Chino Valley History
Incorporated in 1970, Chino Valley received its name in 1854 from U.S. Army Cavalry Lt. Amiel W. Whipple. He was traveling through the area and took note of the plentiful gama grass growing in the region. The Mexican word for this grass was “chino”—thus the community’s name. From January – May of 1864, the site of the first Territorial Capital of Arizona was established at Del Rio Springs in Chino Valley. Later that year, the Territorial Capital was moved to Prescott.
It was a railroad that brought much activity to Chino Valley. Jerome Junction was established in 1895, becoming a major center of goings-on from 1900 until 1925, when it was moved farther north. Afterward, from the 1920s to the late 1940s, most of the families of Chino Valley took up farming and ranching. In the 1950s and 1960s, dairy farming became a large source of revenue.
Chino Valley has experienced much growth since its early beginnings. Affordable housing, large plots of land and significant availability of services continue to draw residents and businesses to the area.
The Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce was founded December 24, 1985. Throughout this time the Chamber has had 3 locations in Chino Valley and has gone through many changes. This Christmas Eve, the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce turned 34.
Upon going through records we have found, what we believe was the first Chamber of Commerce member. The first member was Waste Management. They were actually a member on December 17, 1985 right before the chamber opened on December 24, 1985. The original application was typed on a typewriter and handwritten in. Along with the original application is the first Chamber logo that features two pronghorns.
This year for 2020 the Chamber has brought back some traditions that have faded through the years. It has been at least 5 years or more since the Chamber Ambassador Program fell out of existence. A young entrepreneur full of passion came to the Chamber to help revive this program. Bryan Sebring, an Independent Insurance Agent, said that “Chino Valley has given me so much that I wanted to repay the favor.” Sebring is going to be chairing the Ambassador Program and brining new light to it. Chamber Ambassadors are the welcome committee for new members or anyone that is interested in joining. They are the ones that introduce you to new members, help get you acclimated to all the chamber programs and attend ribbon cuttings and grand openings. They are the lifeline of the Chamber, a special group of people who volunteer their time to help promote our community.
The first meeting will be held on January 16, 2020 at the Chino Valley Area Chamber of Commerce from 5:30pm-6:30pm. If anyone is interested in being a Chamber Ambassador we invite you to attend our meeting. If there are any past Ambassadors that would like to help we would be honored to have you and your insight. The time commitment is 2 hours a month which includes a monthly Ambassador meeting. There are so many benefits to becoming an Ambassador. Ambassadors will get business recognition, exclusive networking, name and photo on the Chamber’s website and so much more!
The Chamber is still growing with over 250 members and ongoing programs. Some of the programs have stayed the same with just a few changes through the years. The chamber’s month luncheons and mixers have been a staple since 1985 to help members develop invaluable connections with other business owners. 2020 is our year, our time to shine. We can’t wait to show you what is in store for this New Year.