March 2022

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

Scottsdale's Founders Day

Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble, Community Historian Joan Fudala, Scottsdale Storyteller Bruce Wall dressed as Winfield Scott, and Scottsdale Mayor David D. Ortega.

Scottsdale celebrated the 185th birthday of Winfield Scott on Friday, Feb. 25, as Founders Day. Last year, the celebration was virtual in the middle of the pandemic. This year we were able to celebrate in-person on the back patio of the Community Design Studio, 7506 E. Indian School Road, which is located on land that Winfield Scott once owned. Chaplain Winfield Scott energetically supported and promoted Scottsdale from the town's beginning in 1894.

In the past, we celebrated Founders Day in front of the Little Red School House on Main Street. However, the area is closed due to renovations to the Civic Center.

The celebration was hosted by community historian Joan Fudala who introduced Scottsdale Mayor David D. Ortega. Mayor Ortega spoke about Scott and read a proclamation that acknowledged Founders Day in Scottsdale! Joan then introduced Winfield Scott, the 185 year old birthday boy who talked about his early land deals prior to retiring from the Army and moving to the Salt River Valley. Next, Joan Fudala spoke about Helen and Winfield Scott as champions of healthcare and the legacy that continues today. Finally, Joan introduced keynote speaker and Arizona State Historian Marshall Trimble who talked about Scott's contributions to Scottsdale and Arizona.

The attendees listen the presentation for Founders Day.

Special thanks to the approximately 80 people who attended the day including former and current Scottsdale council members and mayors.

We would also like to thank the Scottsdale Historical Society who set up displays, the Winfield Scott Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution who provided cupcakes for all who attended and the city of Scottsdale Library, City Manager and Community Services Departments.

Joan Fudala also recognized the late Roberta Pilcher as the person who started Founders Day and Joanne Handley who kept the annual event going. And a special recognition to Richard Lynch who wrote the book, "Winfield Scott" in the 1970s. Several copies of the book were awarded as gifts to a few lucky participants who answered trivia questions about Winfield and Helen Scott.

Joan Fudala Recognized with Award by the Library

Community Historian Joan Fudala (left) received the Scottsdale Public Library Vision Award from Library Director Kira Peters.

The Scottsdale Public Library selected Community Historian Joan Fudala for its inaugural Vision Award. 

Joan's dedication to chronicling and sharing Scottsdale's rich history and her support of library initiatives and programs put her at the top of the list of people who embody the library's vision statement: Preserve the past, Enrich the present, and Illuminate the future.

Library Director Kira Peters surprised Joan with the award at December's Scottsdale Leadership Awards Luncheon. And Joan quickly followed that up with another special honor at this year's Parada del Sol, winning a Scottsdale All Star award for her work as a historian and her many contributions to our city. Congratulations Joan!


Upcoming Scottsdale History Presentations

Neighborhood College:

'Til Death Do Us Part - 1-3 p.m., Tuesday, March 15 at the Mustang Library Auditorium, 10101 N. 90th St. (just south of Shea, go east on the roundabout) and on Zoom. Learn about two local romances gone wrong. In 1962, a couple was murdered just north of Scottsdale on county land, and the case wasn't solved for nine years. But did they catch the real killer or was he framed? In the second case, a woman was spotted dumping part of her husband's body in a dumpster in Mesa. We'll revisit the story of his death which gripped the Valley in 2000. This is a new hybrid presentation presented by Scottsdale storyteller Bruce Wall. Register to attend in-person or on Zoom.

Scottsdale Public Library:

Part of the library’s Hometown Happy Hour series. Scottsdale Community Historian Joan Fudala will kick off a new series of library programs focused on Scottsdale's history, arts, architecture, and natural desert environment. Join us for a non-alcoholic "mocktail" and a light snack at 5 p.m., then learn about some great facet of our fabulous city from 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Water! 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, April 7, the Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd. This five-letter word is perhaps the most crucial element in Scottsdale's dramatic evolution from an arid desert, to a farming/ranching settlement, to a desirable destination for tourism, business and families. Community Historian Joan Fudala will explore Scottsdale's water history, form the development and use of the canals to today's reclamation and conservation innovations that are emulated by cities around the world. In celebration of the city of Scottsdale Water Department's 50th anniversary. In-person presentation by Community Historian Joan Fudala.

Park it! 5:30-6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 19, at the Civic Center Library, 3839 N. Drinkwater Blvd. Scottsdale's city parks and their recreational programs are among the city's most popular and beloved amenities. Begun by the 1950s Civic Coordinating Council, Scottsdale's parks and recreation programs have entertained and kept fit multiple generations of residents, and have continued to benefit from the generosity of civic groups that support Scottsdale parks. Learn all about it at this photo-rich presentation on Scottsdale's parks, trials rec centers, classes and special events. In-person presentation by Community Historian Joan Fudala.

Famous Alumnus

To celebrate baseball and all things spring training (even when it's cancelled), we thought we would highlight another graduate of a local Scottsdale high school who went on fame on the baseball field.

This 1990s alumnus was not born in Arizona but attended a Scottsdale area high school. While there he set school baseball records that remained for more than 10 years before another future major leaguer broke them. He was part of the team that won the state championship for his high school. He was drafted by a major league team out of high school and worked through the minor leagues before breaking into the big league after two years.

