In the late 1950s, philanthropist Robert Maytag, the grandson of the Maytag Company founder, had a dream that the growing city of Phoenix needed a world-class zoo. Under Maytag’s leadership, the dream became a reality in 1962.

A new book by Debbie Veldhuis explores the history and present of the Phoenix Zoo, one of the biggest privately owned nonprofit zoos in the United States—and one of the most visited places in Arizona.

Veldhuis and her brother, Doug, were at the Phoenix Zoo on opening day in 1962. An author, photographer and animal lover, she spent three years in the Army as a photojournalist on a joint service newspaper. She currently works for the Phoenix Public Library.

“Phoenix Zoo” is published by Arcadia Publishing, based in Mount Pleasant, S.C., and retails for $21.99.

Last month saw the release of “Pioneer & Military Memorial Park of Phoenix,” by Derek D. Horn with assistance from members of the Pioneers’ Cemetery Association.

Pioneer & Military Memorial Park, located at 1313 W. Jefferson St. in downtown Phoenix, exists to honor the legacies of early residents buried in seven historic cemeteries established in 1884 and closed in 1914.

Horn, along with members of The Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, delve into the past and bring to light the movers, shakers and regular folks who built this ever-growing desert city. Henry Garfias, a popular and prominent lawman, once served the town as constable and marshal. Rose Gregory, once of the Phoenix’s most colorful forerunners, is remembered as benevolent madam. Charles Posten was once regarded as the “father of Arizona.”

The book, also from Arcadia Publishing & The History Press, retails for $23.99. Both books are available at

The guide is available at Barnes & Noble Metrocenter, 10235 N. Metro Parkway East (602-678-0088).



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