Of all the areas that became part of today's 516-square-mile Phoenix, Sunnyslope had the best chance of being its own separate town.
At the foot of North Mountain, Sunnyslope was very different from Phoenix proper (the name came from the Sunny Slope subdivision laid out by William Norton in 1911). It was a desert town, north of the Arizona Canal which marked the beginning of the oasis.
It was higher than the historic Phoenix townsite, something you still can see today if you drive south from Hatcher on Central Avenue, and framed by rugged terrain. My grandmother sold real estate in Sunnyslope and any time I, an oasis kid, would go with her, it seemed very exotic. And unlike Phoenix, its history was not based on agriculture.
Instead, Sunnyslope attracted "health seekers" and usually poor ones. In the Great Depression, it hosted a Hooverville. And Phoenix leaders not only looked down on it, they didn't want it to be part of the city. It received virtually none of the massive New Deal aid that saved Phoenix in the 1930s.