Heber-Overgaard, Arizona

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Heber-Overgaard, Arizona
Central Heber-Overgaard viewed from SR260
"Always In Season"
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Location in Navajo County and the state of Arizona
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Heber-Overgaard, Arizona
Location in Arizona
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Heber-Overgaard, Arizona
Location in United States
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Heber-Overgaard, Arizona
Location in North America
Coordinates: 34°24′47″N110°33′52″W / 34.41306°N 110.56444°W / 34.41306; -110.56444 Coordinates: 34°24′47″N110°33′52″W / 34.41306°N 110.56444°W / 34.41306; -110.56444
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of Arizona.svg  Arizona
County Navajo
Settled 1883
  Type Unincorporated
  BodyNavajo County Board of Supervisors
  Total6.86 sq mi (17.77 km2)
  Land6.86 sq mi (17.77 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
6,627 ft (2,020 m)
 (2010) [3]
(2016) [4]
  Density411.2/sq mi (158.83/km2)
Demonyms Heberite, Overgaardian
Time zone UTC−7 (MST (no DST))
ZIP codes
85928, 85933
Area code(s) 928
FIPS code 04-32310
GNIS ID(s) 2408368, 29842, 32586
Major airportMogollon Airpark
State Routes Arizona 260.svg Arizona 277.svg Arizona 377.svg
Website www.heberovergaard.org

Heber-Overgaard is a census-designated place (CDP) in Navajo County, Arizona, United States. Situated atop the Mogollon Rim, the community lies at an elevation of 6,627 feet (2,020 m). [2] The population was 2,822 [3] at the 2010 census. Heber and Overgaard are technically two unincorporated communities, but as of the 1990 census, their close proximity has led to the merged name of "Heber-Overgaard".


Heber was settled in 1883, by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), and the town is named after either Heber J. Grant or Heber C. Kimball, both prominent members of the LDS church. [5] Overgaard, adjoining Heber, was settled c 1936 and was named after the owner of the first sawmill, Niels Kristian Overgaard. [6]

Heber-Overgaard's early economy was founded on dry farming and ranching while tourism, retirement and timbering are the basis for present day industry.



Black Canyon BlackCanyonHeberArizona.jpg
Black Canyon

In March 1873, Mormon pioneers from Utah were sent to the Little Colorado River area under the direction of Horton D. Height. In 1876, a large group of these settlers established four settlements on the Little Colorado River, which they named Brigham City, Sunset, Obed and Allen's Camp (Joseph City). [7] In Allen's Camp, a dam had been built on the Little Colorado River in April, but high waters in July washed it out. By August, many settlers had returned to Utah. Eight married couples and six single men were all that remained in Allen's Camp. By 1882, the Obed settlement had collapsed and both Brigham City and Sunset were near collapse due to several years of drought. At this time, John Bushman, of Allen's Camp, was sent by Lot Smith, then president of the Little Colorado Stake, to scout the forests to the south in anticipation of relocation. Dry farming in the forested mountains was thought to be easier due to higher rain fall, lush grasses, and plentiful timber. [8]

On December 6, 1882, Bushman set out for the forest with five brethren: W.C. Allen; J.H. Richards; J.C. Hansen; H. Tanner; and J.E. Shelley. Upon arrival they began digging wells in search of water. These men were later joined by Hans Nielson, Lehi Heward and John Scarlet. By April 13, 1883, two cabins had been built and grain planted, but only four families remained (Lehi Heward, John Scarlet, Hans Nielson, and James Shelley). John Bushman never settled in the area, but he and his family contributed time and encouragement to the local settlers. The first summer, houses were built, land cleared, and corrals constructed. Crops were planted not only for food, but also to barter for goods that could not be made at home. The growing season was four months long. [8]

In 1887, Lehi Heward abandoned the settlement and relocated to Pine, Arizona. He was urged to do so, because of the Pleasant Valley War. Buckskin Canyon, where he had settled, was named after the buckskin chaps his wife Elisabeth had made for him. John Scarlet was next to leave in 1888. His wife Lulu had become ill in June 1885. This may have contributed to his subsequent departure. In 1887, he was mentioned to have joined the posses of Joe McKiney's, under-sheriff for C.P. Owens. In 1889, Nathan, Alva, and Samuel Uriah Porter, arrived in Heber from St. Joseph (Joseph City). They grew crops of corn and potatoes between Heber and St. Joseph. The following year brought the Penrod and Sharp families from nearby Wilford. Samuel Porter would later describe the Penrods as anti-Mormon, and the Sharps as dishonest. In 1898, Hans Nielson abandoned his estate on the west bank of the Black Canyon where today's SR 260 enters town. Childless, Hans Nielson had been the first presiding elder for what became the Heber branch of the Joseph City Ward. James Shelley homesteaded land comprising the center of Heber and south down the Black Canyon. Of the original four pioneer families, starting out with four head of cattle, three daughters, and a few worldly possessions, James and Margaret Shelley were the only family to make Heber a long term commitment. [8]

