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Tempe Past & Present

Distinct, diverse, dynamic and entrepreneurial are characteristics that have defined the City of Tempe since prehistoric times when the resourceful Hohokam people lived here for about 1,500 years until sometimes around 1450. The Hohokam were farmers and engineering geniuses who developed a system of irrigation canals that carried Salt River water to their crops. The canals were so well built that they were excavated hundreds of years later and became the foundation for today’s irrigation system. Take a 400 year leap forward to 1865 when things started picking up with the arrival of another group of enterprising farmers who moved

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