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Our Roots

History of Green Valley

The recorded history of Green Valley, located in Arizona’s Santa Cruz Valley, began in 1 A.D. The Hohokam, Pima and Tohono O’dham Indian tribes were the first to call this area home. The flags of Mexico, Spain, the Confederacy, the State of Arizona & the United State of America have all flown here. Spanish warriors, ranchers, missionaries, desperados & prospectors also lived here in earlier times. After the first white settlers moved in, the Hohokam Indians vanished. Many years passed & a new kind of settler, a “snowbird” arrived. They may have come to visit a friend, a tourist attraction or a real estate office & were drawn to the area and often became a resident.

The more modern Green Valley history began in 1953 when a highway sign appeared in Interstate 19 that read “Live Now – Not Sometime – in an Established Community”. In 1964 a Chicago developer, Donald Maxon, and his brother/architect/construction manager, Norman, purchased 2,900 acres near Canoa Ranch for a residential development. Their vision soon became a reality and the Maxon brothers studied and photographed the late 18th century Spanish Colonial styles. They liked the arched colonnades, wrought iron screens and red roofs, features that are still found in many of the homes and buildings being constructed today.  Green Valley has been a retirement community since its inception in the 1960s.


The population of Green Valley was 500 in 1964. In the April 2010 * census permanent residents numbered 21,391 with a population that doubles in the winter months. With the sun shining over 300 days per year, Green Valley is "part" of the region dubbed the “Astronomy Capital of the World.” With its clear skies and minimal light pollution, Green Valley boasts star-studded skies most nights of the year.


Quick Facts about Green Valley, AZ

Alamos, Sonoran Desert

The Maxon Brothers researched architectural ideas from a small town in the southern part of  Sonoran, Mexico.  They found the designs in Alamos. 

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