Early Heber

James and Margaret Shelley James and Margaret Shelley.jpg
James and Margaret Shelley

In 1882, Heber J. Grant was called as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. Early on in his service in the quorum he made many trips to Arizona earning the title "The Arizona Apostle". [9] On one such trip, he passed through the settlement on his way to Phoenix, and stayed with the Shelleys in their cabin. [10] The townspeople latter named their settlement after Mr. Grant. [5] [10]

An alternative version of Heber's namesake history is that John W. N. Scarlett named the settlement after Heber C. Kimball, former Chief Justice of the State of Deseret. [5] [11]

The post office in Heber was established in 1890, and on September 11, 1890, James Shelley was appointed the first postmaster of Heber. [8] Mail was brought by buckboard every Wednesday from Holbrook to Heber. [10] It was then sorted and distributed. This duty was performed by James Shelley, in addition to being a farmer, cattleman, husband and father. [8]

Marion and Clarence Owens came to farm in Heber with their families in 1891. The following year, two practicing polygamists arrived from Utah to escape prosecution. One was called "Brother Luck". In 1893, Joseph Porter arrived in Heber to help his brother, Samuel Porter, with his farm. Also in 1893, John Nelson occupied a ranch in Brookbank Canyon, and the Baca family had settled near the head of Black Canyon. John Nelson and partner, Nicholas Valentine, were in the sheep business, and the Porters hauled their wool to the Holbrook railroad. Nicholas Valentin died four years later from a rabies bite acquired from a skunk. [8]

Many settlements were located in the fertile cattle ranching and farmlands of Black Canyon. Potatoes, corn, milk, eggs and large gardens were the livelihood of many families. Potato fields could be found down Buckskin Canyon, near the present day "Buckskin Artist Community". Cornfields and large gardens could be found where the present day High School ball fields and "Tenney's Trailer Park" are located. [10] All available land near town and in forests clearings was converted to farmland. Wilford, Jersey Gulch, Baca ranch and present day "Potato Patch" were favorite locations. [8]

During this time period, locals were said to be fearful of the Apache Native Americans. Food was said to be given to all natives, that passed through town, in order to "keep the peace". [10] At this time, travel to and from St. Joseph was sometimes perilous due to outlaws and quicksand. [8] Horses were the primary mode of transportation, and horse thieves were a major problem. [10]

On August 28, 1895, Joseph Porter and Mary Maude Shelley were married. Many locals with the surname of Porter, can trace their family roots to them. In 1896 Samuel, Alva and Nathan Porter divided up their farm. In addition to farming, Samuel Porter was often called upon to administer to the residents of Heber to alleviate pain and suffering by using prayer and petitions. A drought affected the residents of Heber that Summer, followed by crop destroying hail storms in August. In January 1897, Wickliff Bushman, while delivering mail to Heber from Holbrook during a snow storm, contracted the measles and died at 23 years old. Three of Samuel Porter's children also contracted the disease, but survived. Margaret Shelley had twin boys that June, but only one son survived. [8]

John Hoyle in front of first Heber store. John Hoyle.jpg
John Hoyle in front of first Heber store.

In 1891 John Hoyle, Johann Frederick Heil, an immigrant from Baden, Germany and former cook for the Hashknife Outfit, opened the first Heber store. He was called "Hoyle" rather than "Heil" because some cowboys had trouble pronouncing his name. In addition to his store, he had a farm located down Buckskin Wash. John Hoyle had relocated to Heber from the failed Wilford, Arizona settlement, 7 miles south of Heber, where he had a store and ranch. Samuel Porter helped him on his farm, and hauled freight to and from Holbrook. [8] He ran the store until his death on August 2, 1912 of paralysis (possibly polio). He had no heirs to claim the land in the United States. Through a German consulate, twenty-eight distant heirs were located and $3,046 was divided among them. [8]

