Tuesday, March 26, 2024

NHDAZ judging at NAU

 Dr. Kristen Rex is at NHDAZ judging at Northern Arizona University. She writes:

North NHDAZ perfect weather, excellent student projects and fabulous volunteer judges!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2024

March Tour

 A driving tour of South Phoenix? So much to see. The Historical League tour covered nearly 30 miles and featured 8 points of interest south of the Salt River. Highlights included a visit to the South Mountain Preserve, a cruise past a home on the Historic Properties Register surrounded now by brand new million-dollar houses, a brief visit to the Sotelo-Heard Cemetery, a drive down "Funky Broadway" past the historic Precision Auto Parts and foundational Black churches and schools, and a stop to browse at Baseline Flowers, the last remaining shop of the Japanese Flower Gardens dynasty. Lunch was at historic Ponchos Mexican Food and Cantina, on Central Avenue, a mainstay for over fifty years.

Nakagawa Flower Shop on Historical League March Tour

 It's 1939 and a prominent Japanese farming family, the Nakagawa’s, starts a flower farm along Baseline Rd in South Phoenix. Long considered unfarmable, boulders and rocks scattered the soil and had to be removed by hand before the ground was plowed. Once the fields were cleared, the area was found to be excellent for large flower fields. The mountain created a down draft that kept the warm air on the ground and protected the crops.

In 1942, their lives were abruptly interrupted by Executive Order 9066, which forced Japanese Americans to sell or abandon their land and possessions and report to a government internment camp. The Nakagawas, and other local Japanese Americans were interned in the Gila River Internment Camp in southern Arizona. When they were finally released and allowed to return to their farms at the end of World War II, they found their lands ransacked and were forced to start again.
However, despite the interruption to their lives and the destruction to their lands, the Nakagawas, and multiple other families recreated thriving flower farms by the early 1950’s. For almost three decades, the Japanese flower farms acted as a colorful oasis in the middle of a rapidly urbanizing Arizona capitol. Every spring, tourists traveled miles to drive past the fields, smell the flowers, and purchase beautiful bouquets. At their height, the farms collectively shipped 259 boxes of flowers a day across the nation.
Now, the original flower fields are replaced with suburban housing. In 2006, the family sold the last of the flower fields. Baseline Flower Growers, the Nakagawa’s shop, is still open, selling flowers imported from South America and California. Though the flowers no longer fill Baseline Road’s 16-block stretch from 48th street through 32nd street, they still exist in photos and the memories of millions of Phoenix residents.
Thanks to tour organizer Jolynn Clarke, the March Historical League tour brought back all these memories. Thanks to Katie Tovar for the great photos and AHS for the history.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

NHDAZ Regional Winners

The Historical League is proud to support these NHDAZ students. Best of luck at finals at ASU.


NHDAZ South Regional Winners

 Congratulations to the South Regional Winners. You are on your way to State April 13, 2024 at ASU. The Historical League is proud to support you!

Rancho de Los Caballeros with Arizona Memory Project

 Rancho de Los Caballeros stories live on with the Arizona Memory Project. Featured in Tastes & Treasures Vol II on pages 96-101, now Rancho de los Caballeros Oral Histories collection is the newest collection on the Arizona Memory Project!

Tastes & Treasures II: A Storytelling CookBook of Historic Arizona available at www.HistoricalLeague.org/shop.aspx

🎤✨ It features 18 interviews with current and former staff, guests, and ranch owners from the historic dude ranch in Wickenburg, Arizona 🌵🤠🐮 A big thank you to Suzi Minor for helping us with this collection! 😊 You can learn more here: https://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/nodes/view/301767

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Postcard Contest Winners

 Congratulations to one of the winners of the Arizona Historical Society Postcard Contest, Yavapai Elementary School’s own: Jose! Gabriela and Ariel were our finalists. Jose’s artwork will be turned into a postcard that can be purchased at the Arizona Historical Society. Thanks to Dr. Kristen Rex for this enriching program.

Congratulations to Avrie Lerman, Twin Peaks Elementary, for being one of the Top 10 Winners in the Arizona Historical Society Postcard Contest. Congratulations! Avrie won a pizza party for Mr. Shult’s third grade class. Thank you to everyone who supported Avrie by voting for her postcard!  

Monday, March 18, 2024

East Valley NHDAZ judging

 Excitement was in the air at the NHDAZ East Valley for students, teachers, judges and volunteers. Historical League members Pat Faur and Sharron McKinney were on hand to help out. We are so grateful for Dr. Kristen Rex organization of this project.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

NHDAZ exhibits on display

 Talented and well researched entries for NHDAZ. The students have worked hard and learned much. Final judging April 13 at ASU. The Historical League is proud to support this program with judges, volunteers, mentors, support and financial aid.

Check out these entries for NHDAZ. Lots of time and energy has gone into these projects. Congrats to all students in NHDAZ, whether they make it to Nationals or not!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Saving Historic Restaurants with the National Trust and American Express

Together with American Express the National Trust is once again offering the Backing Historic Small Restaurants Grant Program to help restaurants address critical needs amid ongoing economic challenges. This year, they're DOUBLING the number of grant awardees to 50 small or independently owned restaurants across the country! Tastes & Treasures II: A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona has many of these priceless venues. www.HistoricalLeague.org/shop.aspx

Mrs. White's Cafe, Cafe Roka, El Chorro, Josephine's Bistro, Lon's at the Hermosa Inn, Rock Springs Cafe, The Spicery, Stockyards are just a few.

But they need your help! Let them know which cozy cafes, delicious dives, and excellent eateries you love that contribute to your neighborhood's unique history.
They're accepting nominations from restaurant enthusiasts as well as formal grant applications from restaurant owners.
Grant applications and public nominations will be accepted until 11:59 PM ET on March 25, 2024.
Get all the info here: https://ow.ly/2I7G50QP4Wb