Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ambos Nogales Face Across the Border
After the Spanish conquest of Pimeria Alta, the road from Tucson south became an important economic link for the pueblos, missions and ranchos in the Santa Cruz River valley. One fork in the road headed southeast for Arispe the provincial capital. Another fork went southwest for the seaport of Guaymas. The road to Guaymas left the Santa Cruz River at Calabasas and followed Potrero Creek to a walnut grove (los nogales) in a pass through the hills. In 1841, the Elías family received a land grant from the Mexican government to establish a ranch at Los Nogales. Following the 1853 Gadsden Purchase from Mexico of Tucson and all the surrounding country south of the Gila River the boundary survey party placed a monument marking the border at Los Nogales in 1855.

Twenty years later, as two transcontinental railroads prepared to cross the Territory of Arizona, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe made plans for a rail connection with Guaymas. William Ray Morley surveyed a route through Los Nogales in 1878 and the following year the Sonoran Railway was formed in Mexico as a subsidiary of the ATSF. In 1880, San Francisco merchant Jacob Issacson built a trading post in Nogales pass. The Santa Rita Hotel opened nearby a few years later. Within days of the hotel opening, October 25, 1882, the young daughter of surveyor Morley drove the last spike linking Guaymas with the Southern Pacific Railroad at Benson. It was the first rail line linking the US and Mexico. A Post Office was established in the Issacson store for the community of “Issacson,” sometimes also called “Line City,” right on the border. But when the railroad built its depot there it chose to name the stop Nogales.

In those days, the railroad depot, stores and saloons were built straddling the border. If one lived in Nogales, Arizona or Nogales, Sonora it made little difference socially. Twin bilingual communities grew up along the railroad with lively business districts. However, the matter of land ownership and political borders were of great importance to the courts and government. Ambos (“both”) Nogales was a problem for nearly everyone, it seemed, except those who lived there. A significant portion of government revenue at the time came from charging customs duties on the passage of goods between foreign countries and the US. And eventually citizens of one country would be denied the right to live and work in the other country. Smuggling of goods and persons was the natural reaction, bringing a never-ending series of violent episodes to bracket each period of relative peace. As 2010 ushered in the second decade of the second millennium, the so-called “border wars” have again flared where once only walnut trees swayed on a warm breeze.

Even before railroad construction was complete, Mexican residents in Arizona and American railroad workers got into a brawl over women, fueled by mescal “smuggled across the line” according to The New York Times (25 May 1882). There were powerful economic reasons for building saloons astraddle the border. A customer could move to the south end of the bar and enjoy duty-free liquor. Illegal immigrant labor was also a government problem in the 1880s as Chinese crossed at Nogales to work at lower pay for the railroads and mines. Politicians came to the rescue in 1882, passing the federal Chinese Exclusion Act to outlaw most Chinese immigration to the US. Nevertheless, twenty years later Treasury Department special agents arrested Nogales customs officials for allegedly allowing Chinese to pass in return for bribes (NY Times 25 August 1901). Later, Mexico would try to expel its Chinese, forcing them to flee to the US. All Chinese entry into the US was eventually outlawed until 1943. Meanwhile, smuggling of cigars, liquor, firearms and cattle continued unabated until the Border Patrol was created in 1924.

International Avenue was born running east and west after the federal governments of Mexico and the US ordered the dual towns of Nogales divided along the border and buildings cleared for 60 feet on both sides. This view, looking west, appears to have been issued about 1915, after the production and sale of alcohol had been outlawed in Arizona. There was no fence down the middle of the street until the following year, only a line of power poles. But residents were still required to cross at two entry points, one in the foreground at Morley Avenue and the other farther west at Grand Avenue. The publisher of the postcard has drawn a line following the un-trod dirt in the middle of the street, but in reality the line existed only in people’s heads.

This is Morley Avenue viewed from the public park looking south about the same time as the view above (this postcard was mailed in 1916). Morley was the main business street in Nogales in those days. Grand Avenue would join it in a few years. The International Hotel is at left; by the 1930s it had been replaced by the El Paso Store. And the Kress building had replaced the gable-end storefront. The two-story brick building on the left side of the street became J. C. Penny’s. The Santa Cruz Valley Bank & Trust is on the corner of Morley and Park Street, one of three banks in town at the time.