May 1898 was so dry that water was hauled from wells in Wilford for household use. Heber wells still had enough for livestock. A small reservoir had been built below town, and filled up when water ran down the Black Canyon. A diversion dam was built to divert water from the wash to the ditch. When the rains finally came in July, the Independence Day celebration had cause for additional celebration. Residents celebrated by firing guns, fire crackers, Pie Nie, and a dance that evening. [8] Years later, The 4th of July would remain just as large a celebration in Heber. Alva Porter's Farm eventually became the rodeo grounds, where present day Mogollon High School sits. During celebrations, the community roped calves, rode bucking horses, held pistol shooting contests, foot races, and dances. [10]

20th century

Heber's first LDS Church Mormon Church Heber.jpg
Heber's first LDS Church

Alva Porter was married to Charlotte Shelly, in 1899, and homesteaded just north of Heber in the Black Canyon. In 1901, Samuel Porter handed his farm over to his brother Alva, and departed from Heber. Porter's farm was located where today's Tenney trailer park, and the Mogollon ball fields stand. [8]

In 1904, severe drought caused hundreds of cattle belonging to the Aztec Land and Cattle Co. to die from thirst and hunger. During the spring, drinking water had to be hauled from 15 miles away. Many pioneers became disheartened and left the area. In late June, James Shelly and 2 sons desperately drove their cattle to "Blue Lake", found on the Apache reservation. They remained there until the rains came on July 20. Despite trespassing, the natives gave them no trouble. [8]

In 1912, after John Hoyle's death, Alva Porter purchased much of John Hoyle's merchandise and he and his brother-in-law Thomas Shelley started a new store close to John Hoyle's old one. Alva eventually sold his share to Thomas who ran the store with his wife, Eva Tanner, until 1957. The store would later become the "Heber Country Store" and later "IGA Supermarket".

In 1916, James, and Margaret Shelley returned to Joseph City, their final home. Three Shelley children: Sarah Ellen Shelley (husband Harvey Wimmer), Walter Shelley (wife Roxie Smith), and Eliza Marie Shelley (husband Loran Webb) joined them later. Two Shelley children: Amon Shelley (wife Elva Bigler), and John Edward Shelley (wife Fern Oliver), remained in Heber. [8]

Joseph Porter and Maude Shelley were granted a patent on John Hoyle's land in 1920. They homesteaded this land located in Buckskin Wash, just south of the Black Canyon. Thomas Shelly homesteaded south of Joseph Porter in Buckskin wash. Maude Shelley would later die in 1929. [8]

Early day logging between Heber and Overgaard Heber loggers.jpg
Early day logging between Heber and Overgaard

By the 1930s, Heber had become a logging town. Horses were used to haul logs up until 1965. Logging and ranching were the predominant industries until the mid-90s, at which time the Mexican spotted owl injunction was put on the Sitgreaves National Forest. Bill Porter built the first sawmill in Heber just south of present-day HWY260 along the Black Canyon. This ran until 1935 when it burned down. In 1946 Lorin Donald (Donnie) Porter relocated his "Wagon Draw" sawmill to Heber. It ran until 1984 when a change of ownership was soon followed by bankruptcy. [10]

In 1936, Niels Kristian "Chris" Overgaard, who was the second son of a Danish family, moved to the United States with the intention of earning his living in the lumber mill business. [6] Some time later, he moved to Arizona from North Dakota, "lured by the lush stands of Ponderosa". [6] Modular mill pieces were hauled by train to nearby Holbrook, and then transported by wagon to "Overgaard’s stop". [12] Originally called "Oklahoma Flats", the town later changed its name in honor of Mr. Overgaard. [13] The sawmill was assembled across SR 260 from the present day "Overgaard Food Center". [6] Mr. Overgaard ran the sawmill until financial reversals resulted in its sale. [6] He then moved with his wife to Ohio, forever leaving the area. [6] The sawmill was eventually replaced by a senior center that was later lost in the Rodeo–Chediski Fire in the summer of 2002. [6] The "Rim Country Senior/Community Center" has since been rebuilt. [12] The post office in Overgaard was established on October 14, 1938. William T. Shockley served as the first postmaster in 1938, followed by Christ Overgaard in 1939. [14]

