve Engelhardt – “Sonoran Desert vs Arctic”

Mar 4 – Al Quihuis – “Colorado River and Water”

Feb 5 – Daniel Judkins – “Antoine Leroux in Arizona”

Jan 2, 2024(Tue) – Paul Shirk replaced Eduardo Pagan with a presentation on the history of the museum and Silver Horizon railcar, due to a family emergency.

Dec 4 – Roger Naylor – the author of “Awesome Arizona – 200 Amazing Facts About the Grand Canyon State”

Nov 6 – Doug Hocking speaking on “Southwestern Train Robberies”

Oct 2nd Pres. Paul Shirk will present a fun PowerPoint “History of Our Silver Horizon.” The presentation, complete with seldom seen pictures of the Silver Horizon rail car, is punctuated with era-appropriate music to highlight the 75-year journey to her home here in Heritage Park.

Sep 5th Come listen as we explore local venues and places here in Maricopa, such as, The Gud Ark and the Dwarf Car Museum.

Aug 7th – Chris Price, former Mayor of Maricopa will speak on , “Maricopa – Past, Present and Where are we going?” 

July 3rd -Lucy Li – Entomologist from MAC farms will present “What’s Bug’n You?” 

June 6th – Steve Englehart will take us on a cool hike up the Denali trail.

May 2nd -David Morris a resident of southern Arizona for over fifty years. This program will examine some of the petroglyphs and pictographs found in the southwest. What were their possible meanings and purpose? What can be learned from some of these ancient images? And a short demonstration of the production of the rock carvings will be given.

April 3rd – Karen Wood, author and researcher, will be sharing information on the Burrowing Owls native to this area.

March 6th Jana Bommersback, author and notable researcher of Women of the old west. 

Feb 6th Albert Quihuis,  presented Territorial Arizona and the 5C’s

Jan 3rd 2023 Chris Reid shared historical stories about Pinal County.

Nov 7th Steve Engelhardt, who has worked at 8 different National Parks, spoke on the creation and history of the National Park system.

Oct 3 Aaron Wright & Skylar Begay: The Proposed Great Bend of the Gila National Monument.

Sept 6th,  David O’Barr, a new high school teacher here in Maricopa and amature historian. He will be telling stories of his ancestors and our local history.

Aug 1st We are back with another great guest Edwin Lamoreaux who will be presenting songs and tales of Arizona from long ago.

June 6th, We had a fun time with Maricopa Trivia as we asked all of you to play along with our very own version of Jepordy, Maricopa style. 

May 2nd We enjoyed longtime citizen of Maricopa, Oliver Anderson and his son Kelli speak on the  history, Past, Present and Future of Water in our area.

Apr 4th Guest Speaker, Steve Englehardt former National Park Ranger spoke about wildfires and the  National Parks system.

Mar 7th our guest speaker was Dr Raymond Grant professor of Geology and co-author of the “Mineralogy of Arizona”. He is a past president of Mineralogical Society of Arizona, past chair of the Flagg Mineral Foundation and has recently started the Pinal Geology and Mineral Museum in Coolidge, Arizona. He taught at Mesa Community College in Mesa for 31 years and received his doctoral degree in geology from Harvard University. 

Feb 7th Chaz Jackson, President of the Buffalo Soldiers of America/Arizona Chapter. Spoke on the creation of the “Buffalo Soldiers” and about the Black Female Buffalo Soldier and the Aztec Eagles and about they as veterans and what they have done to serve this country. 

Jan 3rd 2022 Michael K. Castor, a renowned archeologist and anthropologist was our guest speaker and shared many of the artifacts found during his years of research and excavation.

Dec 6th Denny Hoeh gave a presentation on the Mormon Battalion that marched through Maricopa area 175 years ago.

Nov 1st Heather Moulton and Susan Tatterson – CAC Professors and Author and Illustrator of “Graveyards of the Old West”, which tells a tale of people long buried in Arizona’s dry desert soil. It is a story told in words and pictures.

 Past Friday Member Field Trips: Trips will be scheduled for the fourth Friday, when possible, of the month, October thru April, with no trips in November and December. We are on break from May to October. 

April 26, 2024 – Vietnam Aviation Veterans Museum at Millar Airfield. 

Mar 29, 2024 – We will be visiting the Arizona State Capital Museum and the Smurthwaite Museum/Pioneer Cemetary, and lunch at The Old Station cafe. 

Feb 23, 2024 – We will be visiting the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale.

January 26, 2024 – We visited the newly opened Paramount Theater Museum in Casa Grande. As well as the Neon Sign Museum and time permitting other stops, with lunch in Casa Grande.

Jan 2023 – USS Arizona Memorial

Feb – Canceled due to Covid

March – Huhugam Cultural Center

April- MAC Farm tour

Oct 27th – We will tour the Dwarf Car Museum in Hidden Valley.

(Thursday) Nov 16 – We will visit the Ak-Chin Him-Dak Eco-Museum. 

December – No Trip

Oct 2022 trip to Painted Rock park and the Oatman Gravesite with Dr Aaron Wright was attended by 20 members and was a great trip.

