Hayden's Ferry Days

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A Celebration of Tempe's History

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

Have dinner with a Tempe Legend while dining on delicious food provided by Heidi's Catering. Start the evening 

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 $60 for general public and $55 for THS members. They will be available at Tempe Center for the Arts box office or by calling TCA (Tickets are not yet available - stay tuned!)


Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation presents the Walk Through History Tours showcasing historic Tempe sites. Walk Through History tickets are $25. 


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, takes part in interactive experiences. 

LIVE MUSIC SCHEDULE (links to external websites):

90th Anniversary Celebration at Eisendrath House - Friday, March 13

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 $35 for general public; $30 for members. Tickets are not yet available (stay tuned!). 


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).

Afternoon Tea at Hackett House – Sunday, March 15

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 will be available soon!


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 from 4 - 6 p.m. to provide information as you make your way up.  Free, family-friendly. 

Catch-A-Wave Car Show - Saturday, March 21

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 from 4 - 6 p.m. to provide information as you make your way up.  Free, family-friendly. 

Afternoon Tea at Petersen House – Sunday, March 22

Join Tempe History Museum for an afternoon tea on the grounds of historic Petersen House. Take time to visit the house, shop, drink tea and eat tea sandwiches, scones and desserts. Tickets will be available soon!


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. 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!

  • Jerry W. Brock Foundation
  • City of Tempe
  • Friends of Tempe Public Library
  • Tempe Tourism

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

Steering Committee Members/Community Partners

  • Tempe History Museum
  • Tempe Sister Cities Association
  • Rio Salado Foundation
  • Friends of Tempe Public Library
  • Tempe Historic Preservation Foundation

Supporting Organizations and Volunteers

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

For more information contact Tempe History Museum, (480) 350-5100, museum@tempe.gov

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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