Sedona: A Truly Unique and Special Place
A bit of a scandal if you ask me…
The experts don’t seem to be able to agree on when Sedona originated. Some will tell you it all began 350 million years ago, when erosion and shifting tectonic plates began to shape Oak Creek Canyon into what it is today (although it did not receive that particular name for many, many years). Some will tell you Sedona’s first inhabitants were Native Americans that came over from Asia (?) over eleven thousand years ago. There is, however, a much more relevant kind of expert to our inquiry; the masses call them historians, but they call themselves recorders of history.
These so called “recorders of history” tell us a very different story (not to mention more interesting, with less contradictions). They tell us that the first Real American settler to the area was John James Thompson, who squatted (see the scandal!) on the land in 1876. (Personally, I don’t see what someone’s private business has to do with settling an area, but that is how the story goes.) The area was mostly a farming and ranching community, becoming famous for one particular tempting fruit.
A rose by any other name wouldn’t be called a rose at all…
When Theodore Schnelbly (say that out loud) came to the area in 1901, the settlers were obviously anxious to be in touch with the outside world. Seeing an opportunity and jumping on it, Schnelbly wrote the Post Office Department and requested a post office in the area. The name was decided to be Sedona, after his wife, and Schnelbly became the first postmaster. (At first you might think that sounds romantic, but it was only after the name “Schnelbly Station” was rejected because it was too long to put on the cancellation stamp that he even gave a thought to his wife.) This is how Sedona received its name.
From orchards to the Duke…
Oak Creek Canyon challenges the beauty of many of the nations’ top national parks (although, it seems to me to be more the kind of challenge that that short kid at your middle school made when he was finally tired of being picked on and made fun of). This beauty attracted more and more tourists as the town grew older (not larger), but no other industries settled in Sedona. Soon, tourism became the main source of income for many Sedonaits (um… yep). Because of the beautiful southwestern settings around Sedona it has been the stage for many great westerns of the 1940s and ‘50s, such as John Wayne’s “Angel and the Badman,” along with seventy-six other major motion pictures. To this day Sedona finds itself as the setting of many TV shows and commercials.
Native Asian Americans and strange energies…
The beautiful scenery has attracted more than just movies; many artists have been attracted to the region to paint the beautiful landscapes. It was believed by the Native Americans that originally settled the area that it was a center for psychic energy, or as they call it, a “spiritual vortex.” The vortex and its strange energy still attract many New Age followers to the area to experience the “power.”
The truth behind the facts these days…
Sedona was incorporated in 1988, and is today one of the biggest tourist traps – I mean attractions in the much visited state of Arizona, which hosts over four million tourists from the entire planet. It is home to many resorts, recreation centers, artist communities and the retired.
The citizens of Sedona are proud of their beautiful environment and work diligently to preserve its uniqueness and special qualities. Central to this effort is the role of achievement through volunteerism and the interest of controlling its own destiny through participation in city government.