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Sedona Business Signs
The Paleo-Indians were the first peoples to inhabit the area now known as Sedona, Arizona from around 11500 and 9000 B.C. By 9000 B.C., the “Archaic” people arrived in the Verde Valley. The “Archaic” people left by 300 A.D., however. Around 650 A.D., the Sinagua people entered the area. By 1400 A.D., the Sinagua had abandoned the area for the Hopi mesas in Arizona and the Zuni and other pueblos located in what is now New Mexico. The Yavapai and Apache were the last native people to dominate the area from 1300 A.D. to 1876, when they were forcibly removed by the United States to the San Carlos Indian Reservation.
The first Anglo settler in the Verde Valley was John J. Thompson, who moved to Oak Creek Canyon in 1876. Many of these early Anglo settlers were farmers and ranchers. The Sedona post office was established in 1902. Sedona itself was named after Sedona Arabella Miller Schnebly, the wife of Theodore Carlton Schnebly, the city’s first postmaster. Sedona would not be incorporated until 1988.
Today, according to a 2014 US Census estimate, Sedona has a total population of 10,281 people. Sedona “straddles the county line between Coconino and Yavapai counties.”
Sedona, Arizona is famous for being a tourist attraction. In fact, Coconino National Forest is located nearby. Coconino National Forest was established on July 2nd, 1908. Its area is roughly 1,856,038 acres (751,112 ha) wide and attracts 1,890,000 visitors annually. Located within Coconino National Forest is Cathedral Rock. This beautiful redbed sandstone formation has an elevation of 4,921 feet (1,500 m). It is one of the most photographed sights in the US state of Arizona.
Elsewhere in the area is the Chapel of the Holy Cross. This Roman Catholic chapel was built into buttes near Sedona, on Coconino National Forest land. The Diocese of Phoenix, as a part of the St. John Vianney Parish of Sedona, runs this chapel. The Chapel of the Holy Cross was completed in 1956. It was commissioned by local sculptor and rancher Marguerite Brunswig Staude and created under the guidance of architects Richard Hein and August K. Strotz.
Due to the area’s stunning red buttes rising up into spectacular sunrises or sunsets – it is no wonder Hollywood has used it as a location for movies, stretching back all the way to 1923. In fact, many classics, such as Johnny Guitar, Angel and the Badman, Desert Fury, Blood on the Moon, and 3:10 to Yuma were all shot in and around the area. Sedona is so well known for its Hollywood connection that it hosts an annual festival, Sedona International Film Festival every year – and has done since 1994.
The Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Festival has also been a cornerstone of culture for the Sedona area since its founding in 1982. This particular music festival takes place at the Poco Diablo Resort, among other locations. Sedona also hosts the Sedona Marathon, The Sedona Miracle Annual Charity Fundraiser, the International Sedona Yoga Festival, the Illuminate Film Festival, the Sedona Bluegrass Festival, and The Sedona Solstice Festivals (Summer and Winter) at Unity of Sedona.
As you can tell, Sedona has a strong connection with the New Age Movement. In fact, Jose Arguelles organized the “Harmonic Convergence” at Sedona in 1987. According to the New York Times, many who have visited Sedona claim they hear “spiritual vortices” (which, have come to be known as the “Sedona Vortices,”) “concentrated at Bell Rock, Airport Mesa, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon.”
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