Sedona Heritage Museum
The Sedona Heritage Museum focuses on modern history from 1876 to the present. The museum tells story’s of Sedona’s history and is on the National Register historic places. It has taken up to 350 million years for nature to build the beautiful red rocks by our earth’s thrusts. It was calculated that 1000 years ago when the Native Americans that we know today as Sinagua. They farmed and traded with faraway tribes.
Backstory and Context
Sedona got its name by the turn of the century. A young man named T.C. Schnebly married a beautiful woman named Sedona Miller. They lived in Gorin, Missouri when T.C.’s brother Ellsworth moved out to Arizona due to health conditions. Ellsworth shortly convinced his brother and wife to make the move out to Arizona with him. The couple built a very large two-story house that was also turned into the areas first hotel and general store. The Sedona heritage Museum says, “T. C. suggested the names, Oak Creek Crossing and Schnebly Station, to Washington, D.C., but the Postmaster General at the time had a prejudice for one-word names for postmarks. Ellsworth advised him, "Why don't you name it after your wife?" When Amanda Miller’s little daughter was born on Feb. 24, 1877, in Missouri, Amanda "just thought up" the name Sedona for the child because she thought it sounded pretty. So, the name Sedona isn't Spanish, or Native American” (Sedona Heritage Museum).
The industry in Sedona started with every homestead had a vegetable garden and a large collection of chicken, turkeys, and pigs. The cattle provided beef and milk. The apples and peaches growing like they were is the biggest part in the early Sedona economy. The Sedona heritage Museum says, “After farmers learned to channel the water of Oak Creek for irrigation, they planted larger orchards. The Schuermans planted a vineyard, growing grapes for wine and finding a ready market with local cowboys, Jerome miners and Flagstaff loggers. The Jordan’s, Pendleys and others blasted out irrigation routes and moved the water through ditches, flumes and pipelines. Fruit was driven to markets in Jerome, Prescott, Flagstaff and Phoenix. Oak Creek Canyon fruit was so popular, that people from Phoenix drove here just to purchase fruit at fruit stands. Commercial orcharding all but disappeared from this area by the 1970s-1980s” (Sedona Heritage Museum).
The red rock formation was a pretty ideal way for cowboys to do what they needed. Cowboys back than would work hard at riding, roping, and branding. This was not just a man’s job, but women did it as well. The Sedona heritage Museum says, “Ranchers like the Van Derens, Owenbys, Otto Hallermund, Kel Fox and Pete Michelbach moved their cattle from their winter ranges around Sedona to the tall grassy meadows of the Mogollon Rim in summer. Families moved with their herds, putting their children in area schools during the winter months. The U.S. Forest Service managed then and still manages today a grazing permit program for ranchers. In the spring and fall during roundups, the different cattle outfits worked together to round up the livestock that roamed far and wide before fences. After a couple days, the calves would find their mothers and they could then be branded correctly. Then the herd was on the move and so were the cowboys” (Sedona Heritage Museum).