This fine schoolhouse was provided for pupils in the US and another larger school served the more populous Mexican community.  The first public school in Nogales, Arizona, Elm Street School, opened in 1883.  This building by the same name, located at the north end of Terrace Avenue, was built in 1899 but burned in 1915.  It was replaced by a one-story mission style Elm Street School that survived until very recently.  The location is now a parking lot for Sacred Heart Catholic Church.  The older church building is visible behind the school.  This “PCK Series” postcard was printed in Germany about 1907 for International Drug Store, doing business for many years in the International Hotel building on Morley Ave.

In 1885, Henry Ossian Flipper, the first African-American graduate of West Point chose Nogales, Arizona as home, a refuge from his bad experiences in the army. Within a few years he found himself defending the deeds in court of all landowners in Nogales against the Mexican land grant claims of the Elías and Camou families. Nogales residents won their case in a Tucson court in 1893 and then again in the US Supreme Court. But Congress exercised its authority over land ownership along the border in 1897, when it ordered a 60-foot strip along the border in downtown Nogales cleared of all structures to suppress customs fraud. Mexico cleared its side and International Avenue was the result, a wide street running contrary to geography, diagonally across the railroad and the main north south streets of ambos Nogales. A delicate process transferred baggage of train passengers under the watchful eyes of customs inspectors. First Class passengers could ride across while those in coach left the train to walk across and board again after passing through customs. The Nogales District customs service had been established in April 1880, with the office in Nogales supervising all crossings in Arizona.

Still, the community prospered. An electric power company and ice plant opened in 1892. The city was incorporated in 1893. In 1897, the Southern Pacific leased from the ATSF the New Mexico & Arizona Railroad which had reached Nogales from Benson. Santa Cruz County was created in 1899 and a courthouse built in Nogales (1902-4). The first hospital also opened in 1899. In 1904 there were 122 telephones in town. But political unrest in Mexico escalated until revolution broke out in 1910, the first of several revolutions over the following dozen years. A survey to build a fence down the middle of International Avenue began that year and troops were quickly sent to Nogales, Naco and Douglas. A full-scale border war commenced.

This small but stately courthouse was constructed of granite, facing Morley Avenue with Court Street at right, using drawings by architect James Vandevort. Astrea, goddess of justice, tops an aluminum-clad dome (statue is out of view). Pictured here about 1939, it eventually became one of the oldest courthouses in Arizona still in use before it was turned into a museum.

Revolutions in Mexico to free the enslaved peons from wealthy landowners and provide them with ownership of their farms led to unrest along the border. The US Army established Camp Stephen D. Little just outside Nogales in 1910 and stationed troops there until 1931. The camp was officially abandoned in 1933. When this postcard was issued, maybe about 1914, there was still no fence in the middle of International Avenue, but soldiers on both sides marched up and down to maintain the boundary marked by the obelisk monument. The view is toward the east, at the Morley Avenue crossing, with Mexican buildings at right. The Mexican soldier is probably one of the revolutionaries that occupied Nogales, Sonora at the time.

Early in 1913, rebels attacked Mexican federal troops in Nogales, Sonora forcing the soldiers across the border into Arizona as bullets broke windows on the US side. The Sonoran town remained under revolutionary control until 1916 when Pacho Villa’s army took it. Villa’s threat to also attack the Arizona town prompted a gun battle with US troops that left many Mexicans dead. Mexican officials reported several killings of Mexican citizens by US soldiers and customs officers late in 1917 and into early 1918. In August 1918 a US Customs guard killed an alleged Mexican smuggler crossing the border fence. American and Mexican customs guards began shooting at each other. This was followed by a five-hour firefight between armed civilians on both sides of the border. Mexican and US troops arrived that night to join the fray. A US cavalry charge across the border killed a US Army Captain. The Mayor of Nogales, Sonora was killed. Of course, accounts of the whole incident differ. A few days later an armistice was declared and Arizona Governor Hunt met his counterpart from Sonora the following month to agree on a permanent armistice. Peace slowly returned to ambos Nogales from 1919 on, disturbed only by a regional rebellion in 1929 that saw Mexican government airplanes bomb Nogales, Sonora. Many middle and upper class Mexican families temporarily moved to Arizona to avoid the conflict.

