by Holly Rakoci, Director, Casa Grande Main Street
Casa Grande Main Street’s commitment to historical preservation, while also serving as an excellent method to cultivate community engagement, fosters the education of residents and non-residents about the unique history of Casa Grande.
What used to be a somewhat well-known piece of historical information by those who live here — that Casa Grande was constructed as the last stop on the railway — seemingly disappeared when the train station burned down in 2009. Although those of us who lived here and were around prior to the destruction of the station still remember, what about those who have come after?
Do the new residents of Casa Grande know that our City’s name was originally Terminus? Will future generations be aware that Casa Grande was one of John Wayne’s favorite towns? Every town has a story, and we are committed to educating current and future generations on our City’s one-of-a-kind history.
I’m sure that as you’ve driven through Historic Downtown you’ve noticed a few of our completed historical preservation projects. The beautifully painted doors on the side of the building at the corner of Florence and Third streets and the brilliant Neon Sign Park are two of our more noticeable preservation efforts. However, have you ever stopped at either to learn why they are there?
Have you read about each of the Doors to the Past? Have you learned the significance of each business whose sign is standing tall in the Neon Sign Park? Even just a few minutes at each of these locations can provide insight into our City and its individuality.
We’ve all taken history courses in school — American history, world history, ancient history, etc. However, our local history is up to us to learn on our own. I encourage everyone in Casa Grande to visit the Historic Downtown and learn a little bit about it.
Whether you make a trip to where the train station once stood at 201 W. Main St., the Neon Sign Park, the Doors to the Past, the mural on Fourth Street, or walk around reading the plaques located at historical sites, take some time to educate yourself on our City!
Experience the Difference
110 W. 2nd St., Casa Grande