Ash Fork, Arizona

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Ash Fork is a census-designated place (CDP) in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. The population was 457 at the 2000 census.



Ash Fork is located at 35°13′16″N 112°29′14″W / 35.22111°N 112.48722°W / 35.22111; -112.48722 (35.221236, -112.487100).[1]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.3 square miles (6.0 km²), all of it land.

Geologic places of interest include Cathedral Caverns which are approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of town off Arizona Road, and Dante's Descent, a 275-foot (84 m) deep sinkhole that is also known as Devil's Hole, which is approximately five miles northwest of Ash Fork, off of Crookton Road.

Approximately 15 miles (24 km) to the north of Ash Fork is Beale Road, which has the distinction of being the first federally funded highway.

History and trivia

The community was established as a siding of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad, later known as the Santa Fe Railroad, in October 1882. It was purportedly named in 1883 by F.W. Smith, General Superintendent of the railroad, because of ash trees at the site.[2] The first official post office was established on April 12, 1883, with one Henry W. Kline serving as the first Postmaster.[3] Following a damaging fire in 1885, the entire town of Ash Fork burned to the ground in 1893, and was rebuilt on the other side of the railroad tracks, where it remains today.

In later years, Ash Fork was the location of the Escalante, a large hotel and "Harvey House" built in 1907 and closed in 1948, operated by the Fred Harvey Company. Ash Fork's convenient location along the railway and later famous U.S. Route 66 made it recognizable to many cross-country travelers, as evidenced by its fleeting mention in several films from the era of Classical Hollywood cinema, such as 1947's Dark Passage starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.

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