The History of Surprise, Arizona

Most of our assisted living homes are located in Surprise, Arizona. We love the community and family feel of Surprise. People around Surprise really seem to take pride in their town. So, we thought our friends and family would like to know more about the history of Surprise.

Early History of Surprise

Originally, like most of Arizona, the history of Surprise starts with the Hohokam Indian people. They lived and farmed most of Arizona from about 300 AD to 1400 AD. Then they suddenly vanished. In fact, Hohokam is a Pima Indian word meaning ‘those who have vanished’.The Hohokam were the original settlers of Surprise AZ

Various other Indian tribes moved into the Surprise area until about the 1930s. In 1938 a lady named Flora Mae Statler owned a 1-mile square piece of farmland that became a town. She had a few houses and a gas station on the land at that time. She went on to build a few small houses for agricultural workers on the land. This was the start of expansion for the town.

The name for the town of Surprise came from the founder, Flora Mae Stadtler. Flora Mae allegedly said that she “would be surprised if the town ever amounted to much”. It would be great to be able to show her what her town has done between then and now.

The history of Surprise is also intertwined with the military. In 1941 the US Government established Luke Air Force Base just south of Surprise to train Air Force fighter pilots. The Air Force also put an auxiliary runway in Surprise for pilots to practice. The Surprise City Hall sits on top of the site for those old runways. You can still make out the runways on aerial photos of the area.

Looking from the air, you can see the old Luke Air Force Base Auxiliary Field

Modern History of Surprise

Surprise grew slowly from the 40’s to the 60’s as a small agricultural community and suburb of Phoenix. In 1960 Surprise decided to become an incorporated town. They set the boundaries at Greenway Road to the South, El Mirage Road to the East, Bell Road for the North and Dysart for the West.

Then the Del Webb company came in. The history of Surprise became very much tied to Del Webb’s development of active adult communities. In 1960 Del Webb decided to build out Sun City about 5 miles Southeast of Surprise. Then in 1978 they started building Sun City West right next to Surprise to the East.

Sun City Grand really exploded the growth of Surprise
Thanks to Golfat55.com

Del Webb followed both of those developments by starting Sun City Grand in 1996. Sun City Grand is right next to Surprise as well and really contributed to the growth of the town. The population went from about 11,000 to about 75,000 in 2004.  The population continues to grow and is up to about 138,000 estimated for 2019.

Who can blame them? We sure can’t. The beautiful weather, friendly people and lots of fun things to do made us eager to locate our assisted living homes in this wonderful town. Surprise is a great place to retire for lots of reasons.

The Surprise History Project has all kinds of neat facts about the History of SurpriseToday Surprise continues to grow. If you live in Surprise, you probably see it all the time. Lots of great shops and businesses are moving into the area. If you’re thinking of moving into the area, we believe you will really enjoy what you see.

Want more detailed information about the history of Surprise? Check out the Surprise History Project that volunteers have put together.

Like this article? Spread the Word!

From Pilot to Paradise: Meet Hal Cranmer!

From Pilot to Paradise: Meet Hal Cranmer!

Mr. Cranmer went from Air Force Special Operations Pilot to Airline Pilot to running a multimillion dollar manufacturing plant after 9/11 ended his flying career. Now he is bringing his business expertise to his true passion - taking care of seniors in his 'A Paradise for Parents' assisted living homes in Surprise and Goodyear, AZ. Read Hal's crazy career story, 'From Air Force Pilot to Assisted Living Owner'. Click the button to send Hal a message!

Let's Connect

Assisted Living Tips

How Can We Help You Today?

Contact Us

Locations :

Surprise, AZ & Goodyear, AZ

Email :

Phone :

You will also receive an e-book How to Find the Right Assisted Living Solution in 2 Days or Less and be subscribed to our email list about taking care of seniors, several times per week. You can unsubscribe at any time.

a-paradise-for-parents-logo

Here at a Paradise for Parents, we concentrate on improving the health of our residents. We have four assisted living homes, three right off Greenway road in Surprise, AZ and one in Goodyear, AZ.

Get In Touch

PO Box 7521
Surprise, AZ 85374
(623) 295-9890
hal@aparadiseforparents.com

Want to make a difference?
apfp-ebook
apfp-ebook
Find the BEST assisted living solution for your loved one in 48 hours or less.

Out of the blue, many people suddenly need full-time care for their parents. You’ll need to make some very big decisions in a short period of time. Be prepared!  Download our FREE guide that will show you how to find the right assisted living solution in 2 days or less.