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Hayden's Ferry Days

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A Celebration of Tempe's History

* Due to Corona virus concerns, the following Hayden's Ferry Days events are cancelled.

Hayden’s Ferry Days is an annual series of events celebrating the rich history, arts and culture Tempe through a variety of events. Join Tempe History Museum and  Tempe History Society for Hayden's Ferry Days with tours, teas and festivities!

Event Description 

Hayden’s Ferry Days is a series of individual events in multiple venues over several days. Each event is organized by a variety of Tempe’s non-profit organizations that care about preserving and sharing our community’s history and culture. The event features several locations and historic sites.

2020 Schedule of Activities

DINNER WITH A LEGEND at Tempe Center for the Arts
Friday, March 6 
6 p.m. Happy Hour and Raffle/Silent Auction 
7 p.m. Dinner
Have dinner with a Tempe Legend while dining on delicious food provided by Heidi's Catering. Start the evening at Edge Happy Hour to enjoy live music and a signature drink. Buy raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items before adjourning to the Lakeside Room for a delicious dinner and conversation with a Tempe “Legend” at your table. 

This delicious, fun and interesting evening is part of the annual Hayden’s Ferry Days festivities celebrating the founding of Hayden’s Ferry (now part of Tempe) in 1871. After Friday, join us for the rest of the events of this fun-filled community celebration. Tickets are SOLD OUT (Sorry!)


Wednesdays in March
1-4 p.m.

A new event for Hayden's Ferry Days 2020 is a film festival featuring movies that were shot partly or exclusively in Tempe. Noted historian Jay Mark will provide an introduction before each film to put it in context and point out what to watch for to see scenes from Tempe. The first film, Marked Men, will be shown at Tempe History Museum (809 E Southern Avenue) with a longer program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Admission is by donation. The rest of the films are hosted our partner, Tempe's Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (1140 E Baseline Rd, Tempe) with tickets available online ($8 each). Follow the links below for information and tickets. 

March 4 - Marked Men, Tempe History Museum (6:30 p.m. program / 7:00 p.m. film)
March 11 - A Star Is Born (1976), Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 7:00 p.m. 
March 18 - Campus Man  * Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.
March 25 - The Nutty Professor (1963), Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 7 p.m.  * Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.

Saturday, March 7
9 a.m. - 12 noon
Another great tour opportunity offered is the Adobe Bus Tour. Space is limited. The tour participants meet at Arizona Heritage Center, 1300 N College Ave, Tempe. Stops currently include the Eisendrath House, the Sandra Day O'Connor House and Tempe Woman's Club (locations are subject to change). Tickets are $25 each and are very limited. Available online at Eventbrite or from Tempe History Museum, in person and by phone, 480-350-5100.  

Sunday, March 8
Noon-4 p.m. 

Free all-ages community festival at the Tempe History Museum with food, music, activities and demonstrations exploring the heritage crafts, arts, culture and food of Tempe. Hear live music, grab a free ice cream (while supplies last), watch artisans create their crafts, take part in interactive experiences. 

LIVE MUSIC SCHEDULE (links to external websites):

JAZZ NOTES NIGHT: Celebrating the 90th Anniversary of Eisendrath House
Friday, March 13
6-8 p.m.
Join the Rio Salado Foundation in celebrating the 90th birthday of Eisendrath House! This gala reception will feature jazz, drinks and hors d'oeuvres as you stroll around this magnificent historic home. Tickets are $30 and available online at Eventbrite, and at Tempe History Museum, in person or by phone, 480-350-5100. 


 * Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.

Saturday, March 14
10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Peek inside some of Tempe’s most interesting historic houses. Free! (Donations accepted). Click HERE for a map of participating houses (note: more may be added). Docents will be on hand at each site to share interesting information and answer questions; tours are a drop-in, come-and-go style.


 * Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.

Sunday, March 15
1-3 p.m.
Do you love Victorian style tea service? Spend an afternoon at Hackett House in the Friendship room as you sip tea and nibble on delicious goodies. Tickets are $35 for general public; $30 for members. Tickets are available  online at Eventbrite or at Tempe History Museum, in person or by phone, 480-350-5100.


 * Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.

Friday, March 20
4-6 p.m.
Start the weekend out right by taking a hike up Tempe Butte after work. Learn some of the history and cultural significance of this familiar landmark. Docents will be on hand to provide information as you make your way up. This is a free, family-friendly, drop in program. 


* Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.

 Saturday, March 21
Presented by the Kiwanis Club of Tempe Nuevo, the 16th Annual Catch-A-Wave car show will take over the grass at Kiwanis Park in Tempe. Come out to enjoy music, a silent auction, exhibits, food, raffles and door prizes. Judging starts at 10 a.m., with an award ceremony at 1 p.m. Free!


* Due to Corona virus concerns, this Hayden's Ferry Days event is cancelled.

Sunday, March 22
1-3 p.m.
Join Tempe History Museum for an afternoon tea on the grounds of historic Petersen House. Take time to step inside and view the house, pick up unique gifts at the pop-up shop, drink tea and nibble on tea sandwiches, scones and desserts. Tickets are $35 for general public; $30 for members. Tickets are available online at Eventbrite and at Tempe History Museum, in person or by phone, 480-350-5100.


The first settlers to move to the Tempe area, south of the Salt River and east of Phoenix, were Hispanic families from southern Arizona. They helped construct the two first irrigation canals, the Kirkland-McKinney Ditch and the San Francisco Canal, and started small farms to the east and west of a large butte (Tempe Butte). In 1872, some of these Mexican settlers founded a town called San Pablo east of Tempe Butte. Another settlement, known as Hayden’s Ferry, developed west of Tempe Butte. Charles Trumbull Hayden, owner of a mercantile and freighting business in Tucson, homesteaded this location in 1870. Within a few years, he had built a store and flour mill, warehouses and blacksmith shops, and a ferry to help people cross the Salt River. This community became the trade center for the south side of the Salt River Valley. Both settlements grew quickly and soon formed one community. The town was named Tempe in 1879.

Thank you to our sponsors!

More sponsors are needed – contact us if you would like to support the celebration of Tempe’s history!

Steering Committee Members/Community Partners

Supporting Organizations and Volunteers

  • Guess Birchett Questers – Hosts for Elias-Rodriguez House
  • Hayden’s Ferry Questers – Hosts for Petersen House 
  • Tempe Garden Club
  • Kiwanis Club of Tempe Nuevo

For more information contact Tempe History Museum, 480-350-5100,

Want to get involved? Contact the museum to learn how to secure sponsor recognition or other involvement that focuses on sharing the history, heritage and culture of Tempe. Click on the documents below to learn more or to become a sponsor. 

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