May 2020

A partnership between Scottsdale Neighborhood College, Scottsdale Public Library and the Scottsdale Historical Society to provide information, news and resources about Scottsdale history.


What's new with Scottsdale history?

We originally planned to send you a new newsletter in July/August in keeping with our four issues per year plan. However, there was some news we wanted to share. Let us know if you want news more frequently or less by emailing


Watch new Scottsdale Heritage Connection videos

Community historian Joan Fudala recorded two new videos in the Scottsdale Public Library's

Heritage Connection:

  • Scottsdale Survives explores how Scottsdale residents lived thru the Flu Pandemic of 1918 and the Polio Pandemic of 1950. There are many parallels to today.
  • Let's Eat Out is an interesting review of Scottsdale's eating and drinking history. Learn about the city's farming and ranching roots, and wax nostalgic about the parade of restaurants that have fed and entertained us.

There are plans for more videos in the next few months. For more information, explore the Scottsdale Heritage Connection.   



Famous Alumni

The Scottsdale Heritage Connection has a remarkable collection of 95 yearbooks (and counting) from Scottsdale high schools. We decided to feature a yearbook photo of an alumni and see if you can guess who it is either from the photo or the clues below. 

This notable alumni of Scottsdale High School took over his father's business in 1974 and turned it into a multi-state conglomerate of entertainment. 

If you've been to one of his many locations (including two in Scottsdale), you probably spent around two hours there and ate a few snacks - like popcorn! Do you know who this is? Scroll down for the answer.

Photo courtesy of U.S. School Yearbooks 1900-1999. 



Scottsdale Video Network has videos of Scottsdale history

In the last newsletter, we highlighted several videos on Scottsdale history that were available on the Scottsdale Video Network. Here are a few more titles that are available for viewing whenever you want.



Get to know the Little Red Schoolhouse 

The Little Red Schoolhouse was dedicated on Feb. 26, 1910 which was Scottsdale founder Winfield Scott's 73rd birthday. Scott approached the townsfolk for a $5,000 bond to build something larger than a one room schoolhouse. The bond passed and the Little Red Schoolhouse was built. Also attending the dedication was Arizona territorial governor Richard Sloan and Thomas Riley Marshall, who went on to become a two-term vice president of the United States under Woodrow Wilson. 

The Little Red Schoolhouse has been used as a school, town hall, marshal's office, courthouse, library and chamber of commerce. In 1991, after signing an agreement with the city, the Scottsdale Historical Society opened the Scottsdale Historical Museum inside the schoolhouse.  As part of the agreement, the museum offers free admission to the public.  

The museum is currently closed for the season due to the COVID-19 crisis, but you can view the history of the Little Red Schoolhouse, a timeline of key historic events in Scottsdale and more about Scottsdale's history online

When the museum reopens in the fall, you can visit the Little Red Schoolhouse and see the wonderful displays and exhibits of Scottsdale history. You can also visit the gift shop and find great books on Scottsdale history by local authors.

Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Public Library.



Answer to Famous Alumni

Dan Harkins took over his father's movie theatre business in 1974 at the age of 21. It was just three years after he graduated from Scottsdale High School class of 1971. 

He turned five movie theaters into a multi-state entertainment conglomerate with 34 locations and more than 500 screens in five states. There are two Harkins Theatres in Scottsdale: Harkins Camelview at Fashion Square Mall and the Harkins Shea 14. The corporate headquarters is currently located in Scottsdale.

And before you send in corrections, the Harkins Scottsdale 101 Theatre is located in Phoenix, not Scottsdale.  

You can find most of the yearbooks from Scottsdale high schools in the Scottsdale Heritage Connection located in the Scottsdale Public Library's Civic Center Branch, 3839 N Drinkwater Blvd. The library buildings are currently closed however the library is preparing for an early June modified hours re-opening.  Please check the library website for the latest updates. 

Photo courtesy of the Scottsdale Public Library.




We'll be sending out the next e-newsletter around July/August with a list of upcoming fall Scottsdale history classes presented by Scottsdale Neighborhood College and the Scottsdale Public Library. There will also be more resources from the Scottsdale Historical Society. In the meantime, stay healthy, wash your hands and practice physical distancing.

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City of Scottsdale