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Dunaway Productions

URL: www.unm.edu/~rt66/chic/trvl.html
Modified: July 19, 2001

University of New Mexico

Surrounded by mountains that are covered by towering pine trees and blankets of snow, Flagstaff remains a place to settle, a place to visit, and a place that acts as gateway.

There were once rumors flying that it had great mineral wealth and fertile land. This drew the first white settlers in 1876, but they were disappointed and ready to travel on. They did stay long enough to celebrate the 100th year of American Independence by flying a striped, starred flag from one of those tall pines. This pine became a familiar landmark for those on route, traveling west, and it garnered the name "Flagstaff" for the town.

Soon it became a center for transportation and trade. Lumber mills and the cattle industry drew many workers to settle, offering some stability on the new frontier. The Santa Fe Railroad also ran through, acting both as another aid to the town’s economy and imitating the masses of people who ventured further west.

Today the Santa Fe has run by the town for more than a century. Flagstaff’s main street was once the pioneer trail west, once the old Route 66, and now Santa Fe Avenue. Hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries line the avenue and other side streets.

Flagstaff remains a gateway, a center of transportation, but it has also become hip. These days, it is a place for ski trips, a college town, and an artsy getaway. It is the past and the present, a place to stay or visit or pass through, all at once.

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