sierra vista az history


The early days of Fort Huachuca:

In March 1877, Captain Samuel M. Whitside and Company B of the 6th U.S. Cavalry rode into the southeastern corner of what is now Arizona charged with two missions: protect the settlers in the area and prevent the Chiricahua Apache raiding parties from escaping into Mexico. After inspecting the ruins of a former U.S. Army camp and determining it unacceptable, Captain Whitside scouted the surrounding mountains, finding a heavily wooded canyon far better for his soldiers and their mission. So, Camp Huachuca was established. Five years later, the camp was declared a permanent U.S. Army post, as Fort Huachuca.

Almost a decade later, Fort Huachuca became the headquarters of Brigadier General Nelson A. Miles, whose campaign against Geronimo is legendary. Shortly thereafter, the arrival of the first black soldiers of the 10th U.S. Cavalry earned the post the name of the Home of the Buffalo Soldiers. After the turn of the century, in 1913, these black soldiers, The Buffalo Soldiers , served under Brigadier General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing in the 1916 punitive expeditions into Mexico against Francisco “Pancho” Villa.

The early days of Sierra Vista:

Typical of U.S. Army installations, a small community formed outside the post gates. As it grew, the community underwent several name changes. In 1915, it was called Buena, then changed to Overton, then to Garden Canyon and subsequently to Fry. When incorporated in 1956, the city was once again renamed and became Sierra Vista.

The U.S. Census of 1950 recorded a population of 50 persons living in Fry. In 1956, when incorporated, the population had reached 1671. Today, the population of Sierra Vista and Fort Huachuca is over 40,000.

Located 75 miles southeast of Tucson, Sierra Vista serves as the main commercial, cultural and recreational hub of Cochise County. The city is easily accessible for those wishing to drive or fly in. It is a short drive from Interstate 10 on State Highway 90 with a scenic view of the mountains and grasslands. For those wishing to fly in, Sierra Vista has its own airport (Airport Code FHU).

At an elevation of 4,623 feet surrounded by mountain peaks reaching nearly 10,000 feet, Sierra Vista enjoys a moderate four-season climate with abundant sunshine. The picturesque setting among the Huachuca, Dragoon, Mule and Whetstone Mountains confirms its Spanish name meaning Mountain View.