One of the earliest descriptions of Devils Kitchen, which involved a collapse event there, was retold by long-term resident Albert E. Thompson (1968), "My parents were living in Sedona in the early1880s and heard the crash when the spot caved in. Mother said the dust from the cave-in filled the air all day and the sun looked like it was shining through heavy smoke. Her brother, Jim James, was the first one to see the new hole in the ground".
In late 1989, a second historic collapse event occurred at Devils Kitchen, enlarging the opening by as much as 1/3rd. The 1989 event was largely limited to the north wall, where a gigantic block, detached along three bounding walls from its caprock, rotated outward into the opening