Crossroads of Historic Higley Background

Over 100 years ago, the San Tan farming community was called Higley, and under this name, the residents developed their own postal district, school district, and business community centered on Higley/Williams Field Roads. Census records ran through the town which was inclusive of the historic Rittenhouse (Queen Creek) Chandler Heights and Combs communities. Higley remained an unincorporated town, which attempted to organize as an official town twice but due to the strip annexations of the 1970s and 1980s, found itself in the planning boundaries of neighboring towns and faced the fate of becoming obsolete in the name of progress.

The historic town site of Higley (on Higley and Williams Field Roads) was absorbed into Gilbert, and the last of Higley postal street delivery was removed in 2007, leaving the only official place you can be from Higley at the post office with a PO Box in 85236. There was an attempt to consolidate the school district with Gilbert's; however, voters rejected the initiative and it remains independent. The business district is facing a road widening project that has removed historic structures and Higley's iconic store/original post office, constructed of adobe brick and dated between 1904-1910, will be razed. What was once called Higley in now under the blanket of the Gateway Character Area, referring to the new regional airport two miles east (this was once Higley Field prior to Williams Air Force Base).

 

Sustainability relates to Higley when discussing the importance of identifying historic assets to create sense of place and the issues surrounding the rapid growth of the area. Sustainability is embodied in this project as creating a balance between economic, environmental, and social conditions as to preserve our resources for future generations. This project aims to create public discourse on the lessons learned in our history in order to create a sustainable future for the area.


Read: "Higley -- Where We Make it Rain When We Need It" (Original 1916 - Reproduced October 2009 San Tan Historical Society – Original Pamphlet at Arizona State History and Archives Division – Deposited February 25th, 1963)

This project's goal is to restore and preserve Higley's historic value, giving the 100 year-old town recognition as a unique asset in conveying the people’s history of the area as we look ahead to Arizona's Centennial in 2012.

Project Supporters
This project is funded in part by the Arizona Humanities Council, the Arizona affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Southwest Oral History Association.

"Stories convey our histories, traditions, social mores, beliefs and insights about what it means to be human. The Arizona Humanities Council creates opportunities for sharing these diverse stories through critical thinking and public discussion, to better understand and appreciate one another, so that we can make informed decisions about our collective future." - Arizona Humanities Council

Community Supporters

Fisher Shotcrete, Inc.

Higley Center for the Performing Arts

Higley Education Foundation

Higley Stop & Shop, The Torres Family

Higley Unified School District

Make Higley Historic!

Old Town Higley

Steve and Chris Sossaman

Ron and Janice Fisher

San Tan Historical Society Members and Volunteers

W-Diamond Publishing: Trail of Many Tracks, Audio Guide Tour of Arizona's Historic & Scenic White Mountain Region and Little Colorado Plateau


Crossroads of Historic Higley is a community effort and all are welcome to contribute, participate and learn as we celebrate Higley's Centennial and look ahead to the State of Arizona's in 2012. For more information contact Project Director, Leslie LeRoux or call at 480.220.0341.

 

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