Tuba City, Arizona

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Tuba City (Navajo: Tó Naneesdizí) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Coconino County, Arizona, United States. The population was 8,225 at the 2000 census. It is the Dine' Nation's largest community, slightly larger than Shiprock, New Mexico. The Hopi town of Moenkopi lies directly to its southeast.

The name of the town honors Tuuvi, a Hopi headman from Oraibi. The Navajo name for Tuba City, Tó Naneesdizí translates as “tangled waters” which probably refers to the many springs below the surface of the ground which are the source of several reservoirs.

Tuba City is located within the Painted Desert on the western side of the Navajo Nation. The town is situated on U.S. Route 160, near the junction with Arizona State Route 264. Tuba City is located about 50 miles from the eastern entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. Most of Tuba City's residents are Navajo, with a small Hopi minority.

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History

The written history of the town goes back more than 200 years. When Father Francisco Garcés visited the area in 1776, he recorded that the Indians were cultivating crops.[1]

The town was named after a Tuuvi, a Hopi leader. Chief Tuba converted to Mormonism around 1870, and invited the Mormons to settle near Moenkopi. The present-day town of Tuba City was founded by the Mormons in 1872. Tuba City drew Hopi, Navajo and Paiute Indians to the area because of its natural springs. In 1956, Tuba City became a uranium boomtown, as the regional office for the Rare Metals Corporation[2] and the Atomic Energy Commission.[3]

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