Arizona Place Names Subject of Downtown Phoenix Talk by Writer

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.


Pumpkinville was a small town in the desert, misnamed for local buffalo gourds that grew in the area.

Then a local Englishman, drunk on "red-eye whiskey," invented a new name that better described the community being built on top of long-abandoned Indian dwellings:


The tale of P-town's christening's just one of the interesting anecdotes Tucson writer Gregory McNamee will relate during a free talk about Arizona place names this Thursday at the Carnegie Center. The talk takes place from noon to 1 p.m. at the center, 1101 West Washington, and you can bring your "brown-bag" lunch.

McNamee says he'll tell how towns like Surprise got their names (in the case of Cave Creek, no one really knows), and how many hilltops in the state used to sport the n-word.

One thing he probably can't explain: How Janet Napolitano kept her job as governor after forcing a state board to rename Squaw Peak? 

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.