It is thought that the first settlers moved into the area about 20,000 years ago. They shared this beautiful land with bison, camel, and antelope, all of which helped these people survive by providing food and shelter. Various tribes lived in the area for thousands of years, living off of these natural resources. European American settlers did not settle in the area until around the 1870s after the tribes were driven out and into the southeastern Arizona region. The first settlers did not think that the area was well-suited for farming so they didn't stay. It wasn't until a shepherder came along and began raising cattle that the population began to grow do to that business. In 1882, the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, now called the Santa Fe, arrived in the town and secured its future. In the years 1886 and 1888, multiple fires destroyed the small settlement but was rebuilt and in 1894, the city was incorporated. Quickly after the city was named, lumber became a huge industry and the backbone for the economy. Many people got rich from this business and the town began to flourish into what it is today.
This historic Observatory operates multiple telescopes in the Flagstaff area. The area was chosen due to its high elevation and moderate climate. The main structure sits on Mars Hill near historic downtown and was built in 1896 for only 20,000. Many important discoveries have been made at the observatory, the biggest one being the discovery of the planet Pluto in 1930. Other discoveries include the three largest known stars, the first Trojan of Neptune, the orbits of Pluto's moons, and Pluto's atmosphere. Today, astronomers still conduct research on the solar system and approaching asteroids in the observatory and its various telescopes.
Arts & Culture
Flagstaff has year-round live entertainment and cultural events. In the city, you will find art galleries, museums, concerts, and so much cultural diversity. For some amazing performing arts shows, check out the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra or a show at the historic Orpheum Theater which offers you a glimpse into the past. Many of the bars, breweries, restaurants, pubs, and cafes throughout town also offer live concerts most nights of the week. Museums around town include Northern Arizona University's Art Museum, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and the Cline Library. You will see many fascinating artifacts since the area has such a rich history! Flagstaff also has a large public art scene; you can take a tour around the city to view the beautiful murals, statues, and other local art.
The route was completed in 1926 and runs through the city which was not named until 1928. The next year, the first motel was built and the city became a hot spot along the route due to its close distance from the Grand Canyon. Today, you can cruise Route 66 and see many of the iconic buildings that still have their neon signs, dating back to a simpler time in tourism. Around the city, there are ghost towns located along the route that are also popular.
Tucked away in the Ponderosa pines, Flagstaff is the perfect place to visit for the breathtaking natural wonders that are close by. Enjoy hiking, explore the national parks, and take a trip to the following places; they are all just a short drive away.
Red Rocks State Park
Kaibab National Forest