Your Brief Guide to Flagstaff History

Flagstaff, Arizona, is a unique city perfect for traveling employment due to its size, position on Route 66, and status as a county seat. Better yet, it’s full of rich history that a dedicated set of volunteers has been preserving for decades. If your next traveling nurse assignment brings you to the City of Seven Wonders, take a few minutes to learn about the most interesting of Flagstaff’s history.

We’ve compiled a list of fascinating Flagstaff facts you’ll need to know before you visit the area:


  1. Early Flagstaff residents left in the 15th century. The last year-round Flagstaff residents were a group of Native Americans that vacated the area around 1400. For hundreds of years, the only humans to set foot on the lands here were other Native Americans who returned on an annual basis for various purposes like hunting, herding, and the like.
  2. Flagstaff was once populated primarily by sheep. Even as Westward Expansion began, most pioneers traveled on through the Flagstaff area on the way to California. Some returned during the 1870s, utilizing the area to herd and graze their sheep.
  3. The area became the City of Seven Wonders. Now home to about 70,000 people, the Flagstaff area gained its nickname due to its position among several natural landmarks. The seven wonders in question are the Coconino National Forest, Walnut Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater National Monument, the San Francisco Peaks, and Wupatki National Monument.
  4. Flagstaff gained its name exactly how you’d expect. Depending on who you ask, the origins of the city’s name date back to some point in the late 1870s. Though various settlers are credited with the project, most historians agree that a group of men noticed a lone pine, stripped it, and formed it into the area’s first flagpole.


Despite the city’s origins as a mecca for sheepherders and pioneers, the addition of Route 66 and several local businesses quickly transformed Flagstaff into the busy hub we know today. If your traveling nursing career brings you to the area, be sure to visit each of the seven wonders and get to know what’s become one of Arizona’s most vibrant cities.

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