Discover the History of Flagstaff: From Pioneer Days to the Lunar Landing
Located along a pioneer trail, the city was first a stop for travelers on horseback, then by rail and later by car on Route 66 and Interstate 40. The landmark peaks were an important landmark to travelers and even before the arrival of the railway adventurous visitors were using it as a jumping off point for exploring the Grand Canyon and other not area attractions. Other surprising bits of history include a connection to the Apollo space missions and Hollywood.
Early History of Flagstaff
Between 1856 and 1870, Lt. Edward Beale scouted a trail across the Southwest that would later bear his name. In 1876, a group of pioneers traveling the Beale road stopped on the Fourth of July and made camp at a spring in the shadow of the San Francisco Peaks. To celebrate the centennial of the nation, they stripped the limbs from a tall pine and raised the flag. Over the years, many travelers stopped near the tall "flag-staff," these pioneers had raised and the name stuck.
History of the Railroad
Like many western towns, the arrival of the railroad marked a turning point in the history of Flagstaff. Prior to the arrival of the train, the city was little more than a campsite along a pioneer trail. The train gave shepherds, loggers and cattlemen access to markets for their products, and those industries soon thrived in this region. The train also brought in visitors from around the world, who used Flagstaff as a jumping-off point for a stage ride to Grand Canyon.
History of the San Francisco Peaks
The remainders of an ancient volcano, the six San Francisco Peaks are the highest mountains in Arizona. These majestic peaks dominate the skyline throughout northern Arizona and have played an important role in the lives of people for as long as they have inhabited the region.
Flagstaff and the History of the Apollo Missions
In the decade from 1963 to 1973, a group of young geoscientists working for the U.S. Geological Survey Branch of Astrogeology in Flagstaff played a major role in one of mankind's greatest achievements — the six Apollo expeditions to the Moon.
Flagstaff Haunted Places — A Self-guided Tour
Every town has its ghost stories, but Flagstaff may have more than its fair share. Seven reportedly haunted sites in downtown Flagstaff can be easily visited by foot in an afternoon.