Although Flagstaff became an incorporated town in 1894, the modern history really dates back to 1876 when settlers passing through honored the nation’s centennial by raising an American flag up a pine tree. Their “flag staff” became a landmark for those who followed, and eventually became the town’s namesake. The western expansion of the railroad in the 1880s attracted merchants and saloon keepers to set up shop for the railroad workers and lumbermen. Within a couple of years, Flagstaff was a thriving town of railroad, lumber and ranching industries. Early families such as the Riordans (lumber) and Babbitts (ranching) have descendants who still live and work in Flagstaff today. In the ensuing century since; the Normal School would become Northern Arizona University, Lowell Observatory was established, and the surrounding area became a vast National Forest.
In now more modern times, Flagstaff is now a vibrant college town of nearly 70,000 residents. Flagstaff is the largest city near the Grand Canyon, just 80 miles to the north. Located at the crossroads of Interstates 17 and 40, the city is the stopping point for many cross country commuters and visitors. With four distinct seasons and a well-known southwest ski resort, Flagstaff has earned a reputation as a year-round visitor destination for international tourists and young families.
Additional resources in learning more about the business and tourism community of Flagstaff: