Maricopa Historical Society Mtgs have started up again. Meetings will be held the first Monday of the month at the new Library in the Redwood room and will start at 5pm. 

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.

Our next meeting is Nov 1st we will have : 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.

Friday Member Field Trips will be starting up again with the first trip scheduled for Oct 22. We will be visiting the Commemorative Air Force Base in Mesa for a behind the scenes tour. Trips will be scheduled for the fourth Friday of the months October thru April, with no trip in December. November’s trip will be to the “Dwarf Car Museum”

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.

(All areas under the National Parks and Bureau of Land Management. are still closed.)

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