Friday, January 9, 2015
The Snow in Snowflake
Having completed my summer Walk and spent seven weeks in Kansas, I decided to get to the southern zone any which I could. With help from my friend Charlotte, I found a spot to walk, read, write and meditate for the winter and beyond in Snowflake, Arizona. And, I have renewed an old connection in Show Low. I already have an invitation to speak at Unity of the White Mountains late this month.
I have been in Snowflake for seven weeks now. It has “snowed” twice since. A dusting once and an inch or so the other time. Little snow, but it does get quite chilly at night.
The name Snowflake is a bit deceptive. The town of 5500 which sits at elevation of around 5600 feet north of the White Mountains in Navajo County, got its moniker entirely unrelated to the weather.
Snowflake was founded in 1878 by Erastus Snow and William Jordan Flake. Flake and family had been sent by Brigham Young to help Mormon colonies settle in Arizona. They sold all their land in Beaver, Utah, and headed for Silver Creek where they took possession of Stinson Valley using cattle to pay for the purchase.
Erastus Snow was the Mormon apostle charged with Arizona colonization. He soon visited the new settlement and decided that it should be called Snow Flake. He made the proposal for the name to Mr. Flake who quickly agreed. And, so it is.
There is a lot of history in Snowflake. Several museums and many LDS churches and even a Mormon temple which looms in the western skyline. Jeff Flake is presently one of Arizona’s US Senators along with John McCain. Flake is one of the original founder's descendants.
Other than that, Snowflake has lots of trailer parks (I now live in one), plenty of sagebrush and a little grass, many storage units (a growing business in many places). Main Street is Highway 77 which passes often noisily within yards of my abode.The proximate town is Taylor - a couple miles south, with a section called Wagon Wheel in between.
Until recently, there was a paper mill a few miles west in Heber which employed many Snowflakers. The story is that the Canadians bought the operation and closed it down. The Snowflake Mills Credit Union is about to be re-named Rim Country Credit.
The Town of Snowflake website says - “From light industry to retail, the opportunities are endless for businesses wishing to expand or relocate to Snowflake. Plentiful land, affordable development costs, and a community that’s vested in the success of its local businesses are just a few reasons why Snowflake is becoming a major economic force in Northeastern Arizona.”
So, come on down and take a gander at Snowflake. Don’t worry about snow.
Comments always welcome at theportableschool at gmail dot com.