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  • Saturday, November 02, 2019 12:00 PM | Jason Song (Administrator)

    In a community where little of man’s handiwork is more than 60 or 70 years old, the Little Red School House on the Scottsdale Mall is one exception. It was dedicated more than a century ago, on Feb. 26, 1910.

    Over the years, we’ve come to refer to it as the “little” school, but to the citizens here in 1910, it must have seemed like the Big New School House. The only previous school was a small wooden one built on the same site in 1896. It measured just 16 by 18 feet. A 12-foot addition was added later. Grades 1 through 8 were taught in the one room for the children of the handful of families living in Scottsdale.

    The first teacher was Aliza Bount. She had moved to Arizona from Illinois with her husband and three children for health reasons. She was paid $40 per month.

    The Little Red School House was constructed of brick, with a wood shingle roof, at a cost of $4,500. Three powerful men attended and spoke at the 1910 dedication: Major Winfield Scott, for whom Scottsdale is named; Arizona territorial Gov. Richard Sloan; and Thomas Riley Marshall, who went on to become a two-term vice president of the United States under Woodrow Wilson.

    Marshall was a part-time winter visitor to Scottsdale. His brother-in-law was Mort Kimsey, who later became our town’s second mayor. On the day the school was dedicated, Scott also celebrated his 73rd birthday.

    Thirty-two students attended the school when it opened. Classes were taught on the main floor. The full-size basement became the school’s and the community’s auditorium.

    The building served as Scottsdale’s only grade school from 1910 to 1928, when Scottsdale Grammar School was built at Marshall Way and Second Street. This school’s name was changed in the 1950s to Loloma School.

    During the early years, eighth-grade graduates from Scottsdale had to go to Tempe for their high school education. Scottsdale’s first high school was built in 1923 at Brown and Indian School roads. With the addition of the high school, the district became Scottsdale Unified School District No. 48.

    From 1928 to 1954, the Little Red School House continued to serve as a school, providing Spanish-speaking children a head start during their first three years, after which they entered the all English-speaking school. After 1954, it was used as a library, City Hall and police station, offices for the Chamber of Commerce and now home to the Scottsdale Historical Society.

    Today, the Scottsdale Unified School District has about 23,000 students in 30 schools. The district employs more than 3,000 people, including about 1,500 teachers. It celebrated its 120th anniversary in 2016.

    In 2018, graduating seniors earned $63.7 million in academic and athletic scholarships. The district also features nine A+ Schools of Excellence.

    If Scott, Sloan or Marshall could see what they helped start more than 100 years ago, wouldn’t they be amazed? I know I am.

    Reared in Scottsdale, Paul Messinger founded Messinger Mortuaries in 1959.  Reach him at 480-860-2300 or 480-945-9521

    Original Article on AZ Central

  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 12:40 AM | Cindi L Eberhardt CPM (Administrator)
    By Joan Fudala, Scottsdale Airpark News, July 31, 2016

    Scottsdale-area schools rich with history

    It’s August. Kids are heading back to class.

    It’s a great time for the rest of us to get educated, too, about Scottsdale-area schools’ history.

    For 120 years, Scottsdale public, parochial and private schools have produced a bumper crop of well-rounded citizens.

    Memorize these facts about them. There might be a test!

    When Scottsdale had fewer than 100 residents, Alza Blount began teaching her children and a few others in her home, the Adobe House, circa 1894-95. By 1896, there were enough school-age children to warrant a school. Residents chose Winfield Scott, John Tait and Frank Titus to the first school board, and Scottsdale School District No. 48 officially was recognized. One weekend in September, 1896, townsfolk built a one-room wooden schoolhouse – with outhouse, which served its educational purpose during the week, and then hosted ecumenical church services and community events on weekends. Winfield Scott was a frequent speaker, captivating students with his Civil War recollections.

    After several additions to the wooden schoolhouse, a larger, more permanent structure was needed. In 1909, Scottsdale voters unanimously passed the town’s first school bond issue, $5,000, to fund construction of the Scottsdale Grammar School. Classes began in September 1909. The “Little Red Schoolhouse” was dedicated Feb. 26, 1910, on Winfield Scott’s birthday. Scott was joined by Arizona Territorial Governor Richard Sloan and Governor of Indiana Thomas Marshall, a frequent winter visitor with his wife, Lois Kimsey. Today the building is the Scottsdale Historical Museum and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    Since Scottsdale was a farming and ranching village during its first six decades, school hours were tailored to the needs of farm families. Students had to do their farm chores before and after classes. Many children rode their horses to school. Bus service began in the 1920s.

