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Chino Valley Tidbits
When a United States Army Calvary Lieutenant, named Amiel Whipple started scouting this region, the Lieutenant noticed the great expanses of grassland before him, which was known by the Mexicans as de china, which is the settlement valley derived its name. The abundant grass was harvested and served as the primary feed for the United States Calvary in this region.
The first territorial government in Arizona was Chino Valley and, in 1864, the settlement of Chino Valley was established, which is some 150 years ago, just north of Chino Valley at Del Rio Springs. The military leaders selected this location because it would provide water as well as the best quality of construction timber, as well as firewood within two or three miles, according to the Chino Valley Historical Society. There is a variety of wild game in the area including turkey, deer as well as antelope. In addition, Del Rio Springs was also the source of the river, known as Del Rio, that sometime later came to be known as the Verde River.
The Chino Valley Historical Society hosted an event called Governor Goodwin Arrives at the settlement, in order to celebrate the 150th the anniversary of Del Rio Springs' designation as the location for Arizona's first territorial capital. There was a Dutch oven barbeque, historical costumes, as well as an 18 gun salute. The program was attended by an overflow crowd of local officials and residents, which resulted in broadcast on Channel 13, which is the public access cable television channel for Prescott. Also available for purchase was commemorative DVD.
Sometime later following the arrival of the Goodwin, Fort Whipple was relocated to Prescott from Del Rio Springs, so that protection could be provided for the rather large population of gold miners, who were located there. Fort Whipple is currently a beautiful collection of stately white structures that are the home of the many services of the United States Veterans' Administration.
It wasn't long before white pioneers began to homestead the property and growing wheat, corn, as well as hay once territorial leaders of Arizona opened the door to our beautiful valley, and it didn't take long for settlers to start homesteading the land and growing hay, corn and wheat This began the long history of ranching and farming in the Chino Valley. At that time, the largest ranch in central Arizona was the Del Rio Springs region. Sometime later, the community of Prescott purchased the springs, as well as the land that surrounded it in order to provide water to its residents through a pipeline that was 19 mile long. Also, the Santa Fe Railroad bought water from the community of Chino Valley and then Santa Fe Railroad, sold the water to the Grand Canyon as well as Ash Fork. These days that property is privately owned, and the Del Rio Springs Partners continues to work with the state as well as the community and state to preserve it because they understand its historical significance.
In 1887 the railroad arrived in Chino Valley, which identified a new era for the community. The first railroad to arrive was the Arizona and Prescott, and then the Santa Fe, Prescott and Phoenix Railroad arrived. Between the close by mining community of Jerome, as well as Santa Fe railroad the standard gauge railroad served to transfer goods and materials. Just east of the Chino Valley, Jerome Junction station was constructed included a saloon, a hotel a school, stockyards, the Post Office, a Wells Fargo office, a water depot, and coal. The majority of the buildings were relocated to the Chino Valley, and the Jerome Junction was renovated and relocated to the grounds of the Knotts Berry Farm after the railroad abandoned the narrow gauge railway.
The Santa Fe, Topeka, and Atchison Railroad became partners with the Fred Harvey organization in order to provide the train route as well as the Fred Harvey Houses with vegetables, eggs, and milk that were produced, in 1910, at the close Del Rio farm, in 1910. In 1956, this beneficial and longtime arrangement ended, when the activity moved closer to the State Highway 89, and the railroads declined.
Starting during the 1910's, as the activity on the railroad decreased at Jerome Junction, activity on the settlement relocated closer to towards the central region of the Chino Valley. The Prescott Farms, the Alfalfa Farms, as well as the Hassayampa Alfalfa Farms, in addition to others, were promotional companies that were encouraging agricultural growth in the Chino Valley.
The rural community of Paulden, which is located just to the north of Del Rio Springs and Chino Valley, was followed by Hells Canyon that challenged stagecoach travels until a railroad bridge was constricted across it. Also the small settlement of Drake is currently home to the Drake Cement Plant.
The residents of the Chino Valley soon became Chino Valley ranchers and farmers, who persevered through increasing costs to be successful with crops, such as alfalfa, dairy cows, and cattle, and social priorities, such as alfalfa, changing climates, social priorities and increasing costs to be successful with cattle, dairy cows and crops such as alfalfa. Ranches and farms continue to drive the economy of Chino Valley today, and this rural quality is what attracts many new residents to our quiet community.