Meet Phoenix's first official historian
Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego announced this week that Steve Schumacher would be the first Mayor's Office official historian.
State of play: Because Phoenix is so much younger than major cities east of us, it's sometimes easy to forget how much fascinating history we have.
- Valley native Schumacher, a hobbyist turned semi-professional Phoenix historian, has spent the past 10 years trying to remind us through public speaking events.
- Now he has a formal title and a call to continue his mission.
Driving the news: You know the cliché: "Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."
Details: Schumacher says he wants to develop a curriculum for elementary school students to learn about the key people and places in Phoenix's past.
- He's also working with the city's social media team to share historic images and is helping the mayor create a guide to historic places in downtown to share with Super Bowl visitors in February.
Flashback: Schumacher developed an interest in Phoenix history about a decade ago when, on a particularly warm summer day, he wondered, "How did people live here before air conditioning?"
- That led him to a fascinating discovery about the pioneers who settled the region in the 1800s, after it was abandoned by the Hohokam people.
- He's been on a history kick ever since.
1 history fact to go: Central Avenue and Washington Street is generally accepted as the center of the city of Phoenix.
- But it was actually the pioneers' fourth choice for a townsite. The original was at 36th and Van Buren streets, Schumacher tells us.
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