What brought you to Sedona? Was it the love of hiking in the red rocks? Did you move here to be closer to family? Did you re-locate for a job, or did you dream of retiring in Sedona? Whatever your reason for making Sedona your home, you may be intrigued by the interesting history of our scenic town.
You probably know that Sedona was named after Sedona Schnebly, one of the early settlers of the area. Sedona Arabella Miller was born February 24, 1877, in Missouri. At the age of twenty, Sedona married Theodore Carleton (T.C.) Schnebly and the couple moved to the Arizona Territory to join T.C.’s brother, Ellsworth. The family farmed and built a home along Oak Creek, where Tlaquepaque stands today.
As more people settled the area, T.C. saw the need to establish a post office. He suggested naming the town Oak Creek Crossing or Schnebly Station. The Postmaster General said the names were too long. Ellsworth Schnebly suggested naming the town after Sedona. The town and the post office became official in 1902 and the rest is history. Sedona Schnebly is buried along with T.C. and their daughter Pearl at the Cook Cemetery off Airport Road in West Sedona.
If you are interested in learning more about Sedona Schnebly and the history of Sedona, several excellent resources are available.
Attend the Arizona Humanities program “Sedona: From Cucumbers to Leavenworth” on Wednesday, February 8, at 1:30 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 55 Rojo Drive in the Village of Oak Creek. Lisa Schnebly Heidinger, Sedona’s great-granddaughter, will share little-known facts and anecdotes about Sedona and her family. Lisa is currently writing the biography of Sedona and will be sharing sections from her manuscript.
Visit the Sedona Heritage Museum located in Jordan Historical Park at 735 Jordan Road in uptown Sedona. Take a self-guided tour to view exhibits highlighting early settlers, ranching and cowboys, the orchard industry, movies made in Sedona, and Sedona Schnebly, the town’s namesake. Before you visit the museum, stop by Sedona Public Library and use your library card to check out a Culture Pass, which will give you two free admissions to the Sedona Heritage Museum. (Please note: Culture Passes are available only at the main library.)Take time to view the lovely sculpture of Sedona that graces the entrance to the Library.
Access the library website at www.sedonalibrary.org to search for titles in the Arizona Collection at Sedona Public Library and the Yavapai Library Network. Cline Library at Northern Arizona University has amazing resources in their Special Collections and Archives, including photos and oral history interviews. View this information online at http://archive.library.nau.edu/cdm/resources. For assistance accessing this information online, ask your librarian, “the original search engine.”
Please call Sedona Public Library at 928-282-7714 or Sedona Public Library in the Village at 928-284-1603 for more information about services, programs, and exhibits offered at your library.
Village News appears monthly in The Villager and is also presented on Sedona Biz.
By Cheryl Yeatts
Cheryl Yeatts is Manager of Sedona Public Library in the Village.