During the prosperous 1920s, Nogales continued to host American tourists crossing from the “dry” USA to “wet” Mexico for libation. “Across the street is Mexico,” trumpeted the advertisements. Tourists knew what that meant. Patients with lung disease also found some relief in the dry climate at local sanitariums. Cattle and produce shipments from Mexico continued to cross the border, along with mining machinery and finished goods from the US. Then the economy collapsed, plunging ambos Nogales into severe depression in 1930. The situation was made worse by new tariffs imposed on all foreign goods aimed at protecting American jobs. The Mexican government had to respond in kind. With the coming of World War Two, however, Mexico became a valued ally and the border practically disappeared. The US still required Mexicans to get a visa to cross but Americans could go south freely, often to get gasoline or tires and any other commodity in short supply or rationed in the states. Following the war, US customs inspectors adopted a policy of “greeting guests” to the US that put a nicer face on enforcement. They were unarmed from 1948 to about 1968 and there were no deaths of customs inspectors during that period.

This birds-eye-view seen from a hill in Mexico was published in Mexico as a postcard in the late 1930s. Looking west down International Avenue with its chain-link fence, the two border crossings were still relatively simple constructions. A third reopened in 1956 farther west at Sonoita Avenue. Just beyond the Grand Avenue crossing is the new US Customs Service building (1934), replacing offices located in the Post Office federal building since 1924.

The Resort Hotel Esplendor opened in 1928 on a hilltop a few miles north of Nogales. The following year the economy collapsed into the Great Depression, leaving the resort to change hands several times in the following decades.  This postcard shows the place about 1952. I think the hotel became the Sheraton Rio Rico Resort in the 1960s, and then the Rio Rico Resort and Country Club. If so, it benefited from a $5.5 million renovation completed in 2004 and now looks nothing like it once did. It’s now the Esplendor Resort at Rio Rico, located 12 miles north of Nogales.

All during this time while residents of ambos Nogales kept close ties and cooperated almost as a single city, living conditions on the US side of the border improved more than in Mexico. Poverty and access to goods and services came to differentiate life on either side of the line. Still, commerce benefited. In the 1950s duty collected at the border passed $1 million for the first time and then rose to $55 million by 1980. Truck traffic across the border first exceeded rail traffic in 1958 after the Sonoita Avenue gate reopened to handle increased cattle and produce shipments. Rail passenger service had ended in 1951 but a modern highway to Guaymas had been completed in 1935. When Nogales celebrated its centennial in 1980, it had become the largest port of entry for vegetables in the world. In addition, American corporations set up a “twin plants” system of maquiladoras to exploit cheap labor just “across the street.” Manipulation of currency markets led to several devaluations of the peso to sweeten the mix. A growing list of illegal drugs kept smugglers in business. The result can be seen today. Ambos Nogales are connected by long lines of trucks transferring produce, and secret drug tunnels under the street, but also divided by heavy military and civilian policing of an iron fence with increasing loss of life on both sides.

This view probably from late in 1959 (that’s a 1960 Chevrolet Impala at right) shows the still thriving business district on Morley Avenue, looking north at the intersection with International Street (formerly Avenue). Many old buildings constructed before 1925 are still in use (and survive today), Franklin’s, S. H. Kress & Company, J. C. Penny, J. J. Newberry. Directly across the street from Newberry’s is the Ephraim building (1905), site of an early mercantile company and still owned by the family. The La Ville de Paris building (1901) at right is covered over by a modern slab façade. The trees way down the street on the left side are at the park.

This aerial photo was taken above Nogales Sonora with International Street and the border running across the center. The Mexican port of entry is the white tent-like concrete structure (International Arches, 1962, designed by Mario Pani’s firm, with architect Hilario Galguera supervising). In contrast, the rectangular US entry building spans the street. The older US Customs Service office is to the left. At far left is the Sonoita Avenue crossing for trucks. Two streets head away from the main gates, Arroyo Boulevard (left) and Grand Avenue (right), diverging farther north. To the right of these streets is the double-track railroad crossing the border and passing by the park. Next on the right is the older commercial district on Morley Avenue. At upper left is the old Nogales High School, and the courthouse with aluminum dome is just to the right of upper center. (click on picture for full size to see these details.)

