In 1984, as Jane Freeman was putting the finishing touches on Jubilee, The 25th Anniversary History of Sun City she had co-authored with Glenn Sanberg, she visited the offices of the Del E. Webb Development Company (DEVCO) for some information.
DEVCO had just completed the construction of its newest development, Sun City West, and was in the process of moving its offices there. ‘They were cleaning out a lot of stuff,” said Freeman. ‘They had let a lot of people go. And they were literally taking file drawers and dumping them upside down into dumpsters.”
Freeman, who moved to Sun City in 1970 and has served on so many boards, committees, and clubs that she is informally known as the “First Lady of Sun City,” was appalled at the sight of such treasures – old marketing photographs, brochures, newsletters, media clippings, and other historical materials – disappearing into the trash. She gathered up some friends and, quite literally, went dumpster diving. The Sun Cities Area Historical Society – a group effort spearheaded by Freeman, Sanberg, and Rita Wright – was born.