When Sheep Ranching was King!

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!

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