Many visitors to Nogales in the 1960s will remember the curio shops in Mexico, filled with velvet paintings, colorful serapes and sombreros with dingle balls. Tony’s was the “Center of Quality” at 85 Obregon Avenue according to this postcard published by Petley Studios of Phoenix.
Alberto Suarez Barnett, “Nogales” website
Allen T. Bird, Resources of Santa Cruz County (1916-17) Univ. of Ariz., Bureau of Mines Bulletin No. 29
Jane Eppinga, Nogales: life and times on the frontier (2002)
Pimeria Alta Historical Society, Voices From the Pimeria Alta (1991)
Alma Ready, A Very Small Place (1989) Santa Cruz County bibliography
Miguel Tinker Salas, In the Shadow of the Eagles (1997)
Alan Weisman & Jay Dusard, La Frontera (1986)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mesa Replaced Farms With Charm To Become Arizona’s Third Largest City

Like most cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Mesa profited from an agriculturally based economy until after World War Two. But military bases established nearby during the war stimulated a shift toward manufacturing in the east valley. In 1959, for the first time manufacturing employment in Mesa exceeded agricultural employment. By 1975, factory jobs outnumbered farm jobs 12 to one. Mesa’s history illustrates the transformation experienced nearly everywhere in the Salt River Valley.

The location of Fort McDowell on the Verde River in the northeast valley in 1865 suppressed Native American opposition to white settlement. Anglo farmers were then free to reconstruct ancient Indian canals and plant crops in the fertile alluvial soil stretching from the confluence of the Verde and the Salt to where the Salt River joined the Gila. The town of Maryville was established north of the Salt in the east valley in 1865 and then abandoned for the Phoenix settlement created downstream in 1868.

In 1877 and 1878 two parties of Mormon settlers arrived from Utah at a crossing on the south side of the Salt River opposite the site of Maryville. Enjoying the protection of the military and finding no prior legal claims, the land was theirs for the taking. The first party established a United Order commune, engineered an irrigation ditch from the river and laid out on paper the town of Utahville, also known as Fort Utah, later Jonesville (1880) and Lehi (1884). The second party chose their own site on higher tableland about a mile and a half south of Utahville. Rather than a communal village, a more enterprising “Mesa City” was created out of Section 22, with 132-foot wide streets separating 10-acre blocks. And a longer Mesa Canal brought Salt River water to the mesa top.

Early Mesa pictured about 1883 shows the A. F. Macdonald home and gardens at lower left and at right the “relief society hall” (bishops storehouse? with flat roof), a hotel and store (on corner) and new city hall and jail (pitched roof). Macdonald, Mormon Stake President and first mayor, was sent to Mesa from Utah to iron out difficulties. He left in January 1885 to establish a colony in Mexico.

Bringing the abundant supply of Salt River irrigation water to the top of the mesa transformed the desert into an oasis, providing a source of agricultural wealth. Within a few years, Salt River Valley farms could feed all of Arizona and export a surplus to the rest of the nation. This unidentified canal is pictured about 1908.

Two more immigrant parties from Utah arrived and residents began building institutions to perpetuate their values. They placed importance on education, musical and performing arts and the “pioneering spirit,” by which they meant hard work to overcome hardship and make a better life in a harsh environment. Like Lehi, Mesa also valued common wealth for the common good. An adobe schoolhouse was built in 1882 and The Zenos Cooperative Mercantile and Manufacturing Institution store by 1884. The 300 residents incorporated a city government in 1883. Due to a naming conflict, US Post Office regulations first sent Mesa City mail to a post office named “Hayden” (at Hayden’s Ferry or Tempe) six miles to the west. In 1886 a Post Office still located in Tempe named “Zenos” (one of the names originally suggested for Mesa) received mail for Mesa. The “Mesa Post Office” was finally established in Mesa in 1889. By then the population had doubled.

Commercial life centered around the intersection of Main and Macdonald, seen here about 1908, looking west. On the SW corner (at left) is the Mesa City Bank, which later became Mesa Drug Company. The next building west is LeSueur, Gibbons & Co. mercantile, established in 1905. It later became LeSueur-Botkin Co. and finally sold to Bayless mercantile of Phoenix in 1926. The building was then replaced by the Nile Theater.

Beyond the accumulation of wealth through land sales and agriculture, one of the goals of settlement in the Salt River Valley was to provide a comfortable Anglo lifestyle as typified by this Mesa home pictured about 1908 surrounded by shade trees, palms and oleanders. A hundred years later lifestyle seemed the most important function of the community.

