Time Line History - Chevelon Canyon Ranch

Time Lines:


  B.C. 3,000
  • When visiting Chevelon Canyon located at the West side of Chevelon Canyon Ranch (Unit 8) you may encounter many of the oldest ancient petroglyphs in the Southwest. Some of these petroglyphs have been dated to be over 5,000 years. Many of the petroglyphs are unique to this canyon only. Farther to the North, Chevelon Canyon has perhaps the largest collection of petroglyphs in the Southwest and is within the National Register of Rock Art. We are not talking about a few petroglyphs but we are talking about over 4,000 of these rock drawings. The anthologists from Flagstaff visited Chevelon Canyon within the Rock Art Ranch 8 years ago to validate these beautiful drawings. They had figured that they would take 4 to 5 months to identify all the drawings in the Canyon. They spent 5 years recording all these drawings. There are over 20 tribes represented within the canyon. Black Canyon (the closest canyon to the main entry) has some petroglyphs, painted pottery shards, flint arrowheads and spear points which can be found along the scenic canyon watercourse as well.
  B.C. 1200
  • The Anasazi (ah-nuh-SAH-zee) a distinctive American Indian civilization and culture existed near by and within some areas of what is called Chevelon Canyon Ranch today; from about 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1300.
  A.D. 1300
  • Modern scientists are not certain why the Anasazi left the area, though most think they were either starved out or forced out. The Anasazi left little writing except for the symbolic pictographs and petroglyphs on rock walls. Tree-ring dating tells us that there was a 50-year drought commencing in A.D. 1130 and another from about A.D. 1275 to 1300. So more than likely, the severe droughts were probably a major factor in their departure.
  1851
  • According to Capt. Lorenzo Sitgreaves in 1851, the canyon (Chevelon Canyon) got its name from that of a trapper called Chevelon. One of the best trappers at the time, very well known within the region, in fact several landmark and other locations within Arizona were named after him.
  1853
  • In 1853, the United States acquired the upper part of Arizona from Mexico through the Gadsden Purchase. This included the Navajo County portion of today's Arizona.
  1871
  • What is now Navajo County was first included in Yavapai County. In 1879, the area was made part of the newly formed Apache County. Holbrook, the county seat, had been founded in 1871.
  1895
  • Navajo County was formed on March 21, 1895. By the time it became Navajo County, the railroad had crossed the county for more than a decade, and North America's third largest ranch, the Aztec Land and Cattle Company near Holbrook, had been established. Backed by Easterners, Aztec bought 1 million acres of land from the railroad at 50 cents an acre (which included the Chevelon Canyon Ranch area we know today).
Today elk, deer, and antelope find sanctuary within the ranch's lush hills and valleys.


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