April’s trip We all had a great time visiting the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument and then lunch at the Tag’s Café in Coolidge and for those who wanted to, two more smaller museums in Coolidge. The Veterans Museum and the Pinal Geology and  Mineral museum.

March’s trip will be to the Casa Grande Neon Sign Park on March 18th. We will meet in the parking lot behind Wendy’s to carpool at 9:15am. Afterward we will be lunch at Bedillon’s restaurant in Casa Grande.

February’s trip was to the Gilbert Historical Museum on Feb 18th.

January’s trip will be to the Mesa Historical Society Museum on Jan 21st. 

 November’s trip was to the “Dwarf Car Museum” on Nov 19th. (Date was moved up due to the Thanksgiving Holiday.) 

There was no trip in December. 

Regional and National Events: Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Santa Fe Trail and the 175th Anniversary of the Mormon Battalion Trail with various events around the nation. For more information check out their websites; Official Santa Fe Trail Association; HOME | Mormon Battalion A.- Apri 

 

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Our First Friday Field Trip for 2021: We had a great time at the Commemorative Air Force Military Aviation Museum in Mesa for our first member field trip of 2021. There were 19 members who attended and we were entertained as well as informed by our tour guide, Tom (retired Brigadier General) who had many first hand stories to share. 

Special zoom meeting with Gerald T. Ahnert on “Arizona’s Pima-Maricopa Nation An Oasis of Safety on the Southern Overland Trail”

Thursday, Novermber 18th, 5pm PST/8pm EST Register at: https://tinyurl.com/Haven-of-Safety

Thank you to all our past Guest Speakers

Oct 4th we had the “Hip Historian – Marshall Shore”

He, began his PowerPoint presentation with a look into his own mid-century Phoenix home with all its original charm. After a quick look at some Phoenix landmarks, he shared a classic black & white video of Oak Creek Canyon and Montezuma’s Castle and then led us into some ghost towns of Arizona, included in his presentation were; Jerome, Crown King, Cleater, Apacheland Ghost Town and Museum, the Lost Dutchman Mine, Two Guns, Castle Hot Springs Oatman and Ruby Arizona. Mr. Shore ended with news of a paranormal conference to be held in Vulture Mine, Az which still has an active mine.  

Our September guest speaker was Will Dunn, whose grandfather W.F. Dunn and Will’s father Sonny Dunn moved to Maricopa in 1954 where they farmed and became involved in the early days of Maricopa life.

Will Dunn provided his light-hearted look at the growth of Maricopa. After he got “comfortable” he shared a bit of his own story in Maricopa including being on the first city council and his business ventures. And then he turned it over to his daughter, 21 year old Katelyn Dunn, 5th generation of the Dunn family.

Katelyn shared memories and reflections of growing up in Maricopa from a kid’s perspective.

Our August guest speaker was Sue McNelly, Professional Genealogist; Sue opened with “I Seek Dead People” and then shared her personal background and the family genealogy research that led her to her life as a genealogist. Her mantra of “Fill in the —(dash)”is about filling in the blank between the birth date and the death date with tips to help find the needed records. The conversation concluded with a lively question and answer session.

At July’s meeting our guest speaker was, Lucia Aviles Rodriguez who shared her experiences growing up in Maricopa and then raising her own family here. Family, Community, church and school traditions have always been the cornerstones of her life in Maricopa. Her daughter had Pat Brock for a teacher and her class is the one that made the model of the train station that MHS has now. The end of the school year was celebrated with Field Day activities and races. Eighth graders always had a bus trip to the Grand Canyon chaperoned by teachers and parents while high school seniors got to go to Disneyland. High school traditions started in 1957 and continued until the mid 1980s. Freshman initiation lasted a week and included a trip to the M mountain to paint the M. Homecoming parades and bonfires provided school spirit for the Rams Football team. In 1977 National Geographic Magazine published a picture of Maricopa High School seniors Maria Aviles (older sister of Lucia) and Norbert Peters in an article. Three generations of both the Aviles and Rodriguez families have all been MHS graduates.

Our guest Speaker for June was Fire Marshall Eddie Rodriguez:  Eddie was born and raised in Maricopa.  His adventures include the early beginning of the volunteer fire department and his interactions with many of Maricopa’s colorful characters and pioneers of a fledgling community.

For May’s guest speaker we were treated to a historical conversation with Tony Smith, former Maricopa Mayor and Pinal County Supervisor and his wife, Vice Mayor Smith.  We enjoyed stories and interesting happenings that Tony has experienced in his many years in Maricopa.  Tony shared with our members many highlights of the spirit, humor and changing times of our young city. His wife added several highlights of recent changes and hints of upcoming improvements to the city.

For our first guest speaker in our new meeting site and to start off a new year of the Maricopa Historical Society we had our own Oliver Anderson share a “History Conversation” of Maricopa through the years. We were entertained and informed with a variety of stories and timeline of events in Maricopa’s history since Oliver arrived in 1949. 

Oliver Anderson