Clarkdale is home to the Verde Canyon Railroad, a scenic excursion train that follows part of the route of the Verde Valley Railroad. Clarkdale is adjacent to Cottonwood which provides most of the shopping and medical for the area. Yavapai College does have a campus in Clarkdale.
Clarkdale AZ History
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Tuzigoot National Monument, a large Sinagua pueblo ruin, is located between Clarkdale and Cottonwood, Arizona, on land donated to the National Park Service by Phelps Dodge in 1938.
Clarkdale was founded in 1912 as a company smelter town by William A. Clark, for his United Verde copper mine in nearby Jerome, Arizona. Clarkdale was built to be one of the most modern mining towns in the world, including telephone, telegraph, electrical, sewer and spring water services, and was an early example of a planned community. The Clark Mansion, a Clarkdale landmark since the United Verde Copper Company heir William Clark III, grandson of Clarkdale’s founder William Andrews Clark, built it in the late 1920s, east of town across the Verde River near Pecks Lake. It was destroyed by a suspicious fire June 25, 2010 after setting vacant for years still owned by the Phelps Dodge Corporation.
The mine and smelter closed in 1953, and Clarkdale entered hard times. Clarkdale was bought and sold by several different companies. In 1957, Clarkdale was incorporated as a town. The 1959 construction of the Phoenix Cement plant restored a modest prosperity to Clarkdale.
The town center and business district were built in Spanish Colonial style, and feature the Clark Memorial Clubhouse and Memorial Library, both still in use. The Clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The entire original town site is also on the National Register as the Clarkdale Historic District.
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