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Sedona History

It should come as no surprise that a masterpiece like Sedona was millions of years in the making. Believe it or not, the area was once covered by a shallow sea. The waters gradually receded and earth-wrenching upheaval left the massive sandstone and limestone deposits exposed. Forces of erosion hewed them into the fantasyland shapes we marvel at today. Ancient civilizations have occupied the area dating back to anywhere from 8,000-10,000 BC. In prehistory, Sedona served as a ceremonial meeting place and a crossroads for trading routes. Prehistoric dwellings, pictographs and artifacts are part of the archeological legacy left behind by different cultures. Anglo settlers began moving into the area in 1876. They dug irrigation ditches for orchards. Modern visitors traveling in the fall can still buy apples and cider from roadside stands in Oak Creek Canyon. One of the earliest settlers, Henry Schuerman, planted grapes and began selling wine, serving as forefather to the many wineries operating today. By the turn of the 20th century, T.C. Schnebly and his wife built a large wooden house on the site that is now Los Abrigados Resort & Spa. Besides growing fruit and operating a general store, T.C. filed an application for the establishment of a post office. His suggested names—Schnebly Station and Oak Creek Crossing—were rejected for being too long. Finally, T.C. submitted the name of his wife, Sedona. On June 26, 1902, the post office began operation and a town was named.