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Sedona History

Sedona History

For more than 11,000 years, humans have lived in the Sedona region. The first inhabitants were Indians of Asian ancestry. Early bands of Sinagua and Anasazi lived in stone and cliff dwellings among these beautiful red rocks spires, canyons and sheltered river valleys. Then came the Yavapai, Hopi and Navajo, who marked the cardinal points of the compass with the colors of their sacred corn. Their settlement continued in the immediate area until the time of Spanish and European encroachment. The awe inspiring vistas, along with the magnificent views of the sky, have drawn out the spiritual nature of all these peoples from the very beginning. They hunted, gathered and cultivated in the area until Europeans and their descendants entered the area 500 years ago.

The first Europeans to discover the region in 1583 were members of a Spanish expedition in search of legendary rich Indian mines. A few expeditions may have passed through the Sedona region, but it is uncertain exactly which trails were traveled.

Sedona began as a small, remote ranching and farming settlement in 1876 when the first permanent settler, John James Thompson, squatted in Oak Creek Canyon. By 1902, 20 families lived in the settlement and a postal station was petitioned for by Theodore Schnelbly. The petition was granted and Schnelbly named the new post office in honor of his wife, Sedona.

At least 76 feature films and countless video productions and commercials have been shot either in full or in part in the Greater Sedona area. For three decades, Westerns were the most popular movies in America. From "shoot'em-ups" to romance, dramas, and the singing cowboy films, they attract audiences around the world.

There are two Sedona landmarks, which were created by men, but destined to be forever associated with the city and area of Sedona.The first is: Chapel of The Holy Cross, a church described as "a spiritual fortress," "rising like a shrine out of the desert." It was completed in 1956. The second is:Tlaquepaque, a 4 1/2 acre enclave of authentic-looking colonial Mexican buildings, with nature preserved.The architects built around the sycamores, cypress, and other trees.Tlaquepaque is a center for art and is a beautiful 15 minute drive from Phoenix Rose Cottage.

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