How Phoenix got its name

Recently I discovered how Phoenix, Arizona, got its name. In ancient times, people living in the area dug a bunch of canals (135 miles of them!) to direct water from the Salt River to the plains where they were growing crops. In 1867, the area was colonized by white settlers who also dug canals and named the town Swilling’s Mill (after founder Jack Swilling). Darrell Duppa suggested the name Phoenix, “inasmuch as the new town would spring from the ruins of a former civilization.” I think this is pretty cool – a recognition (however subtle) that history didn’t begin when white pioneers reached an area.