Local Attractions & History
In addition to being a very family-oriented community, Heber-Overgaard offers many community facilities including a library, 40-acre park, and many athletics facilities: baseball, football, and Little League fields; basketball, volleyball, tennis, and racquetball courts; and a golf course. We also enjoy all four seasons with summer temperatures barely topping 85 degrees, making us a popular summer haven from the hot desert areas of Arizona.
We enjoy many year-round recreational opportunities and breathtaking points of scenic interest. Immediately south of us is the Mogollon Rim, which divides the northern plateau region from the lower central and southern areas. The Mogollon Rim offers exceptional views and numerous man-made lakes, ideal for boating and other water sports.
Fourth of July: The annual Fourth of July celebration in Heber-Overgaard is one to remember. From a parade down Rt. 260 to a food and arts fair and the fireworks spectacular, there is something for every family member to enjoy all weekend long.
Scenic Attractions: There’s no shortage of natural and man-made scenic attractions in and around Heber-Overgaard. Chevelon Canyon Dam, Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery, and Chevelon Butte are all perfect for hiking and relaxing. The Mogollon Rim lakes are perfect for fishing and camping and the Fort Apache Indian reservation offers a historical perspective you don’t find often.
Heber was first settled by Mormon pioneers in the late 1800s. They relocated to the area from Utah, having been counseled by church leaders to find appropriate places to settle with their families and establish communities.
It was John Bushman who first noted the rich soil, abundant wildlife, and ample ponderosa for construction and made a recommendation to settle. However, because there were no schools in the area, families would relocate to St. Joseph (now Joseph City) during the late fall and winter and return in time for spring planting. The first school opened in 1897, although the town didn’t have an official school district until 1921. Heber was named for Heber J. Grant, a prominent leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon Church) who was the most instrumental in the assignment to settle the area.
The neighboring community of Overgaard was settled in the 1930s and was named after the owner of the first sawmill, Niels Kristian Overgaard. Overgaard’s sawmill was built across highway 260 from what is now the Overgaard Market. The mill was eventually replaced by the old Senior Center that was lost in the Rodeo Chedeski fire in the summer of 2002. The Senior Center has since been rebuilt and is a bustling center of activity.