Maricopa was a haven for thousands of immigrants who sought gold in California. In the mid 1800s it became a major stagecoach relay station. With an abundant supply of water and food, it was a prosperous hospitality center for travelers. In the mid 1900s Maricopa transformed the desert into cotton farms, raised cattle, and other crops including alfalfa, peas, melons, citrus, and pecans. When incorporated in 2003 its population was only about one thousand people. Since that time its population has exploded in part due to inexpensive land cost and availability of water. The population is ethnically diverse and the only city in the United States to be bordered by two Native American communities. Many businesses in Maricopa are home based.