Holbrook is on the banks of the Little Colorado River in
northeastern Arizona's Navajo County high plateau country.
In 1881 railroad tracks were laid in northeastern Arizona passing
through an area known as Horsehead Crossing. The following year
a railroad station was built at Horsehead Crossing and the community’s
name was changed to Holbrook in honor of H. R. Holbrook,
first chief engineer of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad. Holbrook, at
an elevation of 5,080 feet, became the county seat of Navajo
County in 1895 and was incorporated in 1917.
Holbrook is an important trade center for northeastern Arizona. Its
location on historic Route 66 and on Interstate 40 at the junction of
four major highways, between the Apache Sitgreaves National
Forest to the south and the Navajo and Hopi Indian Reservations to
the north, makes tourism important to the local economy.
Government employment is also significant because Holbrook is the
Navajo County seat and the site of various state and federal field
offices. All of Navajo County is a designated Enterprise Zone.
The Cholla Power Plant, Arizona Public Service's largest coal-fired
generating station, is located just outside of Holbrook and employs
approximately 250 workers.
A variety of attractions surround Holbrook. To the north is the
rugged plateau country with striking canyons containing prehistoric
Cliff dwellings, such as those found in Canyon de Chelly. Much of
the plateau country is Navajo and Hopi Reservation land. These
reservations offer unique attractions including ceremonial dances,
tribal events, and Indian arts and crafts.
The Petrified Forest National Park with petrified logs displaying an array
of colors and the Painted Desert with formations of soft rock in many
colors offer unique experiences to area visitors. The Historic Courthouse
which houses the Museum and Chamber of Commerce Visitors
Center is one of only two Romanesque courthouses
in the state and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Special events during the year include the annual Hashknife Posse
Pony Express Ride in January, Holbrook Old West Celebration in
June, the annual Fireman's Barbeque on the Fourth of July, the
“Gathering of Eagles” Native American art show in mid-July, the Navajo
County Fair and Navajo County Horse Racing in September and the
Festival of Trees and Christmas Parade of Lights in early December.