A Full Service Municipality
The Verde Valley includes about 714 square miles located in the geographic center of Arizona, about 100 miles north of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The Verde River runs through the valley from northwest to southeast and is augmented by flows from Sycamore Canyon, Oak Creek, Beaver Creek and West Clear Creek. The area is unsurpassed in its variety of physical beauty with the red rocks and Mogollon Rim to the north and east and the Black Hills and Mingus Mountain dominating the western and southern portions of the valley.
The City of Cottonwood is located adjacent to the Verde River at elevations ranging from 3,300 feet to 3,900 feet above sea level and experiences a mild climate which, together with its proximity to an abundance of natural amenities such as the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Tuzigoot National Monument and the historic mining communities of Clarkdale and Jerome, continues to attract steady growth and tourism.
Nearly 80% of the land in the Verde Valley is National Forest. The Coconino National Forest is generally located north and east of the Verde River while the Prescott National Forest is south and west of the River. The region includes 20 square miles of State Trust Land most of which is located along state highways between Cottonwood and Sedona and between Cottonwood and Camp Verde. Only about 17% of the Verde Valley is privately owned.
As with other communities in the Verde Valley, the City shares a rich and lengthy history. The region has long 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. William Clark and Jimmy Douglas developed major smelters and the mining communities of Clarkdale (1912) and Clemenceau (1917), respectively. Clemenceau, located near the intersection of Willard Street and Mingus Avenue was a complete company town with thousands of residents, a school and other community facilities. Today, few people recognize the size and complexity of the original "Smelter City".
During this period, mining companies that closely regulated commerce, industry, employment and even housing opportunities administered Jerome, Clarkdale and Clemenceau.
Old Town Cottonwood became a haven for those seeking to be free from the prejudice and regulation of nearby company towns. Main Street was created 1908 when Charles Stemmer and Alonzo Mason used a mule team to pull and drag through brush. The Mason Addition, Willard Addition, Hopkins Ranch No. 2 and other tracts were platted during the next decade coinciding with the development of Clemenceau on higher ground about one mile to the south.
The Clemenceau smelter closed on December 31, 1936 with a great loss of jobs and disruption to the area's economy. The Cottonwood Women's Club organized to feed those in need and raised money to build the Cottonwood Civic Center (1939) with labor provided through the Works Progress Administration. The copper industry continued its 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.
In 1990 the City constructed a wastewater treatment plant and collection system, the first in the Verde Valley. This plant was expanded in the 1990's to treat 1.5 million gallons per day and allow discharge of reclaimed water into Del Monte Wash. The availability of a modern sanitary sewer system has assisted the City to attract and accommodate growth.
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.
The Verde Valley has experienced significant population growth in recent years, 51% between 1990 and 2000. The table below shows the areas population increases during this period.
|Community||1990 Population||2000 Population||2010 Population|
|Verde Valley Total||36,419||55,107||64,479|
The City of Cottonwood provides, protects, nurtures and cares for its community of residents, businesses, visitors and supporters. We create and sustain the best quality of life for the
people that are the fabric of our entire community. Within that, we are the Heart of the Arizona Wine Community, and utilize that presence to foster the improvement of our entire city
and all of its residents.
The City of Cottonwood is a premier destination, both to visit and to live. Our community is rooted in a rich history, committed to time-honored values and dedicated to an evolving,
promising and sustainable future. We embrace tradition and diversity equally, to maintain and preserve our truly unique environment and character. We celebrate our role as the heart of
the Verde Valley economically, culturally and geographically, and are passionate about fostering a diverse, innovative and culturally vibrant population. We are the primary destination
in the Arizona Wine Community and the central hub for the industry as a whole within the state.
The City of Cottonwood is committed to a vibrant future by providing its residents, businesses and visitors with the most favorable life experience, from our core values, to our
comprehensive community infrastructure, to our precious and beautiful natural resources, to our visionary but sustainable growth. We will continue to provide the best possible
resources that a healthy community needs to survive and thrive, and will vigilantly protect and honor our traditions and history while embracing the innovation and diversity needed
for our most rewarding future. We will continue to celebrate and nurture our role as the premier wine community of the Arizona wine industry, promoting its greatest growth and health
by shaping our city as its leading champion so that it can serve as the state’s central hub and clear focal point for this valuable product, resource and culture.
Our Core Values
We are WELCOMING—Attractive, Beautiful, Caring, Charming, Civil, Comfortable, Friendly, Fun, Generous, Intimate, Inviting, Open, Social, Supportive, Thriving
We are VIBRANT –Active, Burgeoning, Confident, Connected, Cool, Dynamic, Engaging, Enthusiastic, Exceptional, Flourishing, Funky, Hopeful, Quality-Driven, Revitalized, Visionary, Well-known
We are DIVERSE – Accepting, Collaborative, Cooperative, Creative, Cultured, Educated, Enlightened, Inclusive, Progressive, Sophisticated, Unique, Worldly
We are RELIABLE –Consistent, Dependable, Ethical, Historic, Organized, Productive, Responsible, Service-Oriented, Stable, Trustworthy, Well-Run
We are SUSTAINABLE –Affordable, Connected, Flexible, Forward-Thinking, Inventive, Involved, Knowledgeable, Motivated, Nurturing, Prosperous, Self-Aware, Supportive, Timely, United