The Snowflake Monument

The Snowflake Monument (HMOJC)

Location: Snowflake, AZ 85937 Navajo County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 30.625', W 110° 4.748'

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Justin Fairbanks, sculptor

A new pioneer settlement was begun on July 21, 1878, when William J. Flake and his wives Lucy and Prudence led five families, their wagons and livestock into this valley. Lucy Flake described the scene as "a beautiful place" with "clear water" and "hills covered with green grass." Within weeks, destitute families began drifting in. Friends and strangers shared the small four-room adobe home sold to Flake with the land, and worked to harvest the crops on the newly purchased ranch.

This monument portrays a trailside meeting in September 1878, which resulted in the naming of Snowflake. William J. Flake and part of his family were traveling north in a wagon to sell wool and purchase Utah cattle. (Prudence remained at home for health reasons.) Near what is now Winslow, they crossed paths with the carriage of Erastus Snow, a Mormon leader assigned to direct colonization efforts in Arizona.

Flake gave an accounting to Elder Snow of failed attempts to establish settlements along the Little Colorado River. After enduring much hardship and the death of a young son, Flake sought a better site and purchased the cattle ranch on Silver Creek.

After hearing Flake's report, Elder Snow praised him for his efforts. He suggested they name the growing settlement "Snow-Flake," and plans were made to establish a permanent town. Following their meeting, Snow and his traveling companions, Ira Hinckley and Jesse N. Smith, visited Flake's ranch and helped survey and lay out the townsite.

Though this roadside meeting was brief, it would impact generations to come. Jesse N. Smith was called to move his family to Snowflake, where he served as a prominent church and civic leader for nearly three decades.

As more pioneers arrived, schools were established, irrigation systems built, and beautiful brick homes erected. This monument pays tribute to each man, woman, and child who sacrificed to build this community which is endeared in the hearts of thousands of their descendants through the world.

This monument was sponsored by the Snowflake Heritage Foundation and funded by the generous donations of townspeople and descendants of the pioneers. It was dedicated on July 21, 2000 by LDS Church Apostle James E. Faust, acting in behalf of LDS Church President Gordon B. Hinckley, grandson of Ira Hinckley.

Jesse N. Smith (standing by carriage), Ira Hinckley (seated in carriage), Lucy Flake holding her daughter Roberta, William J. Flake, and Erasius Snow. Additional person in carriage is L. John Nuttail, historian.
Series This marker is part of the Markers Attached to Sculpture series
Year Placed2000
Placed ByThe Snowflake Heritage Foundation and funded by the generous donations of townspeople and descendants of the pioneers
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, September 29th, 2014 at 4:38pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12S E 584529 N 3819137
Decimal Degrees34.51041667, -110.07913333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 30.625', W 110° 4.748'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 30' 37.50" N, 110° 4' 44.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)928
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 67 S Main St, Snowflake AZ 85937, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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