Tempe, AZ History and Real Estate For Sale

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History of Tempe, Arizona

Following the establishment of Fort McDowell on the eastern edge of central Arizona’s Salt River Valley in 1865, enterprising farmers moved into the area. They dug out the irrigation canals left by the prehistoric Hohokam people and built new ones to carry Salt River water to their fields. Valley farms soon supplied food to Arizona’s military posts and mining towns. 

Tempe AZ Real Estate

Tempe’s First Settlers

The first settlers to move to the Tempe area, south of the Salt River and east of Phoenix, were Hispanic families from southern Arizona.

 

Construction of the First Two Irrigation Canals

They helped construct the first two irrigation canals, the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch and the San Francisco Canal, and started small farms to the east and west of a large butte (Tempe Butte). In 1872, some of these Mexican settlers founded a town called San Pablo east of Tempe Butte.

Hayden’s Ferry

Another settlement, known as Hayden’s Ferry, developed west of Tempe Butte. Charles Trumbull Hayden, owner of a mercantile and freighting business in Tucson, homesteaded this location in 1870. Then within a few years, he had built a store and flour mill, warehouses and blacksmith shops and a ferry. Consequently, this community became the trade center for the south side of the Salt River Valley. 

Tempe AZ Homes For Sale

Two Settlements Form One Community

Both settlements grew quickly and soon formed one community. The town was named Tempe in 1879. “Lord” Darrell Duppa, an Englishman who helped establish Phoenix, is credited with suggesting the name. The sight of the butte and the wide river, and the nearby expanse of green fields, reminded him of the Vale of Tempe in ancient Greece.

Tempe Irrigating Canal Company

As more farmers came to settle in the Valley and started raising alfalfa and grains for feeding livestock, the Tempe Irrigating Canal Company provided all of necessary water. With a network of canals that extended several miles south of the river, irrigation water was carried to more than 20,000 acres of prime farmland. Crops of wheat, barley, and oats ensured a steady business for the Hayden Mill. The milled flour was hauled to forts and other settlements throughout the territory. By the 1890s, some farmers started growing new cash crops such as dates and citrus fruits.

The Site for the Territorial Normal School

In 1885, the Arizona legislature selected Tempe as the site for the Territorial Normal School, which trained teachers for Arizona’s schools. Soon, other changes in Tempe promoted the development of the small farming community.

The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad

The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, built in 1887, crossed the Salt River at Tempe, linking the town to the nation’s growing transportation system. The Tempe Land and Improvement Company was formed to sell lots in the booming town. Tempe became one of the most important business and shipping centers for the surrounding agricultural area.

Tempe AZ Homes For Sale

Roosevelt Dam Completion

The completion of Roosevelt Dam in 1911 guaranteed enough water to meet the growing needs of Valley farmers. On his way to dedicate the dam, former President Theodore Roosevelt applauded the accomplishments of the people of central Arizona and predicted that their towns would grow to become prosperous cities.

Arizona became the 48th State

Less than a year later, Arizona became the 48th state, and the Salt River Valley was well on its way to becoming the new population center of the Southwest.

Post World War II

Tempe was a small agricultural community through most of its history. After World War II, Tempe began growing at a rapid rate as veterans and others moved to the city. The last of the local farms quickly disappeared. Through annexation, the city reached its current boundaries by 1974. Tempe had grown into a modern city. The town’s small teachers college had also grown, and in 1958, the institution became Arizona State University.

Mill Avenue In Tempe, AZ

Tempe’s commercial center along Mill Avenue declined during these years. Prompted by Tempe’s centennial in 1971, Mill Avenue was revitalized into an entertainment and shopping district that attracts people from throughout the Valley. Today, Tempe is eighth largest city in Arizona, with a strong modern economy based on commerce, tourism, and electronics manufacturing.

Tempe, AZ Homes For Sale

169 matches found

$725,000
7616 S WILLOW Drive, Tempe, AZ 85284
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Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 6
# of Bathrooms: 3
Square Footage: 3889
Year Built: 1980
Subdivision: PHEASANT RIDGE
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Awesome S. Tempe Home with free standing RV garage. This home has been upda...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$575,000
2004 E VAUGHN Street, Tempe, AZ 85283
View Photos (36)
Open House (12/07/2019 - 1:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 3076
Year Built: 1979
Subdivision: ROUND VALLEY ESTATES LOT 1-85
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Wonderful opportunity to own this lovely corner estate. You're greeted by a...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$293,000
5812 S College Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85283
View Photos (1)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 3
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1350
Year Built: 1974
Subdivision: UNIVERSITY ROYAL UNIT TWO
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Fantastic started home or investment opportunity! Renovated and ready to go...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$336,900
920 E DRIFTWOOD Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283
View Photos (36)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 2.5
Square Footage: 1988
Year Built: 1973
Subdivision: LAKES TRACT D3
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Location, location, location! This lovely 4 bedroom home is unique and only...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$799,999
7918 S ASH Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85284
View Photos (61)Virtual Tours (1)
Open House (12/07/2019 - 10:00 am)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 5
# of Bathrooms: 5
Square Footage: 3799
Year Built: 1981
Subdivision: DUSKFIRE
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Welcome to the magnificent unique House of Diamonds! This beautiful multi-g...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$189,500
633 W SOUTHERN Avenue, 1185, Tempe, AZ 85282
View Photos (30)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 972
Year Built: 1984
Subdivision: MISTWOOD CONDOMINIUMS UNIT 101-204
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Charming 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom townhome with a cozy brick fireplace in an i...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$367,900
1719 E Julie Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283
View Photos (17)
Open House (12/07/2019 - 11:00 am)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 2134
Year Built: 1974
Subdivision: TEMPE ROYAL PALMS 13
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Bright Open floor plan just waiting for you to make it home! All bedrooms, ...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$300,000
1969 E MINTON Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282
View Photos (19)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 3
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1749
Year Built: 1971
Subdivision: CONTINENTAL EAST 3
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: Best-priced home with a 2-car garage in the area! This is an inviting home ...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$349,900
1304 E CARTER Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282
View Photos (33)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Footage: 2360
Year Built: 1970
Subdivision: TEMPE GARDENS 8 LOT 739- 861
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: *Investor Special* A fantastic 4 bed, 3.5 bath property located in Tempe is...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
IDX
$349,900
314 E PEBBLE BEACH Drive, Tempe, AZ 85282
View Photos (54)
Open House (12/08/2019 - 12:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 3
# of Bathrooms: 2
Square Footage: 1478
Year Built: 1962
Subdivision: NU-VISTA 7
City/Town Code: Tempe
Description: MOVE IN READY - NEW INTERIOR PAINT, TILE THROUGHOUT THE LIVING ROOM AND KIT...
Status: Active
Last Updated: December - 06 - 2019
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