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Mesa, AZ

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Mesa, the history of Mesa dates back at least two thousand years to the arrival of the Hohokam people. The Hohokam, built the original canal system. The canals were the largest and most sophisticated in the prehistoric New World. Some were up to 90 feet wide and ten feet deep at their head gates, extending for as far as 16 miles across the desert. By A.D.1100 water could be delivered to an area over 110,000 acres, transforming the Sonoran Desert into an agricultural oasis. By A.D.1450, the Hohokam had constructed hundreds of miles of canals many of which are still in use today.

                  On July 17, 1878, Mesa City was registered as a 1-square-mile town site. The first school was built in 1879. In 1883, Mesa City was incorporated with a population of 300 people. Dr. A. J. Chandler, who would later go on to found the City of Chandler, worked on widening the Mesa Canal in 1895 to allow for enough flow to build a power plant. In 1917, the City of Mesa purchased the utility company. The revenues from the company provided enough for capital expenditures until the 1960s. During the Great Depression, WPA funds provided paved streets, a new hospital, a new town hall and a library.





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