History of Fredonia
Average Temperature: Summer – High 93 / Low 58 Winter – High 47 / Low 22
VeRene Tait – Chairman of the Fredonia Historical Society
Historical DVD Now Available
The Historical Society has put together a DVD of over 2,000 historical pictures. You can purchase this special DVD for $25.00 at the Library.
A special thanks goes out to George Ann and Kendall Brooksby who worked closely with Preston Brooksby to create this special commemorative collection of rare photographs.
The Earliest People
The Anasazi or Basket Makers were the first inhabitants in the area. Their presence is marked by ancient ruins in the cliffs throughout Arizona. They farmed the plains growing corn, beans, squash, tobacco and cotton. They also hunted deer and sheep. The Anasazi reached the peak of their culture and then abandoned their homes and moved southward about 1300 A.D. The cause is not clear, but it is believed that a severe drought or invasion by the Navajos precipitated their move out of the area.
After the Anasazi left, the area was criss-crossed by nomadic tribes of Paiute, Navajo, Hopi, and other Indian tribes. For centuries, Indian people lived in the area of Pipe Spring, Moccasin, and Big Canyon. They lived in small bands of extended family units and roamed the area, harvesting seed which they used for grain. They were shy and non-aggressive people who lived in very primitive conditions.
History of Fredonia
Fredonia was originally started as a business venture by five men who invested time, money, and energy to build a dam so they could create farmland under irrigation. Fredonia was officially established in 1885 and families began to build up this pleasant, prospering, community. 1891 the town reached its goal of expanding to 24 families. Virtually all of the early settlers who established the town of Fredonia were seasoned pioneers. Many of them were in their forties and fifties by the time they moved to the red sands of northern Arizona. They knew before they came to this area just how hard it would be, but they also knew what the rewards could be. Many had been burned out, driven out, and flooded out of their previous homes. When they came to Fredonia, it was the last move many of them would make. Here they were and here they would stay.
There has been some controversy over the years on how Fredonia received it's name. In 1889 the Town Water Company Minutes refer to the name of the town as Fredonia, and thus it has been ever since. It is interesting to note that fourteen other locations in the United States are also called Fredonia. The name 'Fredonia' was originated by Dr. Samuel Latham Mitchil (1764-1831), who served both as United States Senator and Representative from the State of New York. He first coined the word shortly after 1800 from the English word freedom with a Latin ending, with an idea of its meaning "place of freedom." Dr Mitchil proposed it as a name for the nation, but it was never a serious contender.
When Fredonia was first settled, the only water available for culinary use was secured from the irrigation ditches that ran near the houses. When water was not in the ditch, it was necessary to haul drinking water from the Kanab Creek. Later, the more modern homes were built with tin roofs. The people caught rain water and stored it in cisterns. Wells were dug to supplement rain water, but frequently the water had a very unpleasant alkali taste and was not much use. A culinary water system was installed in the town around 1935. It is interesting to note that very little illness was noted due to the unsanitary water used for over forty years. When irrigation water was plentiful, the soil was found to be fertile and produced good crops. The early settlers planted gardens, orchards, currents and grapevines successfully. Alfalfa and cane were early crops that also did well in the area.
Recreation & Attractions
Favorite activities in the area include exploring, hiking, biking, horseback riding, four-wheeling, water skiing, boating, ATV exploration, camping, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and sightseeing at many of our beautiful scenic sites.
Much of the business growth in Fredonia has centered around the provision of services for the community. From the beginning, Fredonia’s residents have had a cooperative spirit. When something needed to be done, the residents formed committees to accomplish their goals. This spirit of cooperation has continued throughout the years.
Learn More About Fredonia
Fredonia Town Data