Archaeologists claim that Sedona’s history dates back approximately 10,000 years when the first settlers to the area, Native American cave dwellers, inhabited the caves in and around the Sedona area. The Hopi Indian’s, in a feat that is still marveled at today, grew corn, beans and squash in an area where only 15 to 20 inches of rain falls per year.
Examples of the four- and five-story structures built by the Sinagua, Anasazi and Hohokam tribes, such as Montezuma’s Castle or the Casa Grande ruins, provide excellent examples of early life in the Sedona area. Why the last tribe disappeared around 500 years ago still remains a mystery to this day.
The first Europeans, a Spanish expedition in search of rich Indian mines, discovered the Sedona area in 1583. Sedona began as a small, remote ranching and farming settlement in 1876 when the first permanent settler, John James Thompson, squatted in Oak Creek Canyon. By the early 1900s, two dozen families lived in the settlement. In 1902, Theodore Schnebly petitioned for a new postal station, and when approved, he named the new post office Sedona, after his wife.