Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego has announced the appointment of Steve Schumacher as the Mayor’s Office Official Historian.
“Steve will work with us to document and share the history of Phoenix, from its earliest days to the present,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “I have always believed the future of Phoenix builds on the strong foundation of its past, beginning with the ancient indigenous peoples who first lived here. By understanding our unique cultural history and traditions, we can celebrate in a way that helps residents learn, understand, and respect our past.”
Steve’s passion for researching Phoenix history and educating Valley residents was formed about 10 years ago. On a day that reached 118 degrees, he asked “why did people come here in the first place?” That moment began Steve’s journey discovering Phoenix’s fascinating history and recognizing the huge opportunity to increase awareness of that history.
Steve will put his public speaking skills to use educating as many people as possible, especially teachers and schoolchildren. As Mayor’s Office Historian, Steve will work closely with Mayor, city staff, and history-related groups to actively honor and celebrate our civic memory.
One of the first projects on which Steve will focus is identifying remarkable locations in and around downtown neighborhoods. Here are three examples:
The Rosson House. Tucked inside downtown Phoenix’s Heritage Square stands the Rosson House. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, this ornate Victorian home was near collapse when the city purchased and renovated it. Since it opened again in 1980, it has offered thousands of visitors a glance at what life was like in late 19th century Phoenix.
Eastlake Park is one of the oldest parks in the city, surrounded by a neighborhood that embodies the history of the Black community. The playground is home to a pair of alligator statues, homage to the reptiles which, as legend has it, resided in the park’s lake more than 100 years ago. One of the neighborhood’s most prominent residents, the Honorable Calvin C. Goode, was the city’s longest-serving councilmen and a leader of the civil rights movement.
Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park. Ancestors of the Akimel O’Odham and Pee Posh people, known as the Hohokam, have lived in and around the Phoenix area for thousands of years. The park’s archeological site showcases rare examples of their architectural and engineering skills, including irrigation canals that were a fundamental building block of modern-day Phoenix.
“Visitors we host during NFL Super Bowl LVII will be delighted by these hidden gems in Phoenix. As I meet with global companies exploring Phoenix for expansion, it’s a privilege to share these amazing places that exist throughout the city,” added Mayor Gallego.
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