Cottonwood is the largest city in the Verde Valley. As such, it is home to the large retailers and the Verde Valley Medical Center. Shopping includes Walmart, Fry’s Grocery, Home Depot, JC Pennys and more.
Cottonwood has a diverse selection of homes available. All at a fraction of the price of it’s more famous neighbor – Sedona. Several subdivisions have been built in the Cottonwood area. They offer homes of modern construction and many have views and community centers with swimming pools. Cottonwood does have a large recreation center near the hospital.
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Cottonwood Early History
The area has historically been home to Native Americans, particularly the Sinaugua and later the Yavapai and Apache. The first Anglo settlers in the area farmed and provided goods for the soldiers at Camp Verde and for the miners in Jerome beginning in the late 1870’s.
Old Town Cottonwood became a haven for those seeking to be free from the nearby company mining towns. Main Street was created 1908 when Charles Stemmer and Alonzo Mason used a mule team to pull and drag through brush.
The Clemenceau smelter closed on December 31, 1936 with a great loss of jobs and disruption to the area’s economy. The copper industry continued to decline culminating with the closure of the Phelps Dodge operation in the 1950’s. Population plummeted in the region as the mining industry declined. Jerome’s population declined from about 8,000 to nearly 0, while Clarkdale went from nearly 4,000 to several hundred.
The City of Cottonwood incorporated in 1960. During this period area roads were improved , particularly the Highway 89A “Bypass” and SR 260 to serve the needs of the Phoenix Cement Plant located in Clarkdale. This facility supplied the cement for the Glen Canyon Dam project near Page. During the early 1970’s about 4,500 lots were platted outside the Cottonwood City Limits by Ned Warren – the Queen Creek Land & Cattle Company. These lots, known as Verde Village, have limited infrastructure but have been built upon over time and few vacant parcels remain today. With road development and an increasingly large residential base, commercial development moved south from Old Town to SR89A intersections at Main Street and at SR260 during the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Since 2001 the City has pursued the acquisition of the private water companies serving the area and with those acquisitions the City of Cottonwood has become a full service municipality.
Cottonwood has experienced a major expansion of the Verde Valley Medical Center, development of new residential projects such as Cottonwood Ranch and many commercial and office projects.