Mesa, Arizona, a city in Maricopa County. It lies just east of Phoenix in the Salt River Valley, adjoining Tempe and the Salt River Indian reservation. Food processing, retail trade, and the manufacture of electronic items, aircraft parts, heavy machinery, and clothing are the main economic activities.
Mesa Southwest Museum has exhibits pertaining to American Indian and pioneer history. The Champlin Fighter Museum features a variety of military aircraft and memorabilia from the years 1914-70. The Arizona Mormon Temple is open only to Mormons but has a visitors' center and formal gardens that are open to the public. The Rockin' R Ranch recreates a town from the days of the Old West. The Mesa Symphony Orchestra performs at the Chandler Center for the Arts.
Mesa was founded by Mormons in 1878. The city's population grew rapidly during the 1970's and 1980's, from about 63,000 to more than 288,000. Mesa has the mayor-council form of government.