    To meet the demands of a growing population, Scottsdale High School was built on Indian School Road in time for the 1922-23 school year. A new, larger Scottsdale Grammar School opened at the southwestern corner of Marshall Way and Second Street in 1928. It was renamed Loloma Elementary and now is home to the Scottsdale Artists School. The Little Red Schoolhouse was renamed the Coronado School and used as a transitional school for Grades 1-3 for immigrant children, who then transferred to Scottsdale Grammar School.

    Scottsdale High and Scottsdale Grammar School were enlarged during the 1930s using Depression-era WPA funds. Scottsdale High was closed in 1983 and razed for site redevelopment in 1991-92

    During the 1930s and 1940s, the Scottsdale area’s first private schools debuted. George Judson opened Judson School for boys in 1928 in what is now El Chorro Lodge in Paradise Valley. The school moved to a larger campus and girls were admitted to Judson in 1956. The school closed in 2000. The site now is a luxury-home enclave. Jokake opened on the grounds of the Jokake Inn on Camelback Road as a private girls’ school in 1933. Guests of the inn as well as co-eds of the school took overnight trips via horseback to the Jokake Desert Camp at the foothills of the McDowells. Brownmoor School for Girls moved into what had been the Ingleside Inn, between Indian School and Thomas roads along the Crosscut Canal, in 1945, and operated as a boarding and day school through 1958.

    The post-World War II population boom created the need for additional public and private schools in Scottsdale. In this school-building era, the Scottsdale School Board made two key decisions: Students should be able to walk to a neighborhood elementary school and schools should have names honoring Native American traditions. First to open was Tavan in 1954, followed by Kachina in 1955, Ingleside and Tonto in 1956, Kiva in 1957, Kaibab and Tonalea in 1958, and Pima and Supai as well as Arcadia High School in 1959.

    In 1955, Scottsdale students received the new Salk anti-polio vaccine, a three-shot series, to combat the polio epidemic. Scottsdale residents met at Scottsdale High to learn Civil Defense measures at the height of the 1950s Cold War.

    New private and parochial schools also met post-war Baby Boom demand. Camelback Desert School was established in 1950. In 1953, the Arizona Conference of Seventh Day Adventists relocated its Thunderbird Adventist Academy boarding and day school to what had been the World War II aviation cadet training base Thunderbird II Airfield. The Sisters of Charity of Seton Hall, with guidance from Father Eugene Maguire, opened Our Lady of Perpetual Help School on Miller Road in 1956. In 1960, Mae Sue and Franz Talley founded Talley Academy, later named Phoenix Country Day School.

    When television began broadcasting educational programming, three women with Scottsdale ties were pioneers. Miss Francis (Arlene Horwich) hosted “Ding Dong School” on NBC in the 1950s. She retired in Scottsdale. Miss Sherri (Finkbine) hosted the local “Romper Room” during the early 1960s. Former principal of Scottsdale and Chaparral High schools Evelyn Caskey taught classes on “Seminar 61” via the Chicago area CBS affiliate in 1960-61 before coming to Scottsdale’s Coronado High School.

    As Scottsdale’s population grew from 10,000 in 1960 to more than 88,000 in 1980, school construction continued in all directions, especially in newly-annexed land. Hohokam, Hopi and Navajo opened in 1960. Paiute and Yavapai elementary schools opened in 1961 as did Coronado High School. Mohave opened in 1962, Cocopah and Apache opened in 1965-66, Saguaro High School in 1966-67, Pueblo in 1970, Chaparral High School in 1972, Cherokee in 1974 and Cochise in 1980.

    During the 1960s and 1970s, schools closed whenever Indian Bend Wash flooded connecting streets. Development of the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt Flood Control Project solved that perennial issue. A more enjoyable day off from school occurred every winter when schools closed on Parada del Sol Friday so that families could attend the parade and rodeo.

    Scottsdale High co-eds were selected to serve as Scottsdale’s official welcoming committee, the Howdy Dudettes, during the 1960s and 1970s. Students collected coins to help fund the Bennie Gonzales-designed Youth Fountain adjacent to the new City Hall. In 1968, the Scottsdale High Key Club helped the newly-formed Scottsdale Historical Society circulate petitions to save the historic Little Red Schoolhouse. In 1971, local youth were first appointed to the Scottsdale Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board. During the early 1990s, local students collected pennies to fund a civil-rights exhibit at the Lincoln Memorial.
    In 1976, the city installed a Honeywell computer system that it agreed to share with Scottsdale Unified School District.

