Cottonwood Arizona - The Biggest Little City in Arizona
What Do Mae West, John Wayne, Burt Lancaster & Elvis Presley Have Common With Cottonwood?
It was the 1800's and the land rush was on in Northern Arizona. Farmers & ranchers were looking for land to start a new life. The Verde Valley looked promising, so many settled in the area.
Other people were looking to establish businesses and homes in the area to support these settlers. They decided to establish the town we know as Cottonwood today. Cottonwood got its name from the (Cottonwood) trees that line the Verde River behind the historical Sheriff's Office and Jail.
In the early 1900s, other more unsavory characters, who were driven out of the company (mining) towns such as Clarkdale, decided to give Cottonwood ago. The town developed a reputation of lawlessness even though there was a strong foundation of law-abiding families.
Then Prohibition hit the nation and Cottonwood was no exception other than the fact that they developed some of the best bootlegging in Arizona. The bootleggers in and around Cottonwood were some of the best and they were known far and wide. People came as far away as Phoenix and Los Angeles.
Enter Mae West! Before Mae was famous, she spent much of her time on what is Main Street in Old Town Cottonwood. She was known in every Speak-Easy in the area. Her Hollywood character was developed long before she ever hit the big screen. Others who spent their downtime in Cottonwood include John Wayne, Burt Lancaster, and Elvis Presley.
The City of Cottonwood took on a large project to refurbish the Old Town area and make it an attractive place with unique stores and great wine tasting rooms and eateries. Today it is a fun place to go to stroll the Main Street and check out all the shops while tasting a little of the flavor of the Old West.
Cottonwood is not far from Sedona about a 20-minute drive but it has a couple of the key big block storefronts. Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot are located kitty-corner to the main intersection of SR 89A and SR 260. There is also a major Regional (Verde Valley) Medical Center. This gives support to a lot of doctor offices and other medical facilities nearby.
Other Cottonwood Old Town Pictures
Main Street Cottonwood Arizona
*Subject to change on a weekly basis - current info - July 19, 2021
Cottonwood AZ Historical References (Cottonwood Hotel)