The unincorporated community of Beaver Creek was among the first communities established in the Verde Valley. Shortly after a group of farmers from the Prescott area settled on Clear Creek, new arrivals discovered a similar opportunity was waiting along Beaver Creek.
Given the fact that these new arrivals discovered an irrigation canal that had been around since the time of the ancient Sinagua, about 500 year earlier, made their work developing a farm all that much easier -- even if the repeated raids by Yavapai and Apache in whose homeland they were settling, didn’t.
The tiny community along the banks of Beaver Creek has grown considerably since Wales Arnold and his wife Sarah settled the first ranch/farm in 1867. Today the communities of Rimrock, McGuireville and Lake Montezuma boast a population of nearly 7,000.
Besides having one of the oldest continuously operating school districts in Arizona, the community has a rich history, its own fire district, and a camaraderie among its residents that would be hard to top in any small town.
Located right on Interstate 17, McGuireville was for some time known as “The Station,” named for a gas station operated by Eugene McGuire, long before there was an interstate highway going by. McGuire’s station was a stopover on the dirt road from Camp Verde to Stoneman Lake.
Rimrock was named for a dude ranch that once operated in the area. In fact there were several dude ranches spread across the landscape. The remoteness of the country made them popular with eastern visitors wanting to play cowboy, Hollywood stars wanting to shed the limelight and members of the criminal underworld looking to escape scrutiny.
Lake Montezuma, like the famous Montezuma Well on the edge of town and the spectacular cliff dwelling of Montezuma Castle a few miles down stream, was named for the famous leader who once ruled the Aztec empire. Early visitors mistakenly assumed the stone dwellings in the area were the work of the Aztecs.
Located just east of Interstate 17, about five miles north of Camp Verde, Beaver Creek has continued to grow in spite of the recent economic downturn. Traditionally a community of retirees, affordable housing has made it popular with young families.
Most of the businesses are associated with service providers and construction trades, though there are a few shops, eateries and a golf course looking for an owner.
The area also receives some retail traffic and tourists visiting Montezuma Well. Located off Beaver Creek Road ( just beyond Beaver Creek School), Montezuma Well is a natural limestone sinkhole dotted on the sides with 700 year-old Sinaguan cliff dwellings.