Coolidge, halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, is the commercial center of Arizona’s cotton industry. In 1925, after construction of the Coolidge Dam transformed the flat desert into rich farm and ranch land, R.J. Jones laid out an 80-acre site to found the city. The city’s name honors the U.S. President who dedicated Coolidge Dam in 1930.
Incorporated in 1945, the city now covers eight miles and has more than 7,000 residents. The warm dry winter climate makes it an ideal tourist and retirement center. Hundreds of thousands of visitors stop annually to see the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument preserves ruins of and interprets the culture of the prehistoric Hohokam people. Who farmed the Gila River Valley centuries ago. The ruins include the Casa Grande (Spanish for “Big House”). A unique four-story caliche structure built in the early 1300's and the surrounding walled neighborhood. A book store and picnic area are also available.
Within a short drive from Coolidge are the Gila River Indian Reservation, with picturesque villages, Catholic missions and an Arts and Crafts center; the Papago Indian Reservation, with basketry and handcraft items; Pinal Pioneer Parkway, one of the state’s most beautiful scenic drives; and numerous lakes, with excellent fishing and water-based activities.
Coolidge offers special programs for winter visitors. November through April are filled with activities such as potlucks, tours and festivals.