On February 1, 1971, the local Sheriff's Posse formed a committee to promote the construction of a Fire Department for the Heber-Overgaard area. By March of the same year, land was secured for the location of the new Fire Department. In February 1972, the Sheriff Posse disbanded because some members had moved out of the area. In early 1973, the newly formed American Legion Post 86 took over the task of forming a Fire Department and Fire District for the area. They were able to obtain the signatures necessary to have an election called to form a Fire District. A petition was put together and used to propose the formation of a Fire District to the County Board of Supervisors. The American Legion put up the necessary funds to have an election. On June 4, 1973, by unanimous vote, the Heber-Overgaard Fire District was established. It had an area of 102 square miles. On June 14, Ivan Wilson was elected as the first Fire Chief of the new District and Larry Rhodes as the Secretary-Treasurer. Walt Downs and John Shaffery Sr. were the first two men to sign up as Firefighters. [15]

The first Fourth of July parade was held in 1976. [10] Since its inaugural year, the parade has become one of Heber's most popular ways to celebrate independence day, drawing crowds upwards of 20,000. [16] In recent years, the parade and fireworks displays have been moved to the weekend nearest the 4th of July as a convenience to non-locals. [17]

On July 4, 1980, Les Parham, of Heber-Overgaard, put on his first of 39 years worth of fireworks displays, his last being on July 6th of 2019. Fundraising was spearheaded by the Heber-Overgaard Chamber of Commerce and was solely paid for by the contributions of viewers who enjoyed the show. The first show was held in what was once known as the Porter softball field, SW corner of Parkview and HW260, to an audience of several hundred. A country fried steak dinner fundraiser was held to cover expenses. Today, an audience in the thousands views the display at the Mogollon High School fields. This is primarily paid for by parking lot donations at the Tall Timbers County Park festivities and the Mogollon High School fireworks display. [17]

In 1988, Heber-Overgaard celebrated its first Oktoberfest event at Tall Timbers County Park. Originally taking place in October, the festivities were eventually moved to September as a convenience to seasonal visitors. The event primarily consists of food, live music, a beer garden and arts and crafts booths. [17]

On August 24, 1995, federal Judge Carl Muecke ordered the 11 national forests of Arizona and New Mexico to halt all logging until their forest plans adequately protect the Mexican spotted owl. The injunction was placed after a lawsuit was filed by Robin Silver, conservation chairman of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity. [18] The controversial shutdown affected 8 large mills, several small mills and hundreds of jobs. [19] Many Heber-Overgaard residents were forced to relocate and find work elsewhere. [20] Black ribbons were placed throughout town to raise awareness of the situation, and to show support for the loggers and their families. [21] Environmentalists argued that "jobs would vanish no matter what, for if cutting continued at its current rate, the old-growth forests would be gone within thirty years and the mills forced to close anyhow". [22] The forests remained closed for over eight years. In 2002, the Parker Mill, in Clay Springs (16 miles away), and the Snowflake Mill (35 miles east) were two of the first mills to start up again. [20]

21st century

Rodeo-Chediski Fire, Bison Ranch Rodeo-Chediski Fire.jpg
Rodeo-Chediski Fire, Bison Ranch

In 2002, the Rodeo-Chediski fire was a wildfire that burned in Heber-Overgaard beginning on June 18, 2002, and was not controlled until July 7. It was the second worst forest fire in Arizona to date, destroying 268 structures in Heber-Overgaard, (mainly in Overgaard) and consuming 467,066 acres (1,890.15 km2). Overgaard was evacuated for nearly two weeks while the fire was fought. [20]

Founded in 2005 and opening to the public in 2017, the Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory offers public viewing of the night sky using the largest dedicated public telescope in Arizona. The 36-inch diameter telescope at Apache-Sitgreaves Observatory, bordering the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest on Overgaard's east side, has some of the darkest skies and is the closest observatory to the Phoenix metro area.

Today, Heber-Overgaard has evolved into a retirement and tourism destination. Recreational and lifestyle activities such as hiking and fishing can be enjoyed in the summer, and cross country skiing in the winter. With a four-seasons climate, the town is a haven for those wishing to escape the heat of Phoenix. [17] Land ownership in the Heber-Overgaard area is private, but surrounded by federally owned lands. [23] As of 2010, nearly 66% of the houses are second homes. While the full-time resident population is 2,822, [3] summertime population numbers climb to nearly 12,000. [20]


U.S. Census (2010) HeberOvergaardMap.png
U.S. Census (2010)

Heber-Overgaard is located in the southwestern United States, in the central-eastern portion of Arizona; about halfway between Payson to the southwest and Show Low to the southeast. By car, the town is approximately 144 miles (231.74 km) north of Phoenix, at the junction of SR 260 and SR 277. It lies at a mean elevation of 6,627 feet (2,020 m), [2] in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. The town is located in the White Mountains on the southern border of the Colorado Plateau and is surrounded by forest service land.

