History of big agriculture business in Chandler is topic of museum’s Our Stories speaker series on Aug. 31

July 29, 2019
Spreckles Sugar Company located on the corner of McQueen and Riggs Roads

“From Dirt to Dollars: Big Agriculture in Chandler” is the subject of the Our Stories speaker series program on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Chandler Museum.  The free talk will examine the impact of agriculture in Chandler and outline the community’s shift to technology industries over the past several decades. The presentation starts at 10:30 a.m., at the Chandler Museum, 300 S. Chandler Village Drive. 

Louis Estrella haybailing, 1964.
Louis Estrella haybailing, 1964.

As Dr. A.J. Chandler’s vision of turning the desert into a green garden became a reality, early Chandler residents took advantage of the fertile land and the opportunities it provided. Industrial-sized farms growing alfalfa, cotton, citrus, beans, melons, and sugar beets flourished as Chandler farmers learned how to capitalize on profits of these cash crops. By the 1970s community leaders realized the changing economy’s threat to cash crops and they shifted focus to a new industry, growing microchips.

Museum Administrator Jody Crago will trace the history of Chandler’s big business agriculture for attendees. “This story shows how our community has remained productive from its agriculture days to today,” says Crago. “Regardless of how long you’ve lived here, this interpretation of big agriculture will surprise you. While we’ve told parts of this story before – focusing on cotton or water – this talk will look at the impact of agriculture as an economic driver in Chandler.”

Our Stories is a free speaker series open to the public, with each session sharing first-hand accounts and expert insights into the history of Chandler, the Valley and Arizona. It is produced and hosted by the Chandler Public Library and the Chandler Museum, with support from the Friends of the Chandler Public Library and the Chandler Historical Society.

On Sept. 28, the Our Stories series will continue at Downtown Library with “Chandler’s Unexpected Mid-Century Architecture,” presented by Chandler photographer, curator, and mid-century home owner Holly Metz.

For additional information on this program, call 480-782-2717, or visit Chandler Museum.


About the Chandler Museum
The Chandler Museum is an innovative learning environment where the community comes together to share our stories, store our cultural heritage and experience Chandler as a people and place. The vision of the Museum is to be the community’s principal resource to explore its people’s history, culture, and place in a rapidly changing world of today – within and without the walls of a building. More information at Chandler Museum.

Media contact:

Craig Younger
Public Information Officer