Queen Creek, in the southeast corner of Maricopa County,
is only a 45-minute drive from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport,
but it is the world apart from city life. Families on
irrigated acre lots, mini-farms, and ranchettes live among the
farmers and ranchers, enjoying a rural lifestyle unique to
Queen Creek. Centuries ago, the Hohokam found these fertile
areas along the creeks and washes at the foot of the San
Tan Mountains ideal for farming, as did the settlers who came
to the area at the turn of the century.
Queen Creek incorporated in 1989. The town contains 19,200
acres, with 3,364 (17.6 percent) acres set aside for commercial
or industrial uses. (Commercial users are clustered around the
town’s downtown core and industrial uses are found along
the railroad tracks and spur, or in the northern part of the
town to buffer Williams Gateway Airport.)
Queen Creek is a partner in the Joint Powers Authority operating
Williams Gateway Airport at the former Williams Air Force
Base, adjacent to ASU East. But rural scenes fill most of the
45-square-mile planning area of the town–with cultivated
fields and citrus and peach orchards. Near the airport, along
the town’s northern border is located a number of large
industries such as Olin, TRW Safety Systems, Mitsubishi, and
the General Motors Proving Grounds, providing significant
employment opportunities to residents as well as customers
for downtown businesses.
A widely accepted citizen-created General Plan guides Queen
Creek’s development and includes Queen Creek Ranchettes,
Circle G, and the Orchards, totaling more than 800 one-acre
lots. The community’s emphasis is quality homes and preservation
of the lifestyle residents enjoy. Two equestrian-oriented
projects, with homes on smaller lots located around shared stables
and arenas, are being developed.
Queen Creek attracts thousands of visitors each year for its
U-pick fruit and vegetable crops. The four-day Country
Thunder music festival brings more than 100,000 people to
enjoy camping and concerts. Scenic views include the San
Tan Mountains to the south and the Superstition Mountains
to the northeast. The San Tan Mountain Regional Park offers
open space and recreational opportunities. Queen Creek
plans to acquire and develop two major washes crossing the
town as the foundation of a parks and trail system. Historical
sites include the Old Main school building, the ruins of a
Butterfield Stage stop, and the Town Hall.
Queen Creek Essay
I have lived in Queen Creek, AZ going on six years. The story of how I came to live there is long, but I will sum it up briefly. Queen Creek has been a great place for me and I know that it has for many other people too.
I was born in Hinsdale, IL in 1980. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago called Villa Park. I have one brother that is five years older than I am. We lived here for twelve years with both our mother and father. In 1992, our parents decided that they needed to live separate lives and filed for divorce. My brother and I stayed with our mother but moved to Downers Grove, IL to live with our grandmother. This was a drastic change for all of us, though I feel that I took it the worst. Being daddy’s little girl I was very unhappy with the situation. Changing schools and not having any friends was just more problems to add to the list.
I avoided the places that I used to go, but that didn’t seem to be enough. I was always running into people that I didn’t want to see, not to mention that they all knew where I lived. I always dreamed to move to Arizona and attend Arizona State University. I spoke with a family friend of ours that had moved to Arizona and he agreed to rent me a room until I could get things in order to get my own place. Within a week, I had made the arrangements necessary to transfer with the company that I was working. My mother and I packed the car and took a long drive to my new home.
Gilbert, Arizona was the first town that I lived in when I moved to Arizona, but I will always call Queen Creek my Arizona hometown. After a few short months in Arizona, I thought that it was time for me to be on my own. I started looking through the newspaper and found a broker to help me see what I would be able to afford. At this time, I was 20 years old and never dreamed that I would be able to purchase a home. After talking with a broker on the phone, we made an appointment for her to show me some places that I might be interested. Diane told me that we were going to look at some new homes in Queen Creek. I had no idea where she was talking about, but didn’t really care either. After driving for what seemed like forever, we reached an area that looked like it was just being built. I asked Diane what was going on, and she explained to me that we were looking at houses that were to be built for the owner. I was shocked. This was something that I had never dreamed I would be able to do at such a young age. I signed the papers one week later for my new home to be built.
I moved to Queen Creek in May of 2001. The opportunities that this town had given me were more than I could have ever dreamed.
It took me a long time to meet people in my neighborhood, but once I did, I gained some of the best friends that I have ever had. We were like a family. Most of them were around my age and were from out of state. Not many had family that was close enough to visit frequently. When I lived at home, my mother always made holidays a big family affair. Everyone was invited and we had food to last us weeks. I took over that tradition when I moved to Queen Creek. All of the holidays were spent at my house and we would even bake cookies to take to people that were less fortunate.
After living in my new home for about a year, and becoming close friends with one of my neighbors, I met the man that I would eventually marry. It just happened that he lived right across the street.
Over the next few years, I watched the small town that I had made my home grow into a much larger place. We now had a Circle K gas station that was only a half mile from my home. This seemed like a big feat until we got news that Fry’s grocery store was going to be built right across the street from the gas station. Now we didn’t have to go very far for the basic necessities that we required. I loved the fact that our community (Johnson Ranch) was considered its own little town. We had our own newspaper, and were known to people from other cities only by the name Johnson Ranch. Our newspaper that was delivered free to us kept us up to date on the growth and development of the city.
I married that man I met, who lived across the street, in 2005. Shortly before our wedding, we decided that we should start looking for a bigger house that would be able to accommodate the family that we soon hoped to have. We thought of no other place than Queen Creek that we both had already made our home. With the growth spurt that the town was in, we had many options available to us. We finally committed to building another home that would be located only one mile away from the house that we currently occupy.
The reason that I call Queen Creek my home is the many opportunities that it has given me. I know that it has done the same for many other people. A neighbor of mine was married very young and had her first child shortly after. She and her husband thought they would never be able to move into a house and raise the family that they had started at such a young age. If it were not for Queen Creek, and the many opportunities that were open to anyone, they may have never purchased a house.
Queen Creek has helped me to become the person that I always wanted to be. I have since started nursing school in the hopes that I can follow my mother’s example.
I have kept my whole family informed as to what is happening in the area, and what the current prices of homes are. I know that I have encouraged a few of them to move here, and hope that others will follow. I would be proud to have Queen Creek as home to my entire family.