Other than Black Canyon and Buckskin Canyon in Heber, the topography of Heber-Overgaard ranges from rolling hills to flat meadows. Public roadways are maintained by "Navajo County Public Works" with graded dirt roads making up the majority of outlying roads. SR 260 and SR 277 are maintained by ADOT.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 6.9 square miles (18 km2), all of it land. With a population of 2,822, the density rate is approximately 411 people per square mile.

Nearest cities and towns


April snow in Heber-Overgaard Heber Snow.JPG
April snow in Heber-Overgaard

Heber-Overgaard has an atypical version of a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with a dry period in early summer followed by heavy monsoonal thunderstorms and rain from frontal cloudbands in the cooler months. Like more typical Mediterranean climates, however, forest fires tend to be extremely prevalent during dry summer periods.

Flora and fauna

Bull Elk Rocky Mountain Bull Elk.jpg
Bull Elk
Pinyon-juniper woodland west of Overgaard Pinyon-juniper woodland, Arizona.jpg
Pinyon-juniper woodland west of Overgaard

While some of the native flora and fauna of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest can be found within town limits, most are found in the rural and the undeveloped forest areas surrounding Heber-Overgaard.

Native mammal species include antelope, Arizona gray squirrel, beaver, black bear, coyote, deer mouse, desert cottontail rabbit, elk, gopher, ground squirrel, gray fox, harvest mouse, hog-nosed skunk, jackrabbit, javelina, kit fox, Mexican wolf, mountain cottontail, mountain lion, mule deer, porcupine, raccoon, red squirrel, rock squirrel, striped skunk, white-footed mouse, white-tailed deer, and various bats. [25]

There are many species of native birds, including the acorn woodpecker, crow, bald eagle, broad-tailed hummingbird, cooper's hawk, flammulated owl, gambel's quail, golden eagle, greater roadrunner, great horned owl, hairy woodpecker, hooded oriole, pinon jay, red-tailed hawk, kestrel, northern cardinal, robin, steller's jay, raven, turkey vulture, wild turkey, and western bluebird as well as a variety of songbirds. [26] [25]

The area is also home to a number of native reptile species including several types of venomous rattlesnakes (Arizona black rattlesnake, prairie rattlesnake, and western black-tailed rattlesnake); mildly venomous snakes (black-necked gartersnake, narrowhead garter snake and western terrestrial garter snake); and non-venomous snakes California kingsnake, glossy snake, gopher snake, long-nosed snake, striped whipsnake, and the ringneck snake. Lizards include eastern collared lizard, greater short-horned lizard, ornate tree lizard, plateau fence lizard, sagebrush lizard and several types of whiptails. Skinks include the great plains skink and the many-lined skink. [25]

Native amphibian species include the American bullfrog, Arizona toad, Arizona tree frog, canyon tree frog, chiricahua leopard frog, Couch's spadefoot toad, great plains toad, Mexican spadefoot, northern leopard frog, plains spadefoot, red-spotted toad, western tiger salamander and the Woodhouse's toad. [25]

The town and the surrounding areas are also home to a wide variety of native invertebrates including the Arizona blond tarantula, black widow, cottonwood stag beetle, Grant's hercules beetle, gray bird grasshopper, gray hairstreak butterfly, monarch butterfly, painted lady butterfly, sonoran desert centipede, tarantula hawk wasp, ten-lined June beetle, and wolf spider as well as a variety of moths. [25]

Heber-Overgaard is located in the transition zone between montane conifer forest and pinyon-juniper woodland. Local flora include open forest dominated by ponderosa pine pines, pinyon pines (Colorado pinion and single-leaf pinyon) and low, bushy, evergreen junipers (alligator juniper, California juniper, sierra juniper, and Utah juniper). Other flora include the Arizona thistle, birdbill dayflower, blue grama, camphorweed, cardinal catchfly, Colorado four o'clock, Cooley's bundleflower, desert portulaca, dwarf stickpea, fragrant sumac, hairy grama, horsetail milkweed, narrowleaf yucca, pinewoods geranium, pygmy bluet, ragleaf bahia, redroot buckwheat, sideoats grama, southwestern cosmos, southwestern prickly poppy, starvation prickly-pear, threadleaf groundsel, thyme-leafed spurge, twist spine prickly pear, upright prairie coneflower, virgate scorpionweed, viviparous foxtail cactus, western spiderwort, wholeleaf Indian paintbrush, wild potato, winged buckwheat, woolly locoweed, and Wyoming Indian paintbrush. [25] Local noxious and invasive weeds include morning-glory, mullein, oxeye daisy, tansy ragwort, whitetop, and various thistles. [27]