Churches and schools were valued centers of social life in early Mesa. Pictured on two vertical postcards from about 1909 are the LDS Tabernacle (1896) on SE corner of 1st Avenue and Morris, Methodist Church (1893) also on 1st Avenue just east of Center, First Baptist Church (1895) on 1st Avenue at Macdonald, South Grammar School (1890) at 2nd Avenue and Center, Mesa High School (1908) also at 2nd Avenue and Center and old North Grammar School (1899) on Center and 2nd Street. All of these buildings are gone now.

By the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Mesa had acquired a small ethnic minority population of Hispanics and African Americans. Moreover, many Pima and Maricopa Indians worked in Mesa and lived on a reservation north of the Salt River established in 1879. Following a statewide trend, Mesa elementary schools became strictly segregated in 1910. A separate grade school was built for Hispanic children (1910) and another for Blacks (1920). Highly assimilated minority children could attend the single high school established in 1899, with its own building constructed in 1908. Chinese, Japanese and Lebanese families opened businesses in Mesa during those years. With the start of World War Two some Japanese in Mesa were sent to concentration camps while others were allowed to remain in Lehi but were forbidden to venture south of Main Street, into a military exclusion zone. Hispanic students were integrated in 1940 and Blacks were allowed to attend the first Junior High in 1952. The 1954 US Supreme Court ruling ordered an end to school segregation everywhere.

The Phoenix & Eastern Railroad reached Mesa from Tempe in 1895 and the Southern Pacific eventually put Mesa on its mainline to Phoenix in 1926. The city got electric lights in 1898 and telephones in 1902. Building the Apache Trail (1904) and Roosevelt Dam (1905-1910) boosted Mesa’s business community. In 1914, the University of Arizona established an experimental farm west of Mesa that lasted until 1983. The city hosted the annual Arizona Citrus Show 1931-1959.

Citrus and Egyptian cotton became the leading crops 1907-1920, then cotton prices plummeted after the First World War leaving Mesa in a brief but severe depression. Soon after good times returned the city was again hit hard by the Great Depression after 1929. Suffering ten years of depression, property values in 1940 were only half that of 1920. But Arizona’s mining towns fared even worse. Beginning in 1940, Mesa almost doubled its population with each new census. That year it was the fourth largest city in the state, just behind Douglas. Prosperity returned with the industrial buildup for World War Two. Two airbases were sited nearby in 1941, Falcon Field and Williams Field. Falcon Field was turned over to the city at the end of the war, but Williams Air Force Base continued operations until 1993.

To provide narrow store fronts with the most customer parking automobiles parked head-in at both curbs and in the center of Main Street when this postcard was issued about 1927 (the autos at left are in the middle of the street). The view is looking east toward the intersection with Macdonald. The green sign marks Everybody’s Drugs on the corner with the lamppost. At right is the Nile Theater. Built in 1928, it closed as a theater in 1951. Recently it has been a church and is now called Mesa Underground, a venue for rock music.

This is the intersection of Main & Macdonald about 1939, looking northwest toward Everybody’s Drugs in a rebuilt remnant of Chandler Court (1908). Dr. A. J. Chandler designed and had constructed a horseshoe-shaped, single-story office complex with the first big evaporative cooling system in the Valley. The remaining half seen here was restored in 1984, though nothing like the original building. Established in 1906, Everybody’s Drugs closed in the late 1990s. Parking in the middle of the street was eliminated about 1935. Carrying highways 60, 70, 80, 89 and 93 until the 1970s, Main Street funneled all transcontinental highway traffic from the east into the Valley, giving Mesa the nickname “The Gateway City.”

Mesa’s Main Street began a long line of services for travelers: filling stations, cafes and motels, that stretched all the way through Tempe, beginning again on East Van Buren Street in Phoenix. By 1960 the strip development had extended farther east to Apache Junction. This postcard of the Winter Garden Motor Court, located at 131 East Main, was mailed in 1951.

After World War Two, Mesa became a popular destination for tourists and families looking for jobs and a southwestern suburban lifestyle. The 1950 census found Mesa the third largest city in Arizona, a position it has retained ever since. Annexations of agricultural land helped. The city limit doubled the original square mile in 1930 and increased to six square miles in 1950 then 125 square miles by 2000. Promoted as “The Charm City,” by 1952 tourism had become Mesa’s largest industry. Winter visitors parked trailers by the thousands in dozens of mobile home “villages.” Air conditioning, car-friendly streets and suburban shopping attracted permanent residents. Aerospace factories provided high paying jobs, a rocket engine research facility in 1957, Talley Defense Systems in 1960, Motorola in 1966 and Hughes Helicopter in 1982. And there was a payoff. Agricultural land became more valuable when developed for commercial, industrial or residential use.