He was an all-star many times and won a championship ring with the team that called him "Captain" for eight seasons.

Scroll down to find out who was this famous Alumnus.

From Curry's Corner to Rawhide

From the late 1940s through the 1960s, there was a curio store and market located at the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Pinnacle Peak roads. This facility led to the naming of the USGS Quadrangle "Curry's Corner", since it was the most prominent structure of the area. The store was a classic false-front, board and batten western building, which was festooned across the front with deer and elk racks.

Around 1960, Maricopa County approved a use permit for about 80 acres of a western theme town, entertainment venues and recreational facilities. The only thing missing from this plan was a dirt motorcycle track, which was located behind the former Giant Enterprises headquarters building. It is ironic that just ten years later, Rawhide was built at the southeast corner of the same intersection.

You can find out more about the history of Scottsdale at the Scottsdale Historical Society. The Scottsdale Historical Society operates the historical museum located in the Little Red Schoolhouse near Main Street and Brown Avenue in Old Town. Although currently closed for the civic center renovations, they will need volunteers to serve as docents when they reopen their doors around January 2023. It involves about four hours of time, generally once a month, and is a great opportunity to meet visitors from all across the country as well as all over the world and to introduce them to Scottsdale. Learn about the Scottsdale Historical Society.

Above image courtesy of the Scottsdale Historical Society.

Scottsdale Heritage Connection: Play Ball!

The Baltimore Orioles watch a demonstration of sliding into a base in the 1950s.

Think you might miss out on Spring Training this season? Never fear, Scottsdale Public Library's Scottsdale Heritage Connection has a collection of digital historical images, video and interviews covering over 60 years of Spring Training Major League Baseball in Scottsdale. The Scottsdale Spring Training Collection highlights the players, stadium, philanthropic organizations, team hangouts, and city government officials and employees that have brought great baseball to Scottsdale since 1956!

The San Francisco Giants stand for the national anthem around 1994 at Scottsdale Stadium.

Since March 12, 1956, Scottsdale has hosted five Major League Baseball teams during Spring Training Season: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Oakland A’s, and San Francisco Giants. Through community business people and citizen support, a stadium was built in 1955 for $72,000. The Baltimore Orioles played three years in Scottsdale and were then followed by the Boston Red Sox.

In 1961, the community organization, the Scottsdale Charros, was instrumental in their continued support of spring training baseball in Scottsdale. The Chicago Cubs played in Scottsdale from 1967 to 1978. The Oakland A's followed in 1979 through 1981. The San Francisco Giants have trained here since 1982 and have won three World Series championships since then (coincidence? We think not!).

Above images Courtesy of Scottsdale Public Library.

How the streets got their names: Marshall Way

Vice President of the United States Thomas R. Marshall

Marshall Way in Old Town was named after the Governor of Indiana 1909-1913 and the 1913-1921 Vice President of the United States, Thomas R. Marshall. Marshall and his wife Lois Irene (Kimsey) Marshall had a winter home in Scottsdale on Indian School Road. Today, their home would be located where the Panera Bread stands at 7145 E. Indian School Road.

Thomas Marshall met Lois Kimsey while he was an attorney and Lois worked for her father, W.E. Kimsey who was the county clerk in Steuben County, Indiana. They were married in 1895 and shortly after, Lois's parents moved to Scottsdale. Lois and Thomas first were visitors staying in the early resorts and then W.E. Kimsey built them a home on Indian School Road that stood until the 1960s.

Marshall was most known for his wit. Once, while a senator was complaining about the state of the country and was saying, "What this country needs is this and what this country needs is that..." Marshall quipped, "What this country needs is a good five cent cigar!"

It was a big deal for the tiny village of Scottsdale to have the Vice President as a winter visitor. To mark his time in Scottsdale, they named Marshall Way in his honor.

Answer to Famous Alumnus

Paul Konerko was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and then his family moved to Scottsdale. He graduated from Chaparral High School in 1994.

While a senior at Chaparral, Konerko set records for hitting .558, 18 doubles, and 44 career doubles. Ike Davis broke all these records in 2003, nine years later. Konerko led the Firebirds to a Class 4-A State Championship.

Konerko was drafted 13th overall by the Los Angeles Dodgers and played through their minor league system making his way to the majors in the 1997 season. He was traded to Cincinnati Reds in 1998 and then to the Chicago White Sox in 1999 where he played for the rest of his career.

Konerko excelled as a White Sox first baseman including six all-star appearances (2002, 2005, 2006, 2010-2012), won a World Series championship in 2005, won the Roberto Clemente Award in 2014 and was the White Socks captain from 2006-2014. The Chicago White Sox retired his number 14 in 2015 and erected a statue in his honor in the left field concourse of U.S. Cellular Field, now called Guaranteed Rate Field.

Next Time

We'll be sending out the next newsletter around June with information on how to celebrate the 71st anniversary of Scottsdale's incorporation and links to find the latest Scottsdale history presentations online. There will also be more resources from the Scottsdale Public Library and the Scottsdale Historical Society.

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City of Scottsdale