Arizona’s New Deal built sidewalks, post offices, provided school lunches and outhouses. It produced roadside shrines and monuments to encourage tourism, check dams and mud stock tanks to support Arizona ranchers, as well as golf courses and pools for recreation. The federal investment in the built and cultural landscape of 1930s Arizona and the nation was sweeping and continues to provide much of our infrastructure. This overview of President Roosevelt’s New Deal in Arizona highlights stories of local politics that brought in federal dollars to bring Arizona’s New Deal to life.
J.J. Lamb, founding member of the Vail Preservation Society, has collected over 80 oral histories related to the New Deal and local history. She developed the Voices of Vail and Civilian Conservation Corps exhibits housed respectively at the Old Vail Post Office and the CCC Museum at Colossal Cave Mountain Park. She also coordinated development of the New Deal in Arizona heritage tourism map, which earned a 2009 Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award. An Arizona Culture Keeper, Lamb is currently leading efforts to preserve the 1915 Marsh Station Foreman House and the Old Vail Post Office. She is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in history and anthropology.