Dec. 11, 2009
CAVE CREEK, Ariz. – The early years of a feisty Arizona community north of Phoenix come to life in a new book by a new author.
The book, “Homesteading Along the Creek,” is Patrick Grady’s first book. It outlines how more than 100 homesteaders settling 37,000 acres were responsible for the growth of the community of Cave Creek during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“What will surprise readers is this untold story of how this village evolved from 1890-1940 as a direct result of the Homesteading Act of 1862,” according to the book’s synopsis.
Grady uses data from the National Archives and other sources to focus on the lives of nine pioneer families. They settled along the creek from which the town’s name was adopted.
“I’ve always loved local history,” he says. “I was reading a book on Cave Creek history, written about 20 years ago, and a couple of thoughts came to mind. I just kind of took off with it and a year and a half later, here I am. I love the writing and I like the research.”
Grady, in his research, found records in the National Archives on 109 homesteaders in Cave Creek’s history. He talked with several adult children of the Cave Creek homesteaders as well as a Valley woman he says is one of the last living homesteaders.
Most of the homesteading activity in Cave Creek was during the Great Depression in the 1930s.
The book, with about 180 pages, will be available at local museums and bookstores. Grady will sign his book for customers Dec. 12, starting at 2 p.m., at the Cave Creek Museum, 6140 E. Skyline Drive.
More information about the book, including how to order it, is available at www.homesteadingalongthecreek.com.
“This is my first book, but it’s not my last,” Grady says. “I have some other ideas I’m working on now. My next book, I’m hoping to go for more of a statewide audience.”
Grady retired in 2005 from the City of Phoenix. He served first as director of Community and Economic Development, and later as director of Downtown Development. His undergraduate and graduate degrees are in history and urban studies.
Grady also worked with municipal development offices in Ohio, Maryland and Florida. He relocated to Arizona from Ohio in 2000 after he was approached by an executive headhunter hired by Phoenix.
Grady and his wife Leslie volunteer for the Foothills Caring Corps. Grady also is chairman of the Cave Creek Green Advisory Committee.
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