History of Flagstaff

Important Facts about the City of Seven Wonders

Did You Know?
Flagstaff is a dark sky city.

What does that mean?

Flagstaff observes an outdoor lighting policy. Therefore, lights are pointed downward to allow the stars to be clearly visible.

The City’s History

On July 4, 1876, a group of lumberjacks were celebrating Independence Day. They nailed a U.S. flag to the top of a pine tree and called it Flagstaff. By 1928, Flagstaff was officially incorporated as a city and is also often referred to as the
“City of Seven Wonders.”

The Home of Pluto

As a dark sky city, Flagstaff is the home of two major observatories, one of which is Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered in 1955. To continue achieving multiple missions in astrophysics, the institution has partnered with the nearby United States Naval Observatory and the Naval Research Laboratory.

Educational Institution in Flagstaff

In 1899, North Arizona Normal School opened its doors with just 23 students, two professors, and two copies of Webster’s International Dictionary. As the university and its student body continuously grew, it became Northern Arizona University effective by 1966.