Prescott is in central Arizona amid the largest stand of
Ponderosa Pine in the world. The community is 96 miles northwest
of Phoenix and 90 miles southwest of Flagstaff at an elevation
of 5,400 feet. Prescott was established in 1864, incorporated
in 1881, and is the Yavapai County seat. The city is named
in honor of William Hickling Prescott, a noted historian.
Since Prescott's founding as the first Territorial Capital of
Arizona and the establishment of nearby Fort Whipple, government
has been a dominant sector in Prescott's economy.
Prescott is the headquarters of the Prescott National Forest with
an annual payroll of nearly $5 million. Other major government
employers are: Arizona Department of Transportation, the
Veterans Administration Center of Fort Whipple, Yavapai
County, the City of Prescott and the Prescott Public Schools.
The fastest growing sector of the Prescott-area economy is manufacturing.
Caradon Better-Bilt employs approximately 530, and
other plants in the area are Sturm-Ruger, Quality Plastics of
Prescott Inc., Ace Hardware Inc. (regional distribution center),
and Printpack Inc.
Cattle and sheep ranching are the main agricultural activities
with grazing lands in the Prescott National Forest under paid
permit, as well as on privately owned land. The Arizona Crop
and Livestock Reporting Service indicates 50,000 head
of cattle in Yavapai County.
Mining activity is significant in the Prescott area. Cyprus-Bagdad
Corporation maintains a large open-pit copper mine, concentrator
and electrolytic refinery in Bagdad, 66 miles west of Prescott.
Thirty church-affiliated camps and one private summer camp,
Friendly Pines, are very significant to the Prescott economy.
Prescott is rich in historic and scenic attractions. Sharlot Hall
Museum and the Smoky Museum contain an array of pioneer
and Indian artifacts, which provide the real flavor of the Old West
and preserve the Southwest Indian culture.
Nearby recreational opportunities include: Thumb Butte,
Prescott's outstanding landmark; scenic drives, such as the
Senator Highway, and the Prescott National Forest, which contains
more than 1.2 million acres of land. A number of lakes are
within the immediate vicinity, including Lynx, Granite Basin,
Watson and Goldwater. Major annual events include Territorial
Days, Bluegrass Festival, and All-Indian Pow Wow in June; the
Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo and Celebration held over the
Fourth of July; the George Phippen Art Show on Memorial Day
weekend; the County Fair and the Faire on the Square in
September; and the Christmas Parade and Courthouse Lighting