Chandler Heights Then
A land rich with heritage and agriculture
Dr. Alexander J. Chandler, a veterinarian, an entrepreneur, and the first mayor of the city that bears his name had big plans for the development of a farming community at the base of the San Tan Mountains, just thirteen miles southeast of Chandler outside of Phoenix.
A. J. called the area the Chandler Heights Citrus Tracts. In 1928, he and his sales associates started to develop a farming community. Dr. Chandler hoped to attract middle-income families to settle in his “green valley”. According to Virginia Minor, Treasurer of the San Tan Historical Society, “my Uncle Roy Murdock was hired by A.J. as his foreman to level the land and to start the planting.” At that time, you got there by driving the new Hunt Highway that ran from Phoenix and Chandler to Tucson , via Florence . The road was described as, “an excellent highway all the way, part of it being cement-paved.
According to an early 1929 Chandler Improvement Company bulletin for the Chandler Heights Citrus Tract, “And of all lands in the Salt River Valley now planted to citrus fruits or being prepared for the planting of citrus fruits, the expressed opinions of an impressive group of citrus experts are virtually unanimous in agreement that the new Chandler Heights tract of 5,000 acres of oranges and grapefruit land, recently subdivided and opened to investment, is the finest body of such land ever opened to development in the entire Salt River Valley.” This same bulletin also states, “During January, 1929, in the middle of one of the worst winters recorded in world history for many decades, when citrus growers in other states were working overtime with “smudge-pots” and other artificial outdoor heating devices to combat frost, the young orange trees of the Chandler Heights official test grove in the heart of the tract came through with virtually a zero showing of yellow leaves – not enough signs of frost effect to warrant recording.”
Because of the Stock Market crash in October 1929, Dr. Chandler’s grand vision was never realized; but, the present community of
Chandler Heights holds a significant role in the history and folklore of the area, and is treasured by its residents and neighbors. Highway at the base of the San Tan Mountains, it offered perfect soil for citrus trees, climate, irrigation, and beautiful views.
Alexander Chandler’s grand vision in 1929 for San Marcos-in-the-Desert, a luxury resort in Arizona , became the focus of Wright’s studio at a time when he had few other commissions. Wright moved his office from Wisconsin to Chandler , Arizona , and worked with the developer on a variety of projects, the smallest of which was farm camp, the only design that was built.
Chandler Heights was created nearby on part of the thirty square miles of land owned by the Chandler Improvement Company. Stretching seven miles along the Hunt Highway , it offered perfect citrus soil, climate, irrigation, and beautiful views. Tracts of land were sold to absentee investors who could participate in the growth of the orchard industry that still thrives in the area.
Courtesy of the San Tan Historical Society
Chandler Heights Now
The Chandler Heights and Phoenix areas offer many opportunities to explore the history and beauty of the great southwest region and Sonora desert.
If you love to spend time outdoors with nature among plants, animals, and bird watching, exploring ancient peoples and archeology, golfing in our year round sunshine or indoors at; theater, musical, cultural and sporting events Shopping, dining, visiting a spa, Exploring our southwest heritage in our diverse museums, Orange Blossom Hacienda is the perfect home base from which to explore our rich country. Come explore all that the Grand Cañon state has to offer. Just ask and we will be happy to provide suggestions of where to dine or sights to see.
Our Phoenix area home is the perfect home base for awe inspiring trips to nearby attractions like Grand Cañon, Sedona, Casa Grande Ruins, Superstition mountains, Cañon Lake, or just to retreat nearby for bird watching, nature hikes, or the arboretum.For golfers, the area is blossoming with new courses like The Seville, Johnson Ranch, Encanterra, and Las Colinas.
Other attractions abound in the area like Historical Gilbert and Queen Creek, horseback rentals, live theater, National Monuments, hiking, bicycle, motor bike, and quad rentals. If you would like help in discovering more, or need suggestions, we invite you to click on the links below to see maps of our suggestions, or feel free to just ask us!
For more information on what to do while you’re in town, please see our Location Page.