Glendale started as a place for farmers in the area to get the goods and services they needed. They also shipped the fruits, vegetables, and livestock they raised to national markets. Cowboys, farmers and ranchers wove the fabric that is the Glendale of today and visitors are afforded a number of ways to catch a glimpse of these pioneers at the many cultural and heritage attractions within the city.
First settled in 1892, Glendale attracted farming families with its fertile land, canal-fed water supply, and no alcohol policy. Land developers, led by William J. Murphy, guided the growth of the farming town. With the establishment of a railroad link to Phoenix in 1895, Glendale blossomed into the largest town in the northwest Salt River Valley. Local farms cultivated everything from sugar beets to cotton. Glendale incorporated as a town in 1910. Separated from Phoenix by miles of open space, Glendale developed its own downtown with banks, groceries, theaters, department stores, businesses, and surrounding neighborhoods. Some of Glendale’s past remains visible in the historic buildings throughout town.
Two of Glendale’s historic crown jewels, are one of the Valley’s oldest and most magnificent ranches, Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area consists of 13 original buildings and a huge rose garden. Palm trees wave above the red brick facade of the Main House, and peacocks now roam the grounds where chickens and livestock used to graze. Known as the “Showplace of the Valley,” Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area offers exhibits and guided tours, keeping alive the history of early settlement in the Valley.
Historic Manistee Ranch also beckons visitors to explore the well-preserved ranch house beneath the canopy of swaying palm trees. It remained one of the last working cattle ranches in the Valley. The house has been preserved for future generations to see, as tours are also available.