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Keywords:

  • cotton camps;
  • industrial agriculture;
  • Mexican settlement patterns;
  • suburban history;
  • urban colonias

abstract.

The history of the Salt River Valley is often characterized as a boomtown narrative that highlights the exploding Anglo population and rapid suburban sprawl that followed World War II. Frequently overlooked is the fundamental role that Mexicans played in the early suburbanization process through the formation of urban colonias, or suburban Mexican settlements. Early Mexican suburbs, despite their rural atmosphere, were connected to the pre–World War II urbanization process in the Salt River Valley. Our research seeks to amend and clarify the urban historical record by documenting the diverse and dispersed array of Mexican suburban settlements, a process generated by industrial agriculture, decentralization, and residential segregation.