Ye Olde Scottsdale and Phoenix

A former librarian uncovers the lesser-known, historical sides of these desert cities.

When New York Public Library librarian and history buff Marshall Shore first moved to Phoenix decades ago, he thought, “What have I done?” Phoenix seemed so… new. But, after digging around, Shore found something he liked very much: the city’s fascinating past. Determined to share this with visitors and residents alike, he soon launched a tour company that explored the old side of the modern metro.

A friend once called Shore a “hip historian,” but then said it was too hard to pronounce.  The words somehow got elided to “hipstorian,” and the nickname stuck.

Phoenix’s only hipstorian shares a couple of finds.

1. A drive-in church? Yes, the Glass and Garden Community Church, built in 1966 in Scottsdale. According to Shore, who interviewed an attendee, this one-of-a-kind building certainly came in handy. “[The churchgoer] said that sometimes his mother didn’t feel like getting  dressed up for church. They’d just listen to the sermon from the car, like a drive-in movie.”

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2. The Antique Trove in Scottsdale houses different vendors that span the decades over 23,000 square feet. Go down the midcentury rabbit hole.

antique trove

3. Shore’s most popular tour recounts the deeds of murderess Winnie Ruth Judd. The expert guide will bring you back to the ’30s in Phoenix’s Coronado neighborhood, along with the Lois Grunow Memorial Clinic where Judd worked.

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