Relocation Visitors Guide
Cave Creek Arizona

Paul Welden, PLLC HomeSmart Exclusive Buyer's Agent Cave Creek Real Estate 480-241-0081

Please enjoy the welcome videos and about Cave Creek and Phoenix and a copy of the 2014 Phoenix Visitor’s Relocation Guide. More information about Cave Creek is written below the videos. 

I look forward to hearing from you and learning how I can properly serve your Cave Creek real estate home buying needs.

Cave Creek Welcome Video

Phoenix Welcome Video

Contact Paul Welden HomeSmart Exclusive Buyer's Agent Cave Creek Real Estate 480-241-0081

Cave Creek

By Curtis Riggs

Cave Creek is about more than magnificent scenery, great bars and restaurants, fine art galleries and all of the eccentric characters that add to the town’s appealing eclectic funkiness.

  • Cave Creek is about hanging on to the Western roots that helped shape it.
  • Cave Creek is about reaching back a little farther to embrace a culture that thrived locally 1,250 years ago.
  • Cave Creek is about doing things a bit differently and not being afraid to show it.
  • Cave Creek is about being an outpost that isn’t so far out any more.The past has always been important here.
  • History does more than define Cave Creek. It breathes life into it daily and is a constant reminder of the privilege it is to be a Cave Creeker. The miners who flocked to the area in search of riches in the early 1870s and the ranchers who came for the plentiful grasses and water a couple of decades later helped shape both the history and the future of Cave Creek.

Despite the mines playing out and most of the grass and water now being on golf courses Cave Creek has never lost that pioneer spirit that makes it a special place.

“Part of the allure of Cave Creek is that its feistiness is still alive and well,” says six-term Cave Creek Mayor Vincent Francia.

There are more horses than vehicles on the streets when the community celebrates its Western roots twice annually. Fiesta Days is in April and Wild West Days is in November.

Horses are common in Cave Creek even when it isn’t a community celebration. Equestrians often ride to Harold’s or the Buffalo Chip just as the locals did before Cave Creek Road was an honest to goodness four-lane, paved road.

Cave Creek got serious about preserving its history in 2000 when it became a partner in the purchase of Spur Cross Ranch. More than 1,000 ancient Hohokam sites are found at Spur Cross north of town. Francia says the spirits of these first Cave Creekers are connected to the souls of the modern ones. To him it was their guidance that allowed Cave Creek and its two partners to preserve Spur Cross Ranch. Spur Cross opened as a conservation area in 2001.

A good example of the quirkiness of Cave Creek is the healthy debate about where Cave Creek got its name. Some say it is named for the cave on the west side of Cave Creek Wash. Others say that it is named after a miner called Old Rackensack, who frequented the area, and whose real name was Edward G. Cave.

Cave Creek grew out of an area by a spring near the present-day Rancho Manaña, a Golf Course that was called Cave Creek Station in 1877. By 1886, there were enough children in the area to warrant a school. A one-room schoolhouse was built near the intersection of Schoolhouse and Cave Creek roads. Many longtime Creekers tell of riding their horses to school there as late as the 1960s and 70s.

James D. Houck established a sheep-shearing station in Cave Creek when sheep were brought to the area for grazing in the early 1900s. People began moving to Cave Creek for the weather and their health after World War I. Modern Cave Creek grew because of all of those with respiratory problems who moved here in the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

Cave Creek became an exciting place when workers building Bartlett Dam began stopping through on their way to and from work in the 30s and 40s. Places like Harold’s got their start then. Several dude ranches operated in Cave Creek from the 1940s though the 1960s.

Cave Creek has always been the kind of place that attracted people from all walks of life. Mayor Francia said it was not unusual for hippies to be living in teepees beside expensive homes that were going up when he first came to Cave Creek in the 1970s.

“Cave Creek embodies and offers a sense of freedom to the individual,” says Francia, who has the guided the town with his Buddhist principles since the mid-1990s.

Creekers used to listen to the roar of the tigers that were kept behind Harold’s for many years when they slept on their roofs in the years before air conditioning. There are many stories about the goats and other animals that were used in the annual Christmas pageants and what could happen when they got away while their owners were inside talking with friends.

