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Flagstaff's Founding

FLAGSTAFF'S FOUNDING FLAGSTAFF WAS A NAME ON A MAP BEFORE THE AREA HAD ANY SIGNIFICANT POPULATION. THE FIRST PERMANENT SETTLER WAS THOMAS F. MCMILLAN WHO ARRIVED SOMETIME IN 1876. ON JULY 4, 1876, A ...


FLAGSTAFF'S FOUNDING

FLAGSTAFF WAS A NAME ON A MAP BEFORE THE AREA
HAD ANY SIGNIFICANT POPULATION. THE FIRST
PERMANENT SETTLER WAS THOMAS F. MCMILLAN WHO
ARRIVED SOMETIME IN 1876. ON JULY 4, 1876, A PARTY
OF EMIGRANTS TRAVELING FROM BOSTON TO CALIFORNIA
WAS CAMPED AT ANTELOPE SPRINGS, NEAR MCMILLAN'S
HOMESTEAD AND IN THE VICINITY OF PRESENT-DAY
MARSHALL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. IN HONOR OF THE
NATION'S CENTENNIAL, THE EMIGRANTS STRIPPED THE
LIMBS FROM A TALL PONDEROSA PINE TREE AND HOISTED
OLD GLORY. THIS EVENT GAVE FLAGSTAFF ITS NAME.

IN 1881, THE ATLANTIC & PACIFIC RAILROAD WAS
BEING CONSTRUCTED WESTWARD FROM ALBUQUERQUE
ALONG THE 35TH PARALLEL TO CALIFORNIA: THE FIRST
TRAIN PULLER INTO FLAGSTAFF IN AUGUST 1882. AT
THE SAME TIME, A LUMBER MILL HAD BEEN BUILT BY
CHICAGO INDUSTRIALIST EDWARD E. AYER TO TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THE ABUNDANCE OF TIMBER IN THE
FLAGSTAFF AREA. THE RAILROAD AND THE LUMBER
INDUSTRY TOGETHER CREATED THE SETTLEMENT WE
NOW AS FLAGSTAFF.

A SMALL TENT CITY GREW UP BESIDE THE RAILROAD
TRACKS NEAR OLD TOWN SPRING, ALONG PRESENT-DAY
LOWER COCONINO AVENUE. THE TOWN WAS RELOCATED
TO NEW TOWN (THE PRESENT-DAY DOWNTOWN AREA) IN
1882.

JAMES E. BABBITT
BUSINESSMAN

Submitted by @JimStLeger

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