    As Scottsdale annexed land and the population moved north, students were now living within the boundaries of the Paradise Valley Unified School District, which begins as far south as Cactus Road, goes north to Jomax Road and east to Pima Road in Scottsdale. Among the first schools Scottsdale students attended within the PVUSD was Desert Shadows Elementary, opened in 1972. Then came Sonoran Sky Elementary in 1994, just south of Scottsdale Airpark, Grayhawk Elementary in 1998 and Pinnacle Peak Elementary in 2001.

    Scottsdale Unified School District built schools east and north during the 1980s and 1990s: Anasazi School in 1986, Laguna in 1987, Sequoya in 1988, Zuni in 1989, Mountainside Middle School in 1991, Aztec in 1993, Desert Mountawin High in 1995, Desert Canyon Middle School in 1996, Copper Ridge Middle School in 2002.

    Notre Dame Prep and the King David School opened in 2004, Rancho Solano in 2012. During the past decade dozens of private, charter, parochial and special-needs schools have opened throughout the Scottsdale area.

    Students living north of Jomax Road in Scottsdale attend Cactus Shadows High School in the Cave Creek Unified School District.

    Teachers and administrators have not only made history through their dedication to teaching; several have distinguished themselves outside the classroom. For example, Scottsdale High civics teacher Bill Jenkins was Scottsdale mayor from 1974 to 1980. Tom Smith, a teacher and administrator at several Scottsdale schools, was in the Arizona Legislature and a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer. Former Coronado High history teacher Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s Official State Historian and author of many books.

    Scottsdale schools have produced world-renowned athletes, scholars, astronauts, scientists, media personalities, authors, actors, musicians, politicians, entrepreneurs, parents, voters, volunteers and neighbors.

    Now you’ve been properly schooled in Scottsdale’s educational history. Thank a teacher, and see you at recess!

  • Tuesday, August 29, 2017 5:06 AM | Cindi L Eberhardt CPM (Administrator)

    By Joan Fudala, Scottsdale Airpark News, November 5, 2013

    Based on History, Scottsdale is Most Literate City

    So we didn’t make the list of the Most Literate Cities in the United States this year, but what compiler Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) might not know is Scottsdale’s eclectic literary history. Scores of fiction and nonfiction authors, renowned columnists, poets, playwrights, memoirists, even syndicated cartoonists have called Scottsdale home over the past 12 decades. While Washington, D.C., may have received CCSU’s top honors for 2013, Scottsdale bibliophiles have always relished their residency in this reader haven.

    In honor of National Authors Day and Family Literacy Day—both celebrated on Nov. 1—consider these bon mots of Scottsdale’s literary history:

    • Helen Scott, wife of Scottsdale namesake and founder Chaplain Winfield Scott, was an accomplished poet. “Half Mast…and Other Poems” is a collection of her poetry. Rose Trumbull, daughter of another early Baptist minister in Scottsdale, was also a resident poet in the 1910s.
    • Novelist Sir Gilbert Parker, whom King Edward knighted in 1902 for his service to Canadian literature, enjoyed visits to Scottsdale’s Ingleside Inn so much that he provided testimonials for the luxury resort’s advertising. Members of a St. Louis writers club also stayed at the Ingleside Inn during the winter season.
    • Zane Grey, who wrote 30 novels based in Arizona, had relatives in Scottsdale, whom he visited for extended periods during the 1920s. Scottsdale’s first resident artist, Marjorie Thomas, accompanied Grey on one of his treks to Rainbow Bridge and illustrated one of his books.
    • During the early 1920s, playwright and author Roy George and his family lived in one of Scottsdale’s first substantial homes—the Adobe House. Built in the 1890s by the Blount family, the Adobe House played several roles in Scottsdale literary history. Alza Blount taught Scottsdale children to read in their home when it was used as the village’s first school until a stand-alone school could be built in September 1896. After the George family moved out in the mid-1920s, it became Mildred Barthelow’s Adobe House guest ranch, where many guests enjoyed reading in hammocks on the porch. In 1955, the Scottsdale Women’s Club opened the all-volunteer Scottsdale Public Library in the Adobe House, where thousands came to read until the library relocated to the Little Red Schoolhouse in 1963. Sadly, the Adobe House burned down in the early 1970s; it was located approximately where the Scottsdale Civic Center Library parking garage is today.
    • Before television, the Internet or video games, men and boys eagerly anticipated reading the action adventures, mysteries or Western stories penned by novelist Clarence Budington Kelland. Kelland, on assignment for the Saturday Evening Post, came to Arizona in 1936, fell in love with the desert, and spent the rest of his life in the Scottsdale area. Among his locally written novels were Arizona (1939) and Valley of the Sun (1940), as well as numerous articles for the Saturday Evening Post, Arizona Highways, The Arizona Republic and other publications. He passed his writing talents to the next generation: his son Tom, a Scottsdale resident, served as business editor of The Arizona Republic for many years, and another son, Horace, was a New York-based writer.
    • Thanks to the memoirs of Scottsdale residents, we know more about our history from the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s: Jesus Corral (“Caro Amigo”), Bill Kimsey (“Recollections of Early Scottsdale”), Albert Lieber (Road to Scottsdale), K.T. Palmer (“For Land’s Sake”) and Paul Messinger (“Scottsdale Memories”). Historian Richard Lynch authored Winfield Scott in 1975, giving us an in-depth appreciation for Scottsdale’s founder and namesake.
    • Novelist Glendon Swarthout came to Scottsdale after writing “They Came to Cordura” and “Where the Boys Are,” and produced several more novels while living here. One of his novels—”The Eagle and the Iron Cross”—tells the story of the 1944 escape of World War II German POWs from Camp Papago.
    • Reg Manning began his career as an editorial cartoonist for The Arizona Republican in 1926. His cartoons-with-a-message were syndicated in 1948, and one earned him a Pulitzer Prize in 1951. He and his wife lived in Scottsdale until his death in 1986. According to a 1970s edition of “Who’s Who,” during his first 50 years as a cartoonist, he created an estimated 14,000 drawings.
    • Another popular cartoonist from the 1940s and 1950s, Dale Messick, lived and worked here. Her long-running “Brenda Starr, Reporter” cartoon strip was groundbreaking, putting her in the previously “man’s world” of comic strip creation. The Dec. 17, 1950, edition of The Arizona Republic said: “Glamour and style are combined in that popular comic strip, ‘Brenda Starr, Reporter,’ read by millions of teenage and adult enthusiasts. Equally attractive is Brenda’s creator, Dale Messick, vivacious resident of Scottsdale. Dale, in real life, Mrs. Everett G. Soltmann, lives with her husband and daughter, Starr, in Paradise Valley.”
    • Co-author of the classic “Cheaper By the Dozen,” Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, who also authored “Belles On Their Toes” and other books, lived in the Scottsdale area for many years. She said in a 1960s interview in the Scottsdale Progress that she often taped material until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. and transcribed it later. “I have always been a diary keeper and rat packer. Nothing gets lost—it’s all in the compost pile. All of a sudden you remember the time you came home with a firecracker—and weren’t supposed to have it. Or when Bill [her brother and co-author] was caught under the table and was hauled out by the hair.”
    • Elliott Roosevelt, son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor, wrote a series of mysteries (“Murder in the Rose Garden,” “Murder in the East Wing,” etc.), mixing fact with fiction and starring his famous mother as First Lady detective. He also wrote several nonfiction books about his parents and family. Although written under his name, it is said that he worked with a ghostwriter, who continued to publish the White House mystery series for 10 years after Elliott’s death in 1990. Elliott lived in the Scottsdale/Paradise Valley area in the 1950s, and again in the 1980s until his death, and was active in the March of Dimes local campaigns, fighting against polio, the disease that had afflicted his father.
    • Margaret Roosevelt Kent, cousin to both Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, settled in Scottsdale after World War II and lived here until her death. She helped start the all-volunteer Scottsdale Public Library, and also authored a book about her wartime experiences in Italy, “In Another Country.”
    • Poet Patricia Benton lived and worked here in the 1950s and 1960s. She helped write the script for the Miracle of the Roses pageant, produced annually by Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Among her books of poetry is her 1952 “Signature in Sand,” which was illustrated by Scottsdale artist Paul Coze.
    • Bettina Rubicam, wife of advertising mogul Ray Rubicam, served as the national president of the Reading Reform Foundation in the 1970s, and was an ardent proponent of the phonetic approach to teaching children how to read. She and her husband lived in Paradise Valley from the 1940s until their deaths; he in 1978; she in 1997.
    • Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ 1969 landmark book, “On Death and Dying,” launched the international hospice-care movement. She published more than 20 books, and lived in Scottsdale until her death in 2004.
    • Walter Farley, author of the “Black Stallion” series, spent time at Ed and Ruth Tweed’s BruSally Arabian Horse Ranch in Scottsdale, seeking inspiration and authenticity for his equine novels.
    • Beloved humorist Erma Bombeck lived and worked in Paradise Valley for many years before her death in 1996. In addition to her books of laughable everyday life, her legacy is an annual event, The Friends of Erma Bombeck Authors Luncheon, benefitting the Arizona Women’s Board Supporting Kidney Health, is set this year on Sat., Nov. 9; see
    • With so many famously interesting residents, Scottsdale readers have many memoirs to read: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (“The Lazy B”), Hugh Downs (“Yours Truly, Hugh Downs”), Joe Garagiola (“Just Play Ball”), Frank Lloyd Wright (“An Autobiography;” “Shining Brow”), Olgivanna Wright (“Our House”), Barry Goldwater (“Goldwater;” “Conscience of a Conservative”), John C. Lincoln, Tom Chauncey, Jack Stewart (“We Met at Camelback”), RADM Connie Mariano (“The White House Doctor”), just to name a few.
    • Scottsdale readers can meet their favorite local and international authors at events such as the Friends of the Scottsdale Public Library’s Authors and Appetizers (this year on Fri., Nov. 1) and at Scottsdale bookstores like the Poisoned Pen, Guidon Books and Barnes & Noble.
    • Today many great authors and writers call the Scottsdale area home—certainly Clive Cussler and Stephanie Meyer would top the list for volume of book sales and universal popularity.

