Scottsdale is one of the oldest cities in Arizona. Originally, it was called "Orangedale" for the abundance of citrus trees grown within the area. However, the town was located near the large land parcel of a wealthy landowner named Winfield Scott. Since there were so few landmarks, people frequently referred to the town's location as "close to Scott's." Eventually, the name stuck. No matter what you call it, Scottsdale today is a vibrant city with plenty to see and do.
The West's Most Western Town
Although you wouldn't guess it from Scottsdale's primarily urban setting, resort communities, and a large number of golf courses, the city is known as the West's "Most Western" town. This nickname refers to Scottsdale's early settlement days when its landscape was characterized by large tracts of open space and ranches covering thousands of acres. The largest ranch recorded in Scottsdale's history covered about 44,000 acres of land. The nickname was chosen to give the town a special connection with the Old West. The goal was to capture the essence of the city's past and make it an appealing tourist destination. Fortunately for town officials, the strategy worked.
Unlike many American towns and cities, which are comparatively much newer, Scottsdale's history dates back to the pre-European era. Evidence shows that present-day Scottsdale was initially settled and inhabited by the Hohokam tribe. They formed a sophisticated irrigation system and a network of canals to transport water to the area. Despite their best efforts, however, a series of droughts forced the inhabitants out of the area. Sometime during its earliest settlement days, Scottsdale was named by the Pima tribe. Its original name translated to "rotting hay."
In the 1800s, Scottsdale's layout changed from one of the villages and subsistence farming to large ranches and farms owned and operated by wealthy landowners. Settlers brought with them crops and imported products such as fruit trees, notably citrus trees, after which the city was initially named. The new wave of settlers in the 1800s valued entertainment and education, which gave rise to schoolhouses and cultural activities shortly after. In the early 1900s, the area started to attract writers, artists, and tourists. All needed places to stay, which inspired the construction of resorts and inns.
Scottsdale's growth started in earnest during and after World War II. Today, the city has a population size of about 220,000. It is home to over 200 golf courses, and it stands out for its high quality of life. In 1993, Scottsdale and only a few select cities were chosen to be the "most livable" among all US cities.
Scottsdale's Main Attractions
Naturally, a place that gets top honors for its quality of life has plenty of things to do.
Despite its name, the "Old Town" area of Scottsdale contains a mix of old and new attractions. Here, vintage clothing stores are mixed in with new-age restaurants and nightclubs. With its ongoing events and thriving cultural scene, there is never a dull moment in this distinct part of Scottsdale.
Taliesin West was once the home of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The house was built in 1937 and sits on a 620-acre property. The house was put into preservation after the architect's death. The public is welcome to sign up for guided tours of the Taliesin house to learn more about its history and famous resident. Wright's architectural school, called "The School of Architecture at Taliesin," still exists.
Despite what many people think, Arizona's deserts are not void of life. In fact, there are more than 460 insect species in Arizona alone. One place where you can see the region's butterflies, as well as butterflies from around the world, is Butterfly Wonderland. This exhibit is home to over 3,000 butterflies and reptiles.
Western Spirit is a relatively new museum, built in 2015, that contains cultural relics, art, and historical information about the Scottsdale and the American West. The museum sits on the original site that contained Scottsdale's first railroad station. Western Spirit contains many permanent and rotating exhibits. It also has a sculpture park, a theater, and a museum store.
Once known for its abundance of orange trees, Scottsdale's landscape has changed to urban communities and golf courses. But if you want to bring back part of Scottsdale's past, or if you just want help beautifying your property, don't hesitate to contact Lawn Love. As your local lawn services provider, we're at your service for all your lawn maintenance needs.