“Agriculture in Mesa”

In the beginning Mesa was a booming agricultural city with crops of alfalfa, wheat, grapes, cotton, and citrus. Mesa’s wineries are all but forgotten now but some of Mesa’s beautiful citrus groves still remain.

“EXTRA! EXTRA! – Mesas newspaper”

From the Evening Weekly Free Press to the East Valley Tribune, Mesa has been publishing a newspaper since 1891.

“Falcon Field”

Falcon Field got it’s start during WWII, providing a place for the RAF to train. Named after the famous English renowned hunting bird Falcon Field is the fourth busiest general aviation airport in the United States today.

“Legendary Landmarks, Mesa, Arizona”

Many prominent landmarks call Mesa home. The Buckhorn Baths, Chandler Court, Mesa Grande Ruins, and the Nile Theater just to name a few. These landmarks make Mesa a unique distinguished place with a rich sense of history.

“Mesa’s First Churches”

Mesa was founded as part of the 19th century Mormon colonizing effort, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter – day Saints built the first church in Mesa. Soon after many other religions made their way to Mesa, including Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and Episcopalian.

“Mesa’s Schools”

Once a sleepy agricultural town, Mesa has evolved into becoming the 38th largest City in America. From its beginnings, Mesa has always believed in the power of education. Its first school, constructed in the late 1800s of local adobe, served just a few young children. Since then, Mesa has made a conscious decision to become an educational boomtown.

“Going Postal, Mesa’s Postal History”

In 1881 there were more than 44,152 post offices in America. Mesa had just one. Located on the south side of Main St. and McDonald, the first post office furnished mail to fewer than 200 residents in Mesa.

“Radio and TV for Mesa”

By 1947, Mesa, then a community of 13,000, had passed the Federal Communication minimum population requirement of the 5,000 people needed to operate a radio station. Mesa’s first and only television station KTYL-TV, started broadcasting on May 2, 1953 on Channel 12. It’s studios were located on the Phoenix-Mesa Highway west of Mesa.

“Railroads”

In 1895 the Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad and the Salt River Railroad were given permission to lay tracks in Mesa. A round trip ticket to Tucson cost only $2.75! Passenger service was offered in Mesa until 1982.

“Rendezvous Park”

Mesa residents dedicated their first city park, Rendezvous Park, in 1938. The park featured a skating rink, tennis courts, swimming pool, bath house and a floodlit baseball field. Rendezvous Park fell victim to the wrecking ball in 1976 and was replace with HoHokam park in 1977.

“Telephones for Mesa”

There were fewer than 800 residents in Mesa when the first telephone switchboard was set up in the back of the Peterson grocery store on Main and McDonald. Now Mesa has well over 170,000 telephones in use.

“The Jones Company”

In late 1876 Mormon Church officials asked Daniel Webster Jones to lead a colonizing party south into Mexico. On January 17th, 1877, The Jones Company formed at St. George, Utah to begin their journey south. On March 6th, 1877 the 22 wagon train arrived at their new settlement, which today is the corner of Lehi Rd and Horne. The company established a community, brought water to the settlement and began to plant crop but it did not come without conflict. On May 26th, 1884 the remaining group at Jonesville changed the settlement name and the name Lehi was formally adopted.

“What did they do for Fun”

Life for the early settler could be difficult but the citizens of Mesa still found many ways to enjoy it. There were dances, parties, candy pulls, and even picnics in the desert.

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