“Tempe ─ …is elegantly located 80 feet above the valley it overlooks. It is without a doubt the coming city of the valley. Average minimum temperature 40° and maximum 80° from October to June, constant sunshine, dry and balmy air, green trees and grasses and blooming flowers.
“June to September minimum 60°, maximum 110°, but even at this high temperature the heat is not so oppressive as in any of the Eastern Cities at 80° on account of the extreme dryness of the air.
“No blizzards! No snows! No fogs! No … dampness! No heavy winds! A pure dry healthy atmosphere!”
What do you think? A promotional advertisement just released by our Convention and Visitors Bureau to get people toTempe? You might be surprised by the answer.
Designed to attract Easterner’s, this promotional hype was written more than 120 years ago whenTempewas a village of under 2 square miles and about 750 residents.
Just fourteen years after Charles Trumble Hayden established his ferry on the banks of theSalt Riverat the foot of present dayMill Avenue, promoters were working hard to recruit people to the rich agricultural opportunities here.
By the mid-1880’s the town’s center was platted by the Tempe Land & Improvement Company. In 1884 the Territorial Legislature had established theTerritorialNormal SchoolinTempe.
Everything was in place for the community to grow. All that was need was a bit of creative marketing.
Local land agents Schultz & Franklin were contracted to start selling lots. They in turn hired Czar J. Dyer to create a colorful “birdseye” map ofTempethat could be sent to prospects around the country.
“Birdseye” maps are unique, surprisingly accurate aerial perspectives created by talented artists who without benefit of modern aviation generally drew from imagination.
Dyer was one of those special artists. But today is something of a mystery man.
Even though he was a public figure who served on the Phoenix city council and as interim Mayor for five months in 1899, we know very little about his life ─ not even what he looked like. He is the only Phoenix Mayor for which there is no known photograph.
Born inMichiganin 1849, Dyer eventually found his way toCaliforniawhere he worked as a cartographer and draftsman.
Sometime after 1880 he is inPrescottcreating a “birdseye” map. Then he moves toPhoenixto become the city’s draftsman and is responsible for much of the surveying that is still used today.
In 1885 Dyer fashions a “birdseye” map forPhoenixwhich may have been the impetus for being asked to do one forTempe.
Dyer crafted a wonderful rendering looking to the northeast from about the perspective of Bell Butte near present–dayBroadway Roadand I-10.
Printed by the West coast’s largest lithographer Schmidt Label & Lithograph Company ofSan Francisco, the vibrant chromolithograph shows a small community emerging in front of the two hills that reminded Darrell Duppa ofGreece’sVale of Tempe.
The first campus building of theTerritorialNormal Schoolsits to the southeast on a sea of green grass ─ land donated for the new school.
Inset illustrations of local businesses that paid for the privilege surround the map.
Only one copy of the Dyer map is known to exist. It is in the collection of theTempeHistoricalMuseum. The best news is that it has been reprinted by the Tempe Historical Society and is available for purchase in their gift shop at the Museum. Proceeds go to the support of Museum programs.
By: Jay Mark All rights reserved