YAVAPAI COUNTY-- When the centennial buzz of 2012 is past, in a year or two or three, there will left behind be a rich collection of recorded experience and history to last for the next 100 years. There are portraits of very specific local memories in book, video and other forms and, even, grand evaluations of the American West. There will be monuments at historic places and small historic overviews of local cities, towns and areas.
The State Historical Advisory Commission set the stage with by offering distinction to “Legacy Projects” expected to span the centennial year. To be considered as a Legacy Project, a topic must be submitted to the Centennial Committee by Feb. 14. They must portray a significant aspect of Arizona history, be easily accessible to the public, show collaboration in planning, produce an enduring project, with an educational component that will live on.
There are a dizzying number of Legacy Projects already completed or under development in every corner of the state, exploring such divergent topics as 100 years of Arizona Women, African-American Firsts in Arizona, the children’s adventures of the Chiracahua Leopard Frog, restoration of the Train Order Semaphore, the Oral Histories of the Central Arizona Project. In Williams, an Arizona State Railroad Museum is being built, there is a collection of the 100 years of Arizona newspapers.
Almost whatever the mind can conceive.
This is a starter list for those interested in reading or following the fascinating stories that preceded this century in Arizona’s, Yavapai County’s and Verde Valley’s history and the culture that bloomed here. There will be many items not covered here. This short list actually is limited to the Yavapai County and the Verde.
In addition to the state legacy projects, Yavapai County has separately developed a series of projects including a collection of small history books with documentation of the local historic societies or museums and bring to the text stories and photographs with documented background.
Yavapai County developed a summary of the history “Around Yavapai County” through Arcadia Publications. Their Images of America series publishes numerous similar small recollections for communities across the country.
In the past year, Arcadia also published a history for Camp Verde and Cottonwood. An earlier history of Sedona was developed in 2007. The Prescott historical overview published in 2006 and a Prescott Valley publication in 2009.
One of the Legacy projects is the Yavapai County Schools Postcard Project is sponsored by Ann Sterling, former Superior Court judge and a member of the Centennial Committee. Patterned after an annual event, it is the traditional student Christmas postcard. Designs this year must focus on the centennial and may include aspects of the winter holiday season. Winning cards will be used as Christmas cards by three age groups of students. They will be postmarked in Phoenix and returned to the participating students with the Arizona Centennial Commemorative Stamp and the first day cancellation as a lasting memory of the centennial.
In Camp Verde, the Yavapai-Apache Nation is honoring a significant historical event for the Yavapai and Apache peoples, the Exodus, observed each February. The event honors the spirit of a Yavapai elder who carried his wife in a burden basket the 180 miles to their exile in San Carlos where they lived for the next 25 years. He would not leave her behind. The project would raise a 6-foot-9 statue of the elder carrying his wife, to be placed at the Yavapai-Apache Cultural Center. The foundation is already in place. But Cultural Director Judy Piner says fundraising for the project has just begun.
Since last July, the Jerome Library, in collaboration with the Town and Historical Society has mounted a photographic exhibit of 70 photographs. The exhibit details the evolving culture of the Jerome community and the use of its historic buildings, beginning in 1880 and continuing through 2010. The permanent display and a timeline storyboard is mounted in the council chambers and adjacent public library was organized by Librarian Kathleen Jarvis and funded by a Library Services and Technology Act Grant.
The Verde Confluence Centennial Committee, is capturing the rich history of the lower Verde Valley through the process of digital storytelling, showcasing the areas of Lake Montezuma, McGuireville, Rimrock, Camp Verde and the Yavapai-Apache Nation.
A collection of short three to five minute story segments will be combined into a continuous long form.
Professional artists were invited to compete for a competition to place Public Artwork in Sedona Roundabouts on SR 179, adhering the Arts and Culture Commission theme to the rich and varied history of Native American, Hispanic, pioneer, ranching and cowboy cultures.
“Prescott — Where It All Began,” is a City of Prescott Arizona Centennial Committee collection of 52 essays by 52 authors about the history of Prescott from 1912 to the present, together with 52 newspaper stories published weekly in the Prescott Daily Courier from February 2011 until February 2012.
The Yavapai County Attorney’s Office has collaborated with several local museums to celebrate Arizona’s Centennial and to preserve a piece of history of the Verde Valley. Working with Sharlot Hall exhibit designer George Fuller, an exhibit of historical photographs has been created for the Camp Verde offices of the Yavapai County Attorney, located at the criminal justice complex at 2830 N. Commonwealth Drive, Suite 106.
The permanent exhibit features reproductions of photographs between 1870 and 1930. The pictures depict themes from life in the Verde Valley including schools, transportation, law enforcement and communities. Cottonwood, Rimrock, Camp Verde, Sedona, Clarkdale and Jerome are all represented in the exhibit.
“I think it is so important to preserve our unique history and to create visual legacies in our public buildings,” comments Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk. “This is our third project working with exhibit designer George Fuller and he does wonderful work.”
Photographs were reproduced with permission from Sharlot Hall Museum, Clemenceau Heritage Museum, and Sedona Historical Society and Heritage Museum.
The exhibit will be unveiled to the public at an Open House on Friday, Feb. 10, from 3 to 6 p.m. at the Yavapai County Attorney’s Office in Camp Verde. The public is invited.
“I am excited about this collection and this opportunity to preserve for public viewing the history of our region,” said Polk. “The photographs are fascinating, endearing, and really fun. It is a great way to commemorate Arizona’s Centennial.”
Another video entry was created by Manzanita Films. The documentary titled, “Yavapai County: The Key to Arizona,” will look at this unique area in central Arizona and will help to bring the county into a personal sense of belonging to the state’s centennial celebration.
“Yavapai: 12 Poems in Honor or Arizona’s Centennial 1912-2012” is a book of art and poetry. It is collaboration between author Mary Holden and artist Kathryn Henneman, honoring Arizona’s first 100 years. The poetry is all about the experience of living in Arizona; the art used illustrates the colors of Yavapai County and a Navajo rug. The first 2,500 copies have already been distributed at the National Hispanic Women’s Conference in October of 2011
For a listing of official Arizona Centennial Legacy Projects, visit www.azcentennial.gov.
New monuments will be placed to recognize the historic locations that formed our past. The project was created by the Yavapai County Centennial Commission. The Commission originally intended to fund five such monuments with a fixed price of $500. But public and private organizations joined the fun and now about a dozen such monuments are proposed, including many in the Verde Valley.
Two are already in place. Both are placed at sites of schools or former schools.
At the Scheurman Red Rock Cemetery project, Janeen Travillyan says the importance of the placement is the location, near Red Rock Crossing on the Lower Loop Road. The site was where the first people settled in Sedona. The first school was built there in 1891, the first cemetery dug in 1893 and the first homestead patented in 1896.
The Beaver Creek School is today mostly a recent structure, but the school is at the long-held gathering site for the area. The stone monument with the Yavapai Commemorative Centennial Seal has been mounted on the new multi-use building.
Other monuments will be place on the Clemenceau Public School building in Cottonwood. Sponsor Mary Liggit says the construction was first begun in 1923 and completed in 1924. Though it no longer accommodates students, it remains home to the Cottonwood-Oak Creek District Office and the Clemenceau Historic Museum.
Two monuments will be created for Clarkdale. One will be placed at the Clark Memorial building and the other at the former Clarkdale High School that is being transformed into a Copper Museum to honor the importance of the ore to the community’s history.