A Brief History of Litchfield Park, Arizona

Litchfield Park, Arizona, is a small residential community in Maricopa County, only 2 miles north of I-10 and 16 miles west of central Phoenix - and is the historic center of the Southwest Valley. It is a unique suburban community boasting a wholesome, casual atmosphere with beautiful homes, mature landscaping, charming sidewalk cafes, the celebrated Wigwam Golf Resort, award-winning schools and friendly neighbors.

The community which was later to become Litchfield Park was originally settled in early 1910 when the first land claims were filed by William Kriegbaum of Riverside, CA, - 640 acres which included that land which now is the City’s downtown area. The initial plan of the earliest settlers was to develop the area west of the Agua Fria River as citrus groves. In 1916, Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company sent Paul W. Litchfield, then a junior executive with the Company, to purchase a huge land parcel in this area - ultimately 16,000 acres, which included the land claims of the original settlers. 

The objective was to grow Egyptian long-staple cotton for use in reinforcing straight-sided pneumatic automobile and truck tires. With the advent of World War I, Goodyear Tire could no longer obtain their cotton supply from overseas. 

Paul Litchfield came to love this area, and made Litchfield Ranch into the headquarters for Southwest Cotton Company (later Goodyear Farms), which put thousands of acres under cultivation in the region. In the 1920’s Paul and Florence Litchfield built their beautiful winter estate, “Rancho La Loma”, on the hill overlooking the townsite. The company town was officially named Litchfield Park in 1926. The Wigwam Resort, begun as simple guest housing (originally called “Organization House”) for visiting Goodyear Tire executives from Akron, Ohio, was expanded and opened as a public resort in November, 1929. From 1931 to 1944 this area was also home to the test site for Goodyear auto, truck and tractor tires. Paul Litchfield was instrumental in the establishment of Luke Air Force base just north of the community; and Litchfield Park grew extensively during and after World War II.

Litchfield Park was incorporated as a city in 1987. The Litchfield/Denny family estate, Rancho La Loma, is presently under the control of the City of Litchfield Park, and plans are being generated by the City for the restoration of the site and its buildings, and eventual development of the property for public use.