Hello. We are delighted you have discovered the Tempe History Society website.

Back in 1969, a group of history-minded citizens realized that nothing was being done to document and save Tempe’s past. The Tempe Historical Society was born to collect artifacts, photographs, and documents to tell Tempe’s unique story. The name was later changed to the Tempe History Society.

To learn more about the Society history, click the “About” button.

Tempe is the second city established in the Valley, settled soon after the first pioneers began establishing the village of Phoenix.

Just last year, Tempe celebrated its Sesquicentennial – the 150th anniversary of our founding in 1871.

From a tiny community in 1880 with 135 hardy farmers, ranchers and business people who believed in a bright future, Tempe has grown to more than 180,000 today. And from a town of less than two square miles, Tempe is now twenty-fold larger.

How did this come to be? What is it that led to so many people to settle here? That’s what we are here to help answer.

The trail from Tucson freighter, Charles Trumbull Hayden’s vision of erecting a flour mill to process the abundant grains grown nearby, to a world-class business and university metropolis is a fascinating tale that we are delighted to share.

If you enjoy what we have to present, then we invite you to join the Tempe History Society. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to support the activities of the Tempe History Museum, we depend very much on support of our membership.

So, take time to explore our website. Let us know what you think through the Contact button. Just as much as we enjoy sharing history, we love to hear your stories.

While you are searching Tempe’s past, take a look at the Tempe History Museum website.

Upcoming Events

Lunch Talks

February 9, 202211:30 am


Listen in each month for an interesting topic on Tempe's history and heritage. Sessions take place the 2nd Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. and are available online on our Facebook page. There is limited in-person seating available at Tempe History Museum (809 E Southern Ave); masks are required when visiting in-person.





Speakers:





October: Mayor Corey Woods, "Tempe Lost & Found" - video now available on

More

Lunch Talks

March 9, 202211:30 am


Listen in each month for an interesting topic on Tempe's history and heritage. Sessions take place the 2nd Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. and are available online on our Facebook page. There is limited in-person seating available at Tempe History Museum (809 E Southern Ave); masks are required when visiting in-person.





Speakers:





October: Mayor Corey Woods, "Tempe Lost & Found" - video now available on

More


Stories

Paige Martinez & Rafael Amado “Chapito” Chavarria: A Story of Mexicanos in Tempe

Seven years ago today, December 12, 2014, I posted this narrative on my Timeline–on Facebook. I share it with you because you share respect and love of Tempe, its people, its history, especially, and because it’s a season of recollections and remembrances of loved ones and friends still with us, or now deceased. I wrote this about my friend, Paige …

DECEMBER HISTORIC LEGENDS: KEMPER & MICHAEL GOODWIN

If the question, “Who built Tempe?”, were asked the names Kemper and Michael Goodwin would be a worthy answer.    The late father and son architect team was prolific in designing buildings that stand prominently in Tempe, across the state, and even the Southwest.   Tempe City Hall, the iconic “upside-down pyramid,” is regarded as Michael’s crowning project (1970) – …