History, Heritage & Tradition

The town that is known as Cottonwood today has long been home to Native Americans tribes. The Sinagua, Yavapai and Apache people all have roots in the Verde Valley, which means that the area is filled with the remnants of the tribes’ ancient roots. 


historic home tour

Presented by the City of Cottonwood Historic Preservation Commission, the Historic Home and Building Tour of Cottonwood helps keep the culture and founding heart of this town alive and present. Within a two-mile walking distance of the Old Town District, this self-guided tour takes you back in time to visit some of the oldest and most unique prohibition-era homes and buildings in the area. With over two dozen locations, the tour begins in what was once a county jail where you can take a look at the two historic cells that occupied the building. From there you are encouraged to visit sites such as the Cottonwood Hotel, whose famous guests include John Wayne, Gail Russell and Elvis Presley. See if you can find the old speakeasy that used to hide its bootlegging whiskey under the floor. You certainly cannot miss the old Rialto Theater that was burned so badly in a 1920’s fire, scorch marks still line the walls. 


blazin' m ranch

For over 20 years Blazin’ M Ranch has given visitors a taste of the real Old West. Located adjacent to Dead Horse Ranch State Park, the Blazin’ M Ranch invites its guests to explore the replicated historic western town and all of its amenities. Many entertaining activities are available such as roping, a shooting gallery, Old-Tyme photos, a saloon and a vintage tractor pull. Bring the entire family and enjoy an authentic chuckwagon supper accompanied by an hour-long Western stage production including cowboy music and comedy. Shows change often but always carry that Old West feel that makes you want to get out of your seat and start dancing