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Scottsdale History

The Hohokam Indians were the city’s initial inhabitants; they built the area’s ancient (and still in-use) canal system that later was used by farmers who cultivated sprawling citrus groves. The downtown area was subsequently turned into a center of commerce by countless cowboys, artists and artisans. Today, Scottsdale is a destination known for its resorts, spas, golf, shopping and dining. Since its founding in the late-1800s, Scottsdale has maintained a close relationship with its Native American roots. The state of Arizona is home to 22 Native-American tribes, including the Hopi, Navajo, Pima and Apache. Scottsdale’s Native American heritage continues to play an influential part in the city’s development. From shops filled with Native American art and artifacts in Old Town to the Heard Museum, to the neighboring communities of Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, you’ll find native cultural influences are everywhere. The city got its name from its founding father, Chaplain Winfield Scott, who settled at the now-famed downtown intersection of Scottsdale and Camelback roads in 1888, where he made a down payment of 50 cents per acre for the land. It is from this spot that Scottsdale grew in all directions like the roots of a palo verde.