Much of the allure of Cave Creek comes from all of the local characters that have called it home over the years. Eccentric ones like former Harold’s owner Harold Gavagin, cowboys like “Dirty” Al Rance, dude ranchers like Hube Yates and television stars like Dick Van Dyke all have added to the community’s character, and craziness, over the years.

Cave Creek is about more than all of the cowboys, Indians, miners, hippies, bikers and nature lovers who helped to establish it. It’s about what happens when it is all added together and stirred vigorously.

History of Cave Creek

Cave Creek Museum Jan 4 2013

History came to Cave Creek on horseback in 1870. Soldiers from Fort McDowell rode past the imposing boulder piles in what is now Carefree, skirted the north side of Black Mountain, and rested at a shaded grassy spring just west of the present town center of Cave Creek.

The Tonto Apaches who cherished these desert Foothills had always been able to keep out intruders, but now they were largely subdued by General George Stoneman’s troops operating from bases at Prescott and Camp Verde. Those first soldiers came to Cave Creek not to fight Indians, but to mark out and improve a supply wagon road between Fort McDowell on the Verde River and Fort Whipple in Prescott.

By 1873, Cave Creek had attracted prospectors from the diggings in the Bradshaw Mountains. They found gold here, too, first on Gold Hill and later in scattered spots along upper Cave Creek. The gold boom fired imaginations and filled a few pockets for about 20 years. While plenty of gold was mined and processed, many now think that manipulating stocks and defrauding investors made more money.

But Cave Creek Station had come into being. Cattle ranching became lucrative during the lush years of the 1880s, and by 1886, there were enough children in the community to support a one-room schoolhouse.

Sheep took center stage here at the turn of the century when James D. Houck built a sheep-shearing station on what is now the Andora Hills section of Cave Creek. But extended droughts and overgrazing made both cattle and sheep ranching a big gamble in the Cave Creek area.

The town hit hard times during the second decade of the new century. For a time in the 1920s and 1930s, the town provided care and Spartan housing for tuberculosis sufferers seeking health in the sunlight and clear air of the West.

The languishing town perked up even more in the mid-1930s, when it became a recreation and supply base for workers who were building Horseshoe and Bartlett dams on the Verde River. But it was in the 1940s and 1950s when Cave Creek area began to take on much of its present form and character.

Three guest ranches (Spur Cross, Rancho Manana and Sierra Vista) introduced hundreds of people to the beauty of the desert foothills from 1928 to 1962. Plans for Carefree were drawn up in the late 1950s, and today it is an incorporated town of nearly 3,150 residents.

From horse soldiers to resort developments . . . it’s been a spectacle of historic dimensions. And for all who would like to know more of that spectacular history, the Cave Creek Museum is a great place to start.

The Museum’s north wing displays and explains prehistoric artifacts and a reproduction of a Hohokam house, while the south wing focuses on ranching, mining and pioneer life. The Research Library is rich in catalogued information. Also on the Museum grounds are a restored Historic Cave Creek Church, a tubercular cabin (now on the National Register), gazebo, and native botanical garden.

Cave Creek Timeline

  • 700-1400 Indians Hohokam and Salado Indians
  • 1870-1873 Military (Apache Wars); Military Road; Rancho Manana
  • 1873 -1910 Mining Continental (first recorded in Cave Creek), Gold Hill, Mormon Girl, Maricopa, Phoenix Mines.
  • 1877 -1920 Ranching Cave Creek Ranch (old Linville Place); CartwrightRanch; Houck Sheep Shearing Station
  • 1925 -1935 TB Care Several TB Camps in Cave Creek area
  • 1928 -1962 Guest Ranches Spur Cross; Rancho Manana; Sierra Vista-
  • 1935-1943 Dam Building Barlett Dam, 1935-1938; Horseshoe Dam, 1940-1943
  • 1960 on Resort/Retirement Carefree, and now Cave Creek

Contact Paul Welden HomeSmart Exclusive Buyer's Agent Cave Creek Real Estate 480-241-0081

Phoenix Visitor’s Relocation Guide 2014

We hope you enjoyed the entertainment and information we provided you regarding your relocation to Casa Grande. If you would like more information on the Casa Grande Real Estate market, please continue to browse the site to gather as much information as possible. Then, when you are ready to contact us, click the link at the bottom of any page and let us know how we can assist you with your Casa Grande area real estate home buying needs.

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Paul Welden

Cave Creek Real Estate
Exclusive Buyer's Agent

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