photos taken by Royce Stringer
Prescott, Arizona…everybody’s hometown, which really happens to be OUR HOMETOWN. We would love to have the privilege of showing you the place our family has called home for generations. The city of Prescott is located in central Arizona between Phoenix and Flagstaff. Prescott is a large part of Arizona history including becoming the AZ territorial capital in 1864. Named after William H. Prescott, it was officially incorporated in 1883.
Prescott is admired for many reasons: it’s moderate year-round climate, scenic vistas, numerous parks, hiking & bike trails, diverse terrain and culture bring visitors from all over the world. For a city of 40,000, there is always something happening here! There is a large variety of local and national chain restaurants including Texas Roadhouse, Red Lobster, Applebees, Macayos, Chilis(PV), Buffalo Wild Wings(PV) and many more. A beautiful indoor mall sits atop of the east end of town and features many well known retail anchors including Dillards, Sears, JC Penny, Michaels, Bed Bath & Beyond, Trader Joes and Best Buy, to name a few.
Love entertainment? Big-city-style entertainment is presented through such venues as Yavapai College, Historic Elks Theatre, Tim’s Toyota Center(Prescott Valley) and other cultural facilities. Enjoy first run movies at the 14 screen Harkins Theater, take in a CHL hockey game with local team, the Arizona Sundogs, or relax with a stroll around the courthouse plaza, home to numerous music and craft shows. There are also numerous parades throughout the year, including the Old West inspired Fourth of July parade that attracts visitors from all over, Christmas parade featuring local businesses, school bands and organizations and a Holiday Light Parade every December.
Arizona Territorial Governor John Noble Goodwin selected the original site of Prescott following his first tour of the new territory. Goodwin replaced Governor John A. Gurley, appointed by Abraham Lincoln, who died before taking office. Downtown streets in Prescott are named in honor of each of them. Goodwin selected a site 20 miles (32 km) south of the temporary capital on the east side of Granite Creek near a number of mining camps. The territorial capital was later moved to the new site along with Fort Whipple, with the new town named in honor of historian William H. Prescott during a public meeting on May 30, 1864. Robert W. Groom surveyed the new community, and an initial auction sold 73 lots on June 4, 1864. By July 4, 1864, a total of 232 lots had been sold within the new community. Prescott was officially incorporated in 1883.
Prescott served as capital of Arizona Territory until November 1, 1867, when the capital was moved to Tucson by act of the 4th Arizona Territorial Legislature. The capital was returned to Prescott in 1877 by the 9th Arizona Territorial Legislature. The capital was finally moved to Phoenix on February 4, 1889, by the 15th Arizona Territorial Legislature.
The Sharlot Hall Museum houses much of Prescott’s territorial history, and the Smoki and Phippen museums also maintain local collections. Whiskey Row in downtown Prescott boasts many historic buildings, including The Palace, Arizona’s oldest restaurant and bar, and many other buildings that have been converted to boutiques, art galleries, bookstores, and restaurants. The city was named after author William H. Prescott, whose writings were popular during the Civil War.
Prescott also has a place in western folklore with the fact that Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp’s older brother lived in Prescott in 1879 and told him of the boom town in Tombstone, Arizona. It is also rumored that Doc Holliday spent some time in Prescott just before heading to Tombstone.
After several major fires in the early part of the century, downtown Prescott was rebuilt with brick. The central courthouse plaza, a lawn under huge old elm trees, is a gathering and meeting place. Cultural events and performances take place on many nights in the summer on the plaza.
Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican nominee for president, launched his presidential campaign from the steps of Prescott’s Yavapai County Courthouse.
Prescott received national media attention in 2010 after local talk-radio host and city councilman Steve Blair criticized a mural depicting children of different ethnicities on a Miller Valley Elementary School (Prescott Unified School District #1) building. Blair was temporarily removed from the radio show due to the ensuing controversy, which was stirred up by political archrival, former Mayor Jack Wilson.