Tempe was a small agricultural community through most of its history. After World War II, Tempe began growing at a rapid rate as veterans and others moved to the city. The last of the local farms quickly disappeared.
Through annexation, the city reached its current boundaries by 1974. By then,Tempe had grown into a modern city. The town's small teachers college had also grown, and in 1958, the institution became known as Arizona State University.
Hayden's Ferry was developed west of Tempe Butte. Charles Trumbull Hayden, owner of a mercantile and freighting business in Tucson, homesteaded this location in 1870. Within a few years, he had built a store and flourmill, warehouses and blacksmith shops, and the ferry. This community became the trade center for the south side of the Salt River Valley.
In 1950, the populatiuon of Tempe stood at just over 7500 residents. Today the population is approximately 175,000 residents.
Tempe is home to ASU, which is the largest univesity in the country, as it nears 100,000 students.
More Tempe historical highlights:
The Maricopa and Phoenix Railroad, built in 1887, crossed the Salt River at Tempe, linking the town to the nation’s growing transportation system. Tempe became one of the most important business and shipping centers for the surrounding agricultural area.
Prompted by Tempe’s centennial in 1971, Mill Avenue underwent a major facelift and was transformed into a lively entertainment and shopping district.
In 1966, an innovative group of ASU architecture students came up with a design for an inland seaport in the desert, which in 1999 morphed into Tempe Town Lake, a two-mile water recreational area in the heart of Tempe.
Tempe has hosted the Super Bowl, a mass by Pope John Paul II and the 2004 presidential debate.
Tempe is well-known as the home of ASU (the largest public university in the U.S.) and events such as the Cactus Bowl, Angels spring training baseball, Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and ½ Marathon, Ironman Arizona, and many more special events.
Tempe is the seventh largest city in Arizona with a strong, modern economy based on commerce, tourism, technology and sustainability.
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