As per the 2021 Census, Gilbert’s town population is 274,418, ranks 81st city in the United States. In 1902, the Arizona Eastern Railway asked for donations of the right of way in order to establish a rail line between Phoenix and Florence. A rail siding was established on property owned by William “Bobby” Gilbert. The siding, and the town that sprung up around it, eventually became known as Gilbert. Gilbert, Arizona is a young, vibrant community fueled by a strong economy. Thriving in business and leisure activities, access to a nationally ranked public school district, and with over 300 days of sunshine per year, Gilbert has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Live in the United States by CNN/Money Magazine.
Gilbert, Arizona History
Gilbert is a young, affluent community in central Arizona. Incorporated on July 6, 1920, Gilbert is a relatively new community that has seen tremendous growth during the past two decades. Historical photos from the Gilbert Historical Society
In 1902, the Arizona Eastern Railway asked for donations of the right of way in order to establish a rail line between Phoenix and Florence. A rail siding was established on property owned by William “Bobby” Gilbert. The siding, and the town that sprung up around it, eventually became known as Gilbert. Gilbert was a prime farming community, fueled by the construction of the Roosevelt Dam and the Eastern and Consolidated Canals in 1911. It remained an agricultural town for many years and was known as the “Hay Capital of the World” until the late 1920s. Gilbert began to take its current shape during the 1970s when the Town Council approved a strip annexation that encompassed 53 square miles of county land. Although the population was only 1,971 in 1970 the Council realized that Gilbert would eventually grow and develop much like the neighboring communities of Tempe, Mesa, and Chandler. This proved to be a farsighted decision as Gilbert positioned itself for growth in the 1980s and beyond.
Gilbert, Arizona Geography
Gilbert is located in the southeast portion of the Phoenix metropolitan area. It is south of Mesa and northeast of Chandler. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the 2000 Census, the town had an estimated area of 40 square miles (104 km2). As of 2009, and due to annexations the current Municipal Planning Area of Gilbert has a total area of 76.0 square miles (197 km2), of which 75.76 square miles (196.2 km2) is land and 0.24 square miles (0.6 km2) is water.
Popular Attractions in Gilbert
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a lake located in Gilbert, Arizona, United States, east of Greenfield Rd and south of Guadalupe Dr. The preserve was created by the Town of Gilbert in 1999 to combine water resources, wildlife habitat, educational programs, and recreational opportunities. The Riparian Preserve consists of 110 acres, with 70 acres of 7 water recharge basins. The Riparian Preserve also includes over 4.5 miles of trails that lead to various vegetative zones, gardens, a paleontology dig site, and an observatory. The Preserve houses approximately 298 species of birds, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.
The Hale Centre Theatre has a legendary heritage as the longest continuously running, privately owned, and operated theater company in America. It is Arizona’s Premier Family Theatre in Gilbert since 2003. This 350-seat theater in the round offers weekend matinee and evening shows, putting on family-friendly shows throughout the year.
Gilbert Temple, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints
The Gilbert Arizona Temple is a temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), in the town of Gilbert, Arizona. The temple is near the intersection of Pecos and Greenfield roads in a rapidly growing part of the southeast Phoenix metropolitan area. The temple was built in response to the high concentration of church members in the area and will help ease the load on the nearby Mesa Arizona Temple. The temple was formally dedicated on March 2, 2014, by Henry B. Eyring and Monson. Like all LDS Church temples, the temple in Gilbert was built and dedicated as a “refuge from the storms of life and the noise of the world” for church members.
Southeast Regional Library
The Southeast Regional Library opened in April 1999. The Library is on the southeast corner of Guadalupe and Greenfield Road, adjacent to the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, a 110-acre park and wildlife preserve in the Town of Gilbert. The state-of-the-art, 66,000-sq. ft. facility offers over 170,700 materials in all formats, Internet-accessible public computers, activity computers for children, public word processing computers, and programming for all ages.