Strawberry is in Eastern Arizona . It is in Gila County. The town is below the Mogollon Rim on State Highway 87. Strawberry is only three miles north of its sister town Pine. It is 19 miles north of Payson and approximately 110 miles northeast of Phoenix.
Strawberry has cool clean air and four mild seasons. The town is surrounded by natural beauty and many recreational activities. Today Strawberry has a combined population with Pine of 4,000. The town sits at an elevation of 6,047 feet. The climate is mild all year round with a winter low Temperature of 23 degrees and a summer high Temperature of 92 degrees. Strawberry continues to be a place that many retreat to enjoy the pines.
There are several attractions in town that will give you a look back in time. The Strawberry Schoolhouse is the oldest standing school in Arizona . The school was built in 1884 and was established to meet the needs of pioneer families. The school closed in 1916 and was restored and dedicated as a Historical Monument in 1981. Today, the school displays many pieces that were used throughout the school's history.
The Pine-Strawberry Historical Society manages it and it is open during the spring and summer. It is a great place to stop by. The Historic Walking Tour of Pine is something you won't want to miss. It is located just three short miles south of Strawberry. Many original log and rock cabins still remain. Some buildings have been turned into antique stores, cafes and gift shops. You may pick up a self-guided tour at the chamber of commerce in Pine. The Pine-Strawberry Museum is also located in Pine, at the old Mormon pioneer chapel. The museum retells the history of northern Gila County. There are artifacts such as bared wire, rifles and pottery. It is a small town museum with lots of interesting information.
Strawberry has many outdoor activities. The Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a spectacular sight. The park has picnic areas, a historic lodge and hiking trails down to the 400-foot natural travertine tunnel. It is a natural wonder that must be one of your top places to see. The Blue Ridge Reservoir is to the northeast of town on State Highway 87, then follow Forest Road 751 south down to the reservoir. Fishermen will have a great time taking a boat out to catch trout. The Blue Ridge Campground is a perfect place to spend the night and then head back out on the skinny lake the next day. The best time to drop your line is during the spring and fall.
When King Woolsey was traveling in the area during the historic Apache campaign in 1864, the name Wah-Poo-eta was given to the site that is now Strawberry. The name came from a famous Apache war chief. He was also known to white settlers as simply, Big Rump.
In 1886, the first white settlers arrived. They chose the name Strawberry because wild strawberries were found growing all over. During the same year, the post office was established. However, it was closed down in 1904. Today, residents use the post office in Pine, three miles to the south.
The town established its school in 1887. The school was great demand, since the Peach family with eleven children had come to town. The entire community built the school in one day. Today, the Strawberry School still stands and is noted as being the oldest standing school in Arizona . You can stop by and take a tour of this amazing sight.
The town of Strawberry remains unincorporated. It is a popular tourist place and is a second new home to many living in the valley.