Historical population
1990 1,581
2000 2,72272.2%
2010 2,8223.7%
Est. 20162,736 [4] −3.0%
source: [3]

As of the census [3] of 2010, there were 2,822 people, 1,236 occupied households, and 814 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 408.9 people per square mile (156.8/km²). There were 3,593 housing units at an average density of 520.7 per square mile (199.6/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.2% White, 0.2% Black or African American, 2.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 4.5% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. 11.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. [3]

There were 1,236 households out of which 19.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 45.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.66. [3]

In the CDP, the population was spread out with 5.8% under the age of 5, 5.5% from 5 to 9, 4.7% from 10 to 14, 5.4% from 15 to 19, 3.0% from 20 to 24, 3.9% from 25 to 29, 3.3% from 30 to 34, 3.6% from 35 to 39, 3.8% from 40 to 44, 6.1% from 45 to 49, 7.9% from 50 to 54, 8.1% from 55 to 59, 10.7% from 60 to 64, 11.3% from 65 to 69, 7.8% from 70 to 74, 4.1% from 75 to 79, 3.1% from 80 to 84, and 1.9% who were 85 years of age or older. The median age was 53.1 years. Total population was 50.6% male / 49.4% female. 41.0% of males were 18 years of age or older. 39.5% of females were 18 years of age or older. [3]

The median income for a household in the CDP was $29,219, the median income for a family was $29,609, and median income for non-family was $12,194. Males had a median full-time, year-round income of $51,746 versus $31,518 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $12,893. About 24.7% of families and 25.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 36.2% of those under age 18, 21.7% age 18 - 64, and 0% of those age 65 or over. [3]


Retirement and tourism are an important part of the Heber-Overgaard economy. Proximity to the Sitgreaves National Forest provides recreational opportunities, and timber is harvested for Precision Pine Sawmill and Stone Container Paper Mill. A mulch plant processes forest by-products. [28]

Service businesses provide employment and services for the predominant retirement community. Government and schools also contribute to the local economy. Retail trade is increasing. Construction is also a major factor in the area's gradually expanding economy. [28]

Parks and outdoor recreation

Tall Timbers County Park TallTimbersCountyParkAZ.jpg
Tall Timbers County Park

Heber-Overgaard offers multiple community facilities including a library, 40-acre park, astronomical observatory, aviation airpark and a number of athletic facilities: baseball, football and Little League fields; basketball, volleyball, tennis and racquet ball courts, and a 9-hole regulation length golf course. [28]

Immediately south of Heber-Overgaard is the Mogollon Rim, a steep escarpment ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 feet from the base to the highest plateau. The Rim divides the northern plateau region from the lower central and southern areas. The Rim offers scenic views and numerous man-made lakes ideal for fishing. [28]

Hunting for elk, deer, turkey, antelope and bear is permitted. Fishing, in nearby trout streams, is popular. There are also picnic and camping facilities available within the area. Other scenic attractions in the area include Black Canyon Lake, Willow Springs Lake, Woods Canyon Lake, Chevelon Canyon Lake, the Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery, Chevelon Butte, and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. [28]

Public services

Heber-Overgaard is unincorporated, and governed by the Navajo County Board of Supervisors. Education, fire and police services are provided by the county.


Heber-Overgaard Unified School District serves Heber-Overgaard. Mountain Meadows Primary School (grades Pre K-3), Capps Middle School (grades 4-6), Mogollon Junior High School (grades 7-8), and Mogollon High School (grades 9-12) serve the community. Student enrollment is approximately 551.

Northland Pioneer College, a state-accredited community college, serves Navajo County remotely via satellite. The college has centers located in Holbrook, Show Low, Snowflake/Taylor, and Winslow. [28]

Police and fire department

The community is served by the sheriff's posse, county deputies, and the Department of Public Safety.

