Post-War Era, WWII


Sedona experienced its most dramatic changes after World War II. The tremendous growth that accompanied this change has obliterated many of the early historic landmarks, necessitating plans to preserve those that remain. There were few structures in Sedona in 1950-much of the built environment of the area is a recent phenomenon. A few buildings and sites from the early years of Sedona do remain, but some have been altered.

Saddle Rock Ranch
Saddle Rock Ranch

In 1948, the Verde Valley School was established west of the present Village of Oak Creek, exposing the area to many potential new residents. The following year, citizens organized the Sedona-Oak Creek Chamber of Commerce. Hollywood used the red rock region as a backdrop for numerous movies during the Golden Age of Westerns.

The discovery in 1951 of a groundwater aquifer under West Sedona opened the way for several new housing developments. Retirees became attracted to the area. Other new residents came for the spiritual and reflective atmosphere, and formed an artistic community. The Chapel of the Holy Cross was built in 1955-56. Later visitors came for more secular reasons, lured partly by the building of the Tlaquepaque shopping center in 1971. Between 1970 and 1987, population in the Sedona area increased from 2700 to 9000.