The Story of Sedona

It wasn't the beauty of the red rocks, but rather the presence of a rare (in Arizona) year-round water source that attracted indigenous people to Oak Creek Canyon more than 10,000 years ago. Cater, the spring-fed creek and the lure of free land under the Homestead Act beckoned the first Anglo pioneers in the 1870s.

These pioneering families began as squatters and homesteaders settled along the creek, farming just enough for their own needs. Thanks to irrigation ditches, homesteaders expanded their plantings and grew commercial orchards of apples and peaches. Ranchers took grazing permits, moving cattle from winter pasture in our valley to summer grating on the Ion Rim, Miners in Jerome and loggers in Flagstaff created ready markets for these homesteaders' beef, fruit, vegetables and Red Rack I'Vhne from our first winery.

When T.C.Schnebly saw a need for regular postal service, he applied for a post office and suggested his wife's name, Sedona, for the new mail stop in 1902.

Beginning with a silent version of Zane Grey's Call of the Canyon in 1923, Sedona became a favorite location for Hollywood. During the golden era of western movies, major stars came to Sedona, from John Wayne to Elvis Presley, Images or our scenic beauty appeared on silver screens around the world, attracting visitors to Oak Creek Canyon as a vacation destination.

Tourism increased after WWII, eventually replacing agriculture as the primary local industry. World-famous artists also discovered our spectacular vistas, including Max Ernst. In 1965, over beers in front of the fireplace at the Oak Creek Tavern, live traditional western artists founded the Cowboy Artists of America.

Sedona Schnebly would hardly recognize the town that bears her name. Farms gave way to subdivisions and by the mid-20th century, it resembled a bucolic Western town with a bus stop at the gas station, a hardware store and cafés. Most of Sedona, which was incorporated in 1988, was built in the last few decades.

To get a real sense of what Sedona was like at the turn of the previous century, visit the Sedona Heritage Museum, which was once a homestead and focuses on community events, education, history presentation, archives and restoration. Whether it's our water, our awe-inspiring red rocks or Sedona's welcoming nature, feel free to make your own history in our home.

More Information:

Camping and Picnic Sites

Opportunities for camping and picnicking, with popular campground locations such as in Oak Creek Canyon.

Fishing Sites

A guide on where to find trout, catfish, carp and bass in streams and rivers of Red Rock Country. Start your fly fishing adventure here.

Sedona Cuisine

Sample from the wide range of cuisines Sedona has to offer. If you're looking for a deliciously authentic dininq experience in an idyllic setting, hurry to Sedona.