Prescott By Frederic B. Wildfang and Sharlot Hall Museum Archives
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In 1864, the beautiful park-like basin under Thumb Butte was surveyed, and the town that is now Prescott was laid out along Granite Creek where gold had been panned. Twice designated the capital of the newly established Territory of Arizona, Prescott suffered a devastating fire in July 1900 that destroyed the downtown district, but the blaze afforded the town's resilient citizens the opportunity to rebuild in more durable brick and stone. Since then, the mining and ranching opportunities, the cowboy-and-Indian lore, the commercial ventures, the salubrious climate, and the picturesque landscape have characterized Prescott as one of the most desirable and livable communities in the country. The city's dedication to preserving its unique heritage has resulted in more than 600 buildings being placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and the 1864 Governor's Mansion has been beautifully preserved as part of the Sharlot Hall Museum, which opened in 1927.