City/Town Snapshot: Town of Taylor

Taylor lies in the broad Silver Creek Valley in central eastern Arizona, just north of the White Mountains and thirty miles south of I-40. The town honors its pioneer past with five carefully restored and maintained heritage sites including a well-curated museum, pioneer schoolhouse, hand-scribed log cabin, and historic home. Knowledgeable guides, many direct descendants of the early settlers offer keen insight and interpretation. The Taylor Shumway Heritage Foundation operates the historic buildings that are open to the public between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. The town, named after John Taylor, the third president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, was settled by James Pearce in 1881 and incorporated in 1966.

Taylor attracts hundreds of visitors each year for the legendary firing of the anvil on the Fourth of July. In the late 1800s, Taylor pioneers, who yearned for the Independence Day canon firings and fireworks displays of hometowns they had left behind, looked for an alternative way to celebrate. They came up with the notion of "firing" the blacksmith's anvil, one that had been used by the Mormon Battalion in 1847. The unique tradition was revived in the 1950's by the Standifird family and their descendants continue with that tradition today with the anvil being fired from different locations around town. One anvil is placed upside down on the top of a second anvil with gunpowder placed between the two. A few lucky parade goers will proudly ignite the anvil that blasts into the air with the noise of the best of canons. The anvil firing is so loud, it is said that dogs run away howling and horses attempt to flee. The percussion can be heard from Snowflake, six miles away.

Earlier this month, Taylor celebrated Independence Day with the firing of the anvil announcing the Fourth of July Family Fun Run. Locals and visitors celebrated all day with a country music concert in Rodeo Park , followed by the 60th Annual Night Rodeo, a gathering of Arizona cowboys and cowgirls celebrating the biggest rodeo in the White Mountains.

The town hosts other events every year including Trapper Days on Memorial Day weekend, of course, the Independence Day celebrations and the Sweet Corn Festival on Saturday, August 30 this year.

Visitors and residents alike may enjoy the Taylor Rodeo Complex, which can be rented by groups or individuals and the Taylor Airport (KTYL) that boasts enough runway (7,200 feet) for landing some bigger birds. Our visitors tell us that we're friendly, but come and experience Taylor for yourself. We're sure that you will come as a stranger, but leave as a friend. Read more at

League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ  85007
Phone: 602-258-5786
Fax: 602-253-3874

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