The Heber-Overgaard Fire Department was founded on Feb. 1, 1971. The fire department has 3 paramedics, 5 IMETs, 15 EMTs, and 40 volunteers. [28]

Notable residents

See also

Related Research Articles

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The White Mountains of Arizona is a mountain range and mountainous region in the eastern part of the state, near the border with New Mexico; it is a continuation from the west of the Arizona transition zone–Mogollon Rim, with the Rim ending in western New Mexico. The White Mountains are a part of the Colorado Plateau high country of Northeast Arizona, the Navajo Nation, with the rest of the Plateau in eastern Utah, northwest New Mexico, and southwestern Colorado. Nearby communities include Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, Greer, Springerville, Eagar, and McNary. Much of the range is within the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

Apache–Sitgreaves National Forests Apache-Sitgraves National Forest

The Apache–Sitgreaves National Forests are two 2.76-million-acre (11,169 km2) United States National Forests which run along the Mogollon Rim and the White Mountains in east-central Arizona and into the U.S. state of New Mexico. Both forests are managed as one unit by USDA Forest Service from the forests Supervisors Office in Springerville, Arizona. Apache–Sitgreaves has over 400 species of wildlife. With its high elevation and cool summer breezes it is a popular weekend destination from the hot desert for Phoenix, Arizona, residents. The forest is divided into 5 Ranger Districts that span almost 300 miles (480 km) from Clifton, Arizona in the east-central portion of Arizona to the eastern boundary of the Coconino National Forest in north-central Arizona. The Apache–Sitgreaves National Forest borders the western and northern borders of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. It is located in parts of Greenlee, Apache, Navajo, and Coconino counties in eastern and east-central Arizona, and Catron County in western New Mexico. The more northwesterly Sitgreaves National Forest portion lies adjacent to the north side of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation and is located entirely in Arizona, within Navajo, Apache, and Coconino counties. It has a total area of 818,651 acres (3,313 km2). The more southeasterly and much larger Apache National Forest portion lies adjacent to the east side of the Fort Apache and the San Carlos Indian Reservations. It lies on both sides of the border with New Mexico, in Greenlee, Catron, and Apache counties. It has a total area of 1,813,601 acres (7,339 km2).

Tonto National Forest American protected natural area

The Tonto National Forest, encompassing 2,873,200 acres, is the largest of the six national forests in Arizona and is the fifth largest national forest in the United States. The Tonto National Forest has diverse scenery, with elevations ranging from 1,400 feet in the Sonoran Desert to 7,400 feet in the ponderosa pine forests of the Mogollon Rim. The Tonto National Forest is also the most visited "urban" forest in the United States. The boundaries of the Tonto National Forest are the Phoenix metropolitan area to the south, the Mogollon Rim to the north and the San Carlos and Fort Apache Indian Reservation to the east. The Tonto is managed by the USDA Forest Service and its headquarters are in Phoenix. There are local ranger district offices in Globe, Mesa, Payson, Roosevelt, Scottsdale, and Young.

Greer, Arizona Census-designated place in Arizona, United States

Greer is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Apache County, Arizona, United States. It lies at an elevation of approximately 8,300 feet (2,500 m) in the White Mountains of Arizona, and is surrounded by the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 41. Greer was founded around 1879 by Mormon settlers from Utah. The Greer post office has the ZIP code of 85927.

Coconino National Forest protected area in Arizona, USA

The Coconino National Forest is a 1.856-million acre United States National Forest located in northern Arizona in the vicinity of Flagstaff. Originally established in 1898 as the "San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve", the area was designated a U.S. National Forest in 1908 when the San Francisco Mountains National Forest Reserve was merged with lands from other surrounding forest reserves to create the Coconino National Forest. Today, the Coconino National Forest contains diverse landscapes, including deserts, ponderosa pine forests, flatlands, mesas, alpine tundra, and ancient volcanic peaks. The forest surrounds the towns of Sedona and Flagstaff and borders four other national forests; the Kaibab National Forest to the west and northwest, the Prescott National Forest to the southwest, the Tonto National Forest to the south, and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest to the southeast. The forest contains all or parts of ten designated wilderness areas, including the Kachina Peaks Wilderness, which includes the summit of the San Francisco Peaks. The headquarters are in Flagstaff. There are local ranger district offices in Flagstaff, Happy Jack, and Sedona.

The Mogollon Plateau or Mogollon Mesa is a pine-covered southern plateau section of the larger Colorado Plateau in east-central Arizona and west-central New Mexico, United States. The southern boundary of the plateau is the Mogollon Rim. The Mogollon Plateau is 7,000–8,000 feet (2,100–2,400 m) high. The plateau lends its name to the Mogollon tribe, part of the Cochise-Mogollan peoples who inhabited this and nearby areas from 5,000 to 2,500 years ago. Their descendants are believed to include the Anasazi.

