800 AD – The greater Scottsdale is formerly inhabited by the Hohokam people. The Hohokam were farmers who engineered over 200 miles of canals for crop irrigation.
1400s – Hohokam means “vanished”, which is exactly what the Hohokam did after flooding and political conflicts forced them to flee the area.
1500s – Before Anglo settlement, Scottsdale is inhabited by the Pima people whose village was called “Rotting Hay”.
1863 – The Territory of Arizona is incorporated into the United States of America.
1868 – Jack Swilling sets up the Swilling Irrigation Canal Company using existing canals left by the Hohokam people (Jack Swilling is credited as the founder of Phoenix).
1867 – Fort McDowell is established in the Arizona territory (named after Major General Irvin McDowell). Conflicts develop between Fort officers and the Apache natives who live in the area.
1883 – After moving to the Arizona territory in 1880, New Yorker William John Murphy builds the Arizona Canal with three other builders after they secure a $500,000 contract for the project from the US Government.
1888 – United States army Chaplain Winfield Scott buys 640 acres of land for $3.50/acre. He and his brother clear the land for farming purposes. Among other crops, the brothers plant a number of citrus trees on the property.
1894 – Rhode Island banker Albert G. Utley buys 40 acres of land just south of the Scott property.
1896 – Winfield Scott and other early AZ settlers petition to form a school district. A one-room schoolhouse is built in the new School District #48 of “Scotts-Dale” (after the Scott brothers).
The Scotts plant a number of olive trees which still stand today near Civic Center Boulevard and 2nd Street.
1897 – Scottsdale’s first general store is built by settler J.L. Davis.
1900 – Fort McDowell closes, leading to a cease fire between the Apache and incoming settlers.
1903 – Winfield Scott becomes the chancellor of the Tempe Normal School of Arizona. The school evolves into what is now Arizona State University.
1910 – Scottsdale’s first resort, the Ingleside Inn, is built along with Arizona’s first golf course.
According to U.S. census data for that year, the area of “Scottsville” has a population 267.
1912 – Arizona becomes an official state.
1917 – Due to the outbreak of WWI, cotton production becomes integral to the area as cotton is used to make rubber tires. Families from Mexico are sponsored to work in the cotton fields – the Tomas Corral family is the first to arrive.
The Tomas family eventually opens the Los Olivos restaurant (named after the trees the Scotts planted in the area 21 years before) which is still in operation today.
1918 – The Pima indians leave the developing area (they resided on what is now First Avenue/Pima Plaza).
1920 – The U.S. Census lists Scottsdale’s population at 1,047.
1922 – Settler Roy George publishes the Scottsdale Bulletin, Scottsdale’s first newspaper.
In 1937 – Architect Frank Lloyd Wright creates Taliesin West at the foot of the McDowell Mountains.
1940 – Cosmetics mogul Elizabeth Arden opens Maine Chance Spa as a retreat for society’s elite.
1944 – Several German prisoners of war escape escape from Scottsdale’s POW Camp on 64th street.
1951 – The City of Scottsdale becomes an official part of the state of Arizona. The city consisted of one square mile, with a population of 2000. The new city’s mayor was Malcolm White, who quipped that Scottsdale was “the West’s most Western town”.
1955 – The Annual Arabian Horse Show comes to the Arizona Biltmore Hotel (now hosted at Westworld).
1956 – Life Magazine calls Scottsdale “one of the most desirable communities in the west”. The boom in Scottsdale is launched, changing the city from a quiet cowboy-style hamlet to the Valley’s most fashionable community.
1960 – The population of Scottsdale hits 10,026 and the city’s land area expands to 3.8 square miles.
1962 – Scottsdale passes a city charter, re-emerging as the ‘City of Scottsdale’.
1965 – Scottsdale’s City Hall, Civic Center, Library, and Scottsdale Arts Center are designed by Bennie Gonzales.
1970 – The population increases to 67,823 with land area covering 68 square miles.
1971 –The Barrett Jackson Collector Car Auction headquarters in Scottsdale.
1974 – The Scottsdale Symphony is founded. Irving Fleming is its first director.
1981 – The city nearly doubles in size with the inception of a four-year annexation project.
Development projects in Gainey and Scottsdale Ranch begin.
1986 – Westworld develops Horseman’s Park for horse shows (see Cavalia).
1987 – the Phoenix Open moves to Scottsdale’s Tournament Players Club (the tournament is now known as the Waste Management Open). The Waste Management Open has the highest attendance of any PGA Tournament in the world.
The world renowned Mayo Clinic opens in Scottsdale.
The City of Scottsdale starts drawing water from the Colorado River.
1988 – Scottsdale’s population stands at 126,000 covering a land area of 183.4 square miles.
1990 – Scottsdale residents approve to fund the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, an initiative which protects ⅓ of the city’s desert.
1992 – Scottsdale Fashion Square undergoes a major renovation, incorporating shopping centers Camelview Plaza and Camelback Square.
1993 – Scottsdale is voted “Most Livable City” by the US Conference of Mayors.
2002 – The Robb Report calls Scottsdale “America’s Best Place to Live for Golf”.
2005 – Scottsdale Healthcare’s Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute becomes a primary research site for the Translational Genomics (TGen) Research Institute, providing opportunities for state-of-the-art clinical research and clinical trials in the area of genomics medicine.
2007 – The Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak hospital is built.
2008 – Starwood Hotels completes their newest endeavor: W Hotel Scottsdale.
2009 – Scottsdale Quarter, the shopping district next to Kierland Commons, opens its first phase of upscale shops.
2011 – The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community partners with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies to build a Major League Baseball spring training facility.
Located at Indian Bend and the Loop 101, this multipurpose facility includes an 11,000-seat ballpark, 12 practice fields, and office buildings for Major and Minor League clubhouses, training facilities, and offices for each team.
2013 – 179,022 people attend the Waste Management Open in a single day, setting a new world record.