Sierra Vista is at the heart of a region steeped in a rich and colorful history.
As you take in the breathtaking beauty of the Huachuca Mountains, you are looking at the home of the world famous Buffalo Soldiers. It was here, at historic Fort Huachuca (pronounced waa-choo-ka, an Indian word for “Thunder Mountain”), that these courageous black soldiers trained to serve this country from the late 1800s until World War II.
The Buffalo Soldiers – a nickname given by the Indians – are credited with playing a vital role in the Indian Wars and helping to bring peace to this area of Southern Arizona, once part of the “Wild West.”
Established as a military post in 1877, and declared a National Historic Landmark a century later, the Main Gate of Fort Huachuca is just a stone’s throw from Sierra Vista’s West End district, the original part of the city. The post was instrumental in the campaign against Geronimo, including his surrender, and the ongoing battle with Apache raiders.
Many of the military installation’s original buildings are still standing today, including the magnificent officers’ homes lining historic Brown Parade Field and the nearby soldiers’ barracks, now used as offices.
Following Arizona’s acceptance as the 48th state in 1912, Oliver Fry staked his claim to land just outside of Fort Huachuca’s Main Gate. Fry Boulevard, which leads directly from the fort into the city, is named for Oliver’s son, Erwin.
Since those early days, Sierra Vista has grown to become the economic hub of Cochise County and Southeast Arizona.