Alpine, Arizona Census-designated place in Arizona, United States

Alpine is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Apache County, Arizona, United States, in Bush Valley in the east central part of the state. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 145.

Blue Range Wilderness

Blue Range Wilderness, along with Aldo Leopold Wilderness and Gila Wilderness, is part of Gila National Forest. It is located on the western border of New Mexico and west of U.S. Route 180 between Reserve and Glenwood. The wilderness is crossed by the Mogollon Rim. It became part of the National Wilderness Preservation System in 1980.

Chevelon Canyon Lake is a small reservoir located in northern Arizona, about 28 mi (45 km) northwest of the town of Heber. It is one in a series of small, canyon-bound lakes located on the Mogollon Rim, collectively referred to as the Rim Lakes. It is said to be among the most difficult to access in the region. It is also the second reservoir on Chevelon Creek, downstream from Woods Canyon Lake. The facilities are maintained by Apache–Sitgreaves National Forests division of the USDA Forest Service.

Woods Canyon Lake lake in Arizona, United States

Woods Canyon Lake is a small lake located in northern Arizona, about 30 mi (48 km) east of the city of Payson. It is one in a series of small, canyon-bound lakes located on the Mogollon Rim, collectively referred to as the Rim Lakes. It is among the more developed and accessible of the Rim Lakes. It is also the first reservoir on Chevelon Creek, upstream from Chevelon Canyon Lake.

Forest Lakes, Arizona CDP in Arizona, United States

Forest Lakes is a small unincorporated community in Coconino County in the northern part of the U.S. state of Arizona. It is located on the edge of the Mogollon Rim and is in close proximity to several recreational lakes within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, and is named for such.

Black Canyon Lake is a lake in Navajo County, Arizona, United States.

Chevelon Creek river in the United States of America

Chevelon Creek is located in the Mogollon Rim area of the state of Arizona. The closest town Heber is 18 miles away. The facilities are maintained by Apache–Sitgreaves National Forest division of the USDA Forest Service.

Sitgreaves National Forest was established by the U.S. Forest Service in Arizona on July 1, 1908 with 749,084 acres (3,031.44 km2) from portions of Black Mesa and Tonto National Forests. In 1974 entire forest was administratively combined with Apache National Forest to create Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. The Sitgreaves National Forest is located in the southern parts of Navajo, Coconino, and Apache counties. It had an area of 818,749 acres (3,313.4 km²) as of 30 September 2008. There are local ranger district offices in Lakeside and Overgaard.

Mogollon High School High school in Arizona, United States

Mogollon High School (MHS) is a public high school located in Heber, Arizona, United States. The school was established in 1989, and is the only high school under the jurisdiction of the Heber-Overgaard Unified School District. The school enrolls an estimated 120 students in grades 9–12, and operates on a traditional school calendar. Mogollon's colors are Red, Silver and Black and the teams are collectively called the Mustangs. The school is a member of the Arizona Interscholastic Association's 1A Central Athletics Conference and competes in Division Division IV sports. Mogollon junior high is located at the same site as the high school.

Heber-Overgaard Unified School District School district in Arizona, United States

The Heber-Overgaard Unified School District (HOUSD) is a school district with its headquarters in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona. The 6.86-square-mile (17.8 km2) district serves Heber, Overgaard, and the Forest Lakes area. The district consists of 4 schools; all are title 1 schools.

Wilford, Arizona Ghost town in Arizona, United States

Wilford, Arizona was a town in Navajo County, Arizona located approximately 7 miles south of Heber, along Black Canyon Rd. During the 1880s, discouraged Little Colorado River settlers began migrating to the forests of the Mogollon Rim. The town of Wilford was settled in April 1883 by a group of Latter-day Saints from the failed Brigham City settlement. Originally called "Adam's Valley", after founder, the name was changed to "Wilford", President Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a quarterly stake conference in August 1883.

Willow Springs Lake Lake in Coconino County, Arizona, U.S.

Willow Springs Lake is a cold water lake located on top of the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona, about 23 mi (37 km) east of the city of Payson in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, immediately adjacent to SR 260. It is a canyon-bound lake located on the Mogollon Rim, and is part of the collectivity known as the Rim Lakes. It can be found upstream from Chevelon Canyon Lake. The facilities are maintained by Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests division of the USDA Forest Service.


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Further reading