    So celebrate Scottsdale’s literary history by firing up your Kindle, cracking open a book, listening to a book on CD, or reading aloud to your children or someone with visual impairment. Let’s make next year’s Most Literate City list—we deserve it!

  • Tuesday, August 29, 2017 4:53 AM | Cindi L Eberhardt CPM (Administrator)
    By Edward Gately, Februrary 16, 2012, The Republic |

    Cavalliere Blacksmith Shop
    Cavalliere Blacksmith Shop in downtown Scottsdale is an adobe building constructed in 1909.

    An Old Town Scottsdale business that predates Arizona's centennial is still open for business, and could one day be passed onto a fourth generation.

    Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop, on Brown Avenue and Second Street, still looks a lot like it did when George Cavalliere opened it in 1909. It is now operated by grandson George Cavalliere, who is assisted by his nephew, Justin Cavalliere.

    "He's usually down here with me and he'll probably take over someday," George said. "He's going through that learning curve now. There's so many different things to metal work. Even just welding alone, there's so many different parts of welding, one guy could never master all welding techniques."

    Cavalliere enjoys talking about his grandfather and father, the late George "Doc" Cavalliere, who took over the business upon returning from World War II.

    "My grandfather, in the early 1900s, worked on the Arizona Canal," he said. "He was the blacksmith on the job, and repaired all the tools and sharpened the picks, and worked on the dredge and all of that. When they were done with the canal, he was allowed to homestead land down here, so he actually picked right up on Main Street."

    The city fathers said they did not want a "smelly, dirty, and noisy" blacksmith shop on Main, but he could build it on what was the "outskirts" of town where it "won't bother anyone," at Brown and Second.

    "I've got some pictures where my grandfather is standing in front of the business, and you can see Camelback Mountain in the background and there's not another building, it's all just desert," Cavalliere said.

    In the late 1890s, the blacksmith focused on farm equipment, such as sharpening plowshares, and repairing plows, farm tractors and wagon wheels.

    "My grandfather made lots of wagon wheels and all the harnesses," Cavalliere said. "He shoed horses and there were horses all tied up around here for him to shoe during the day."

    Nearby residents, who mostly lived on farms, were glad to see the blacksmith open because the nearest one was in Tempe, said Jo Anne Handley, manager of the Scottsdale Historical Museum.

    "Tempe was a long way when going by horse and buggy, there were only a few cars at that time," she said.

    Through the decades, the blacksmith moved away from the "harder, utilitarian work" and into more ornamental work, Cavalliere said.

    "My dad (George "Doc" Cavalliere) taught me everything he learned from his dad in here, and as a kid, I went to school here right up the street, and then after school I had a limited amount of time to get back here and I had to start helping," he said.

    George "Doc" Cavalliere, who was Scottsdale's eldest native-born resident and who served on its first City Council, died in September 2009. He crafted metal pieces for actress Amanda Blake, diplomat Clare Booth Luce, and architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

    George "Doc" Cavalliere Park opened on Saturday in the Pinnacle Peak area and commemorates the Scottsdale pioneer.

    The Cavalliere family also owns Reata Pass Steakhouse, which has a farmers market every Sunday, and the Greasewood Flat bar.

    Cavalliere's wife, Elizabeth Cavalliere, runs the restaurant and the couple's daughters work there. Both of those businesses are in northern Scottsdale.


Scottsdale Historical Society
P.O. Box 143
Scottsdale, AZ 85252-0143

The Scottsdale Historical Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

© 2008-2024 Scottsdale Historical Society. All rights reserved.


Scottsdale Historical Museum
7333 East Scottsdale Mall
Scottsdale, AZ 85251


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