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Desert Botanical Garden (Phoenix) by An Pham


Beginning from a single citrus tree, Waddell traces its roots back to the 1930s.

Right Now

Not many towns can trace their roots back to the planting of a citrus tree during the Great Depression, but Waddell can. The farmer’s name was Truman, and that tree remained standing on the corner of Waddell Road and Cotton Lane until February 2009.

Waddell is located northwest of Phoenix and is named for Donald Ware Waddell, a partner in a New York City investment firm that assisted in the financing of the dam construction that created Lake Pleasant. Mr. Waddell laid out the town site in 1935 and moved to the area to oversee his company’s interest in the construction project.

The dam on the Agua Fria River was once named Frog Tanks Dam, then Pleasant Dam. Finally, in 1963, it was renamed New Waddell Dam in honor of Mr. Waddell’s contributions.

Now largely considered part of its neighboring community of Surprise, the town name of Waddell is falling into disuse. That doesn’t limit the community’s reach to the recreation of the northwest valley.

Enjoy watersports on Lake Pleasant, made possible by the town’s namesake, as well as hiking and camping in White Tank Mountain Regional Park, less than 10 minutes away. Enjoy Arizona’s unbeatable early spring weather at two Cactus League spring training parks – Surprise Stadium and Peoria Sports Complex. Families love nearby Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park, the largest collection of exotic animals in all of the state.

Visit City Site

Just The Facts

For Visitor information

Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce | 16126 N. Civic Center Plaza | Surprise, AZ | (623) 583-0692 |

County It all started How High? Head Count
Maricopa 1935 1,178ft 9,366

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