Women of the City Council

First appearing in The Tempe Republic on March 25, 2011 Writer: Jay Mark Today’s trivia quiz. How many women have served on the Tempe City Council since elections began in 1920? And for good measure, when was the glass ceiling broken? You might be surprised by the answers. As of 2011, of the 87 individuals who have stepped up to …

Tempe Teepees

An early 1960s postcard of the Wigwam Auto Court, later called the Wigwam Lodge located at Apache Boulevard and McAllister. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Tempe Teepees Writer: Jay Mark A Pyramid and teepees. Not many cities can boast having both architectural styles in their communities. Tempe can. Virtually every local resident is familiar with our “inverted pyramid” on 5th Street …

Tempe City Halls

Tempe’s first City Hall has it appeared shortly after its completion in 1914. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Tempe City Halls Writer: Jay Mark After more than 35 years the only City Hall that most Tempe residents identify with is the curious “upside down” pyramid on East 5th Street in downtown. Few recall or know about the first City Hall …

San Pablo

A view of San Pablo from Tempe Butte looking to the southeast. In this c1900 photograph Old Main appears at the right center. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. San Pablo Writer: Jay Mark Knowing Tempe’s founding is virtual required reading for anyone who lives here. Charles Trumble Hayden (Don Carlos) establishes a ferry service at the base of Tempe Butte …

4th of July, 1888

Tempean’s Merton W. Stewart (left) and Rex Anderson (right) are dressed in patriotic bunting for possibly for the Fourth of July in this late 19th century undated photo. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. 4th of July, 1888 Writer: Jay Mark Ever since 1777 a year after the Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Continental Congress the Fourth of July …

Fires

Exposed by the 1990 fire that destroyed the Chipman-Peterson building, the full-height John Hodnett Hardware Store sign is seen for the first time in ninety-two years. Courtesy of Jay Mark. Fires Writer: Jay Mark One of the most fundamental things people notice in downtown Tempe these days is how fast things are changing ─ high density development producing skyscrapers (a …

Mill Ave Art Fest

Circa 1970 photograph that illustrates the humble start of the Mill Avenue Art Festival. The Andre Building, home to Rula Bula is at left. Today Restaurant Mexico occupies the Chipman-Peterson Building at right. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Mill Avenue Art Festival Writer: Jay Mark 1968. It was the year of the first Mill Avenue… Well, we’ll get to that …

Abstons make the heart grow fonder

The first of four postcards published by the John & Flossie Abston for sale to tourists cryptically depicts the end of a 16,655 mile journey in 1957. Courtesy of Tempe Historic Preservation Office. Abstons make the heart grow fonder Writer: Jay Mark Help! Really, I need your help. Someone out there must know something about today’s subject – a topic …

Chuck Walla Slim

Chuckawalla Slim posed in Papago Park with his colorful truck in the late 1920s. His photographic postcard was popular with tourists. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Chuckawalla Slim – Rockologist Writer: Jay Mark First it was the discovery of the old photograph. Then espying in the picture, “Chuckawalla Slim, Rockologist.” An intriguing snapshot with intriguing details. What was this peculiar …

Tempe & the World’s Fattest Man

Tempean Teodulo Valenzuela, the “World’s Fattest Man” appears at right with fellow sideshow attractions during his early circus days in California. Courtesy of Tempe History Museum. Tempe & the World’s Fattest Man ─ Parts 1 & 2 Writer: Jay Mark Tempe can take justifiable pride in the fact that it is a city of many superlatives ─ the only place …