Glimpse Into The Past Through Our City’s First Homes
If these houses could talk, they could share stories of Chandler’s agricultural history and how they witnessed the fields shrink as a new city grew roots. They could also reminisce about the days when an indoor bathroom was a luxury. Here are three homes that have witnessed generations of change.
The McCroskey House was built in 1917 by the George Edwards family and is representative of many of the farming homes of the era, valued for their practical and inexpensive design. The home was mail-ordered and cost around $600. It arrived to its original homesite on the southwest corner of Dobson and Pecos in 30,000 pieces. When completed, the home had four bedrooms, a kitchen with no running water, and no bathroom. Later, one of the rooms was converted into a bathroom.
Laura and Ralph Hoyt McCroskey moved into the house in 1933 and Laura called it home until 1987. Mona McCroskey donated the house to the City of Chandler, and it was moved to Tumbleweed Ranch, in Tumbleweed Park, located off McQueen Road, where it’s used for educational field trips. It gives students the opportunity to see what life was like 100 years ago. People are welcome to view the outside of the house daily, and it’s also open during park events. 2240 S. McQueen Road, Chandler
The Edwards House was built in 1913 by Will and Grace Robinson, a year after Chandler was founded. They ordered the Maples model from the Aladdin Company catalog. In 1923, the Edwards family, who built the McCroskey House, moved into the home after George Edwards passed away. The eldest daughter, Bertha, was a Chandler school teacher and lived in the home until she died in 1989. She was its last resident.
The bungalow was originally located on Washington Street and was one of the first homes built in the neighborhood east of Arizona Avenue and north of Buffalo Street. It was moved to Tumbleweed Park after it was acquired by the City of Chandler in 2002. The house is currently closed to the public because it has not been restored. 2250 S. McQueen Road, Chandler
McCullough-Price House was built in 1938 by William D. McCullough, a Detroit resident who wintered in Arizona, and designed by Lescher and Mahoney, well-known Phoenix architects. It was once in the heart of 350-acres of alfalfa and cotton fields about a half a mile from Price Road, and was unique among the farmhouses popular in the area with its Pueblo Revival style and Art Deco influences. It had four bedrooms, maid’s quarters, a roof patio, and built-in barbecue.
Art and Louise Price purchased the home in 1950. Louise was A.J. Chandler’s niece and Art was the first city attorney and justice of the peace for Chandler, and was instrumental in drafting the City’s constitution and by-laws.
The home was donated to the City by the Price-Propstra family in 2001. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places but isn’t set up as a home. Instead, it houses the Chandler Museum’s East Valley History Center, administrative offices, and a small space featuring exhibits of the San Marcos hotel and the architectural components of home. 300 S. Chandler Village Drive, Chandler; open Tues.-Sat., 10-5 p.m./Sun., 1-5 p.m. The East Valley History Center is available Thurs., 2-5 p.m., or by appointment.