Mayer, at an elevation ranging from 4,300 to 4,500 feet, is
in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on state Highway 69,
eight miles off Interstate 17. Phoenix is 70 miles south and Prescott
25 miles northwest. The community was founded in 1881 by
Joseph Mayer, who established a store and saloon in addition to a
Wells Fargo Stage station along the stage line between Phoenix
and Prescott. Mayer rapidly became a trading center for the surrounding
agricultural and mining areas. The area also includes
Cordes Lakes, Spring Valley, Poland Junction, Orme School and
Crown King and Arcosanti. The community is unincorporated.
Major sources of employment for Mayer residents include state and
county government; cattle ranching on the private and federal
grazing lands in the area; and small farms along the Agua Fria River
east of Mayer. There is also some employment in a few small mines
operating near the community. A growing number of people moving
into the area are opening owner-operated businesses.
Prescott has a growing manufacturing sector and many state and
federal offices, which provide some employment opportunities for
Mayer residents. Mayer's trade and services sectors have benefited
greatly from the influx of retirees who are attracted by the mild climate,
low taxes and proximity to the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Located immediately west of Mayer is Prescott National Forest. This
forest has 1,247,572 acres with such unique attractions as the
abandoned frontier towns along Turkey Creek and many mining
settlements south and southwest.
Horse Thief Basin, south of Mayer, is a large summer vacation
resort area in a cool, high mountain setting. Other attractions
include former gold camps and ghost towns, such as Jerome, and
pioneer settings in the area of former territorial capital of Prescott.
The area also offers a number of cabins, dude ranches and other
facilities. The Turquoise Triangle and other routes, including many
back roads, provide impressive scenic drives in the area. Other
activities include winter sports, fishing at Lynx Lake, and hunting
for antelope, deer, mountain lion, turkey, and javalina. Two of the
most popular activities in the Mayer area are rock hunting and panning
for gold in the numerous streambeds and washes. Mayer
Daze Celebration is held the first Saturday in June and includes a
parade and barbecue.
Located in the high desert of central Arizona, 10 miles east of
Mayer and 70 miles north of Phoenix, Arcosanti is an experiment in
designing and constructing a functioning example of an alternative