The 1908 founding of the first American forest experiment station in Fort Valley, Arizona was an event of considerable historical significance. The Fort Valley station was the linchpin of forester Raphael Zon's bold plan to create the first program of organized research in U.S. Forest Service history. It also represented the beginning of a fruitful marriage between German and American methods of forestry. This project traces the history of government-run experiment stations from its roots in Vienna, Austria, in the 1870s, through the work of German-American forester Bernhard Fernow and finally to Zon, Fernow's student. The process through which Zon successfully promoted forest experiment stations within the U.S. Forest Service, culminating in the creation of the Fort Valley station, is also discussed.