A group of residents from Maricopa and Pima County joined forces and submitted a petition for the formation of a new county. The Eighth Territorial Legislature granted their petition in February 1875. The new county was created out of a portion of Maricopa and Pima Counties.
The word “Pinal” comes from the Apache Indians living in Eastern Arizona . The tribe called themselves “Pinal” or “deer people.” In Spanish, the word means “of the pine.” Actually, either of these meanings are suitable for the region because there are pine topped mountains filled with deer located in the county.
Pinal was the sixth county established in the territory. Florence was named the county seat and has held on to this honor.
The county encompasses 5,370 square miles and is situated between Phoenix and Tucson. It is separated into two different regions. The eastern portion has mountains soaring to 6,000 feet and includes copper mining communities. The western part of the county has low deserts with settlements based on agriculture.There are so many attractions to visit in Pinal County. The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument holds the remains of the ancient Hohokam Indians. The Great House was built in 1350 and is the tallest Hohokam building existing today. Tours are provided daily. Picacho Peak State Park covers 3,400 acres and is situated along Interstate 17, between Tucson and Phoenix. The park includes 3,370-foot Picacho Peak, which is a popular hiking spot. In April 1862, this was the site of the only Civil War battle fought in Arizona . Hiking, camping and picnicking are favorites at the state park. Boyce Thompson Southwest Arboretum is a botanical garden. The arboretum is located outside of Globe in the Tonto National Forest. William Boyce Thompson built the arboretum in the 1920′s. It covers 350 acres and is devoted to the preservation of a multitude of plants. The Oracle State Park and Center for Environmental Education is currently offering nature education programs for school aged children and is a wildlife refuge. There is a seven-mile section of the park that is a part of the Arizona Trail. This trail is available for hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. If you are interested in learning more, call the Oracle State Park. McFarland State Park is located in Florence. It is the original adobe Pinal County Courthouse. Construction began in 1878 and finished in 1882. The park was named after former Arizona Governor Ernest McFarland, who donated the land and building. Visitors will learn about pioneer life, while touring the park. The Lost Dutchman State Park is in the Superstition Mountains, east of Phoenix near Apache Junction. This is where the legend about the Lost Dutchman and his gold mine begins. The story goes on to say that Jacob Waltz, a prospector, discovered gold in the Superstition Mountains. Unfortunately, he died before giving anyone the gold’s exact location. Many have searched to find the gold, but to no avail. The park offers a campground, picnic area and hiking trails.
Pinal County is growing by leaps and bounds. It is holds many interesting treasures from the past.