The club field was located at what is now Missouri Avenue and 7th Street in Phoenix, and the “The Barn” clubhouse was built in 1930. Due to organizational issues by stockholders, the club’s name was changed to Valley Field Riding and Polo Club on December 27, 1932, and it became a non-profit entity with no dividends. The Field Blues polo team, as well as horse shows, competitions, and social events for guests, were held at the Club in the early 1930s. Suppers at the club house were popular after rides on open desert trails.
The “Barn” club house was demolished by fire on August 1, 1936. Member Joseph Edward Thompson, brother of mining magnate William Boyce Thompson, donated twenty-one acres of undeveloped desert land six miles east of Phoenix, in what is now Papago Park. In 1936, an adobe clubhouse was built, followed by a stable and then a caretaker’s cottage in 1938. Polo and equestrian grounds, as well as a lake, were all proposed but never built.
During WWII, the United States Army’s 364th Infantry Division leased the facility as an Officers’ Club in connection with the US POW camp in Papago Park. Because of fuel rationing and the war effort in general, club use has decreased. There were 58 candidates in 1945.
Following WWII, participants’ interest in horseback riding and horseback riding diminished, and the stables were decommissioned in 1959. The majority of participants do not ride or own horses at this time. Members’ theme dinners and celebrations, on the other hand, grew in popularity, and these social gatherings became the club’s main focus, which continues to this day. The stockholder company became a corporate, non-profit paying membership association in 1959. Rather than applying for membership, new members are invited.
By Dru Bloomfield – https://www.flickr.com/photos/athomeinscottsdale/3836187025/in/photostream/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=95427764
Over the years, much of the club’s emphasis has been on the upkeep of the clubhouse and desert fields. The clubhouse was remodeled twice, the first in 1966 and the second in 1992. The historic 1936 adobe building has become an architectural landmark in the city. In 2009, the house was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Long Range Planning Committee was established in 1973, and its role became more important as the surrounding area saw extensive commercial and residential expansion, as well as a significant rise in land value. The club sold a part of the land to Blood Services in 1988, and there were several renovation plans in the 1990s.
The Club is still present in 2010 and holds its annual parties at the club house in Scottsdale. It is also often used as an event venue and caters to weddings.
Scottsdale, Arizona is full of amazing historical landmarks that help to make our city an amazing, culturally rich city:
- Scottsdale Grammar School, also called The Little Red Schoolhouse
- George Ellis House
- Louise Lincoln Kerr House
- McCormick Stillman Railroad Park
- Roald Amundsen Pullman Private Railroad Car
- Historic Taliesin West
- Old Town Scottsdale
- Main Street Arts District
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 7106 East Main Street! Stop by for a visit anytime!