The same block on Main pictured above is seen here about 1953. Stapley’s Hardware (at right) opened in 1895, profited by providing supplies for Roosevelt Dam construction and eventually added 11 locations across the Valley. Owner, O. S. Stapley was a member of the Arizona constitutional convention in 1910 and then served as state senator. Great grandson Don is a county supervisor.

Residents enjoyed the shade in the Citrus Grove Trailer Park at 1007 W. Main in the 1950s. After the allure of trailer life faded subdivisions were built over cotton fields, with wide ranch style homes at first, but finally townhouse styles with narrow facades. (I have colorized the original black & white postcard image.)

Looking south on Macdonald in the first block below Main about 1956, the Pioneer Hotel began in 1894 as the Alhambra, finest in Mesa. It burned in 1921, was reconstructed the following year and received a large addition in 1951. It survives as a public hotel operated by Transitional Living Communities. Pat’s Bicycle Shop was next door from 1947 to 1957, when it moved to 929 East Main. The still family owned business moved to Gilbert Gateway Towne Center near the airport at the end of 2009.

From 1950 until the present Great Recession Mesa’s economy grew at a spectacular rate. Dobson Ranch, the first master-planned subdivision, opened in 1973 and the Superstition Freeway in 1977. Forty-two new grade schools were built 1950-1990, by which time Mesa Unified School District No. 4 was the largest in the state. Population increased 89% between 1980 and 1990. At the same time, some of the best farmland on the planet was lost to development. One million cartons of citrus were shipped from Mesa in 1995, but only 220,000 last year. At the same time, many square miles of Sonoran desert were bulldozed for development. In recent years, some of those structures built over the desert or in place of crops have themselves fallen to the wrecking ball.

Rendezvous Park, Mesa’s first municipal park, was located at 2nd Street and Center. That’s 2nd at lower left, with Center running left to right across the top of the postcard and University across the upper left. The round building, Rendezvous Recreation Center, was built in 1925. Major improvements were made in 1938. This aerial view from the mid-1960s shows a major league spring training game in progress. The Chicago Cubs practiced here 1952-1965 whereupon they moved to Scottsdale. The Oakland Athletics came in 1969. Most of the park was razed in 1976 to become the site of Mesa Community Center. The Athletics continued spring training at the new Hohokam Park until 1978. The following year, the Cubs returned to Mesa.

The seventh operating temple of the LDS Church was dedicated in Mesa October 23, 1927. It’s still an unusual design, inspired by Solomon’s temple, without a spire. This view is to the northeast, with Main Street running across the top of the postcard and the intersection of East 1st Avenue with South Lesueur at lower left. Landscaping has changed since this photo was taken in the 1960s and there is a new visitor center on the north side.

Looking northwest above downtown Mesa about 1969, the 5-story Valley National Bank (1959), on the NE corner of Main and McDonald, is the tallest building. In the next block north on McDonald is City Hall (now the Arizona Museum of Natural History), with Queen of Peace Catholic Church (red roof) across the street to the north. At lower right, on Main, the El Portal Hotel (1928) was demolished in 1972 and Mesa City Plaza occupies the site. Valley Bank sold to Bank One in 1993, which was then acquired by Chase. A $6 million renovation completed in 2005 turned the bank building into One Macdonald Center offices, with a US Bank on the ground floor. This part of Mesa used to be the commercial center of the original square-mile city limit bounded by University and Broadway, Country Club and Mesa Drive.

Mesa’s first strip-mall shopping center anchored by a locally owned Wright’s grocery opened in 1954 on Broadway and Mesa Drive. The first indoor mall opened in 1968 on west Main at Dobson, close to Tempe. Tri-City Mall offered 55 shops anchored by J. C. Penney’s, six multiplex screens, and several restaurants. It closed in 1998 and was largely demolished, replaced by Tri-City Pavilions strip-mall. That’s Webster Elementary School, 202 N. Sycamore, behind the mall.
Lisa A. Anderson, Alice C. Jung, Jared A. Smith & Thomas H. Wilson, Mesa (2008) Images of America Series
Mesa Public Schools, Our Town (1991)
D. L. Turner & Catherine H. Ellis, Latter-Day Saints in Mesa (2009) Images of America Series