In Richard and Sherry Mangum’s Flagstaff Album: Flagstaff’s First 50 years in Photograghs 1876 – 1926 they stated that in 1876, Flagstaff was overrun with sheep as the drought in California brought sheepherders into Arizona. The sheepherders found large expanses of open range with abundant grass and water for their flocks. Since this was a good 10 years prior to the railroad coming through, the wool from all these sheep had to be sent to market by first mule drawn wagons over dirt roads to Yuma then loaded on a boat at the Colorado River to head south around South America’s Cape Horn and onward to Boston. Wool, a non perishable product, could make this journey where beef would need refrigeration. And thus, sheep ranching was king!
Published by arizonasheephistory
It came to my attention a few years ago that the sheep industry in Arizona was disappearing. I love history, traveling to new places and research. These have been combined in researching this history. I am an independent researcher and speaker and also part of AZ Speaks with the Arizona Humanities. I hold a BA in Anthropology, a MA and Ph.D. in geography. My masters was in land use geography and the Ph.D. was more in historical geography. I love to travel and have visited all seven continents and more than 50 countries. I am a member of the Women Writing the West. View all posts by arizonasheephistory