Chino Valley is the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona. U.S. Army Cavalry Lt. Amiel W. Whipple gave the community its name while traveling through the area. “Chino” is the Mexican name for the abundant, curly, grama grass growing in the area. For many years Chino Valley, farmers have grown corn and alfalfa, and raised cattle. The capital moved to the town of Prescott, 15 miles south in 1864.A narrow-gauge branch of the United Verde and Pacific Railroad was completed to Jerome in 1895. This joined the Prescott and Arizona Central, and established the Jerome Junction. Between1900 and 1925, the activities of Jerome Junction were absorbed by Chino Valley. Chino Valley’s elevation is 4,750 feet. It is located in north central Arizona on Highway 89, and lies 15 miles north of Prescott and 35miles south of Ash Fork, which is on Interstate 40. The town of Chino Valley was incorporated in 1970.
The economy of Chino Valley is based on a mix of retail, commercial land government activities. Major employers include the Chino Valley School District, Safeway, Town of Chino Valley, Blazer Corporation, NAB Nursery, Willow Creek Greenhouse, U.S. Forest Service, Hunt's True Value Lumber and Dewitt Brothers Trucking & Construction. Twenty other businesses employ between five and fifteen employee search, and there are numerous small business and service-type employers. With the significant growth in Chino Valley, employment has been created in construction, service and supplies. Retirement in the quiet community is popular. Agriculture is also a viable business. Willow creek Greenhouses, NAB Nursery, and other nurseries and agricultural producers are active in the area.
Chino Valley area offers many recreational opportunities including camping, fishing, historical landmarks, scenic drives, and miles of hiking and equestrian trails. Numerous lakes are within an hour drive, including Goldwater and Lynx Lakes. Major annual events in Chino Valley at the Old Home Manor and Community Center include the First Territorial Capital Celebration on Labor Day weekend. Featured is a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Lions, and a Corn Dinner sponsored by local clubs. A parade, street dance, booths, entertainment, rodeo and fireworks complete the First Territorial Capital Celebration. Fourth of July observances offer a country fair atmosphere with booths, entertainment, parade and fireworks. Christmas brings a parade, entertainment, and a visit from Santa Claus and holiday activities to the town of Chino Valley.