Ancient Farming to Aviation, Coolidge Abounds with History

by Jon Thompson, Mayor, City of Coolidge

Whether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident, Coolidge has many interesting and distinctive features that bring the area’s rich history into focus.

One of the main focal points dates back hundreds of years when Indians from many tribes inhabited this land. The people worked diligently creating canals for farming in the desert, and their system of waterways can still be seen today. Their techniques helped pave the way for hundreds of years of farming in Arizona and continue to make a significant impact on today’s economy.


Perhaps the most well-known structure of this civilization is the “Big House,” or Casa Grande. Coolidge is very fortunate to have the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in our city attracting visitors from around the world. This marvelous structure has withstood the harsh desert heat and hundreds of years of time making it truly a wonder.

The museum onsite offers unique displays and a movie room to learn more about how the people lived, worked, and played. Admission is free and hours vary so be sure to visit www.nps.gov/cagr for more information.

Coolidge is also proud to be the home of the Pinal Gem and Mineral Museum. (See below).

At the City of Coolidge Historical Museum, the early days of the city — including a traditional farmhouse — are highlighted. Housed in Coolidge’s first courthouse, this well-preserved building and its treasures tell tales of another time while spotlighting the importance of farming to the area. Although closed due to the season, visitors can still see the historic courthouse, farmhouse, and view tools used in the early days. (www. https://www.facebook.com/CoolidgeHistoricalMusuem)

Finally, our Coolidge Municipal Airport hosts monthly fly-ins for those interested in learning more about aviation or wanting to get up close to a wide variety of aircraft. From C-130 to bi-planes, spectators are treated to a wonderful array of airplanes and many owners are happy to tell you more about them. There also is a breakfast hosted by the Lions Club of Coolidge that allows you to make your morning with the flying community that much more enjoyable. Fly-ins resume in October and run through April. (www.coolidgeaz.com/airport)

I invite you to come adventure around the City and see why Coolidge is a great place to live, work, and play!

Pinal Gem and Mineral Museum
Currently open by appointment only, this pride of Coolidge should be fully back in action in fall 2021 with plenty of kids’ activities (think dinosaurs). Meanwhile, you can take a virtual tour by visiting the website at www.pinalgeologymuseum.org. The museum is home to rocks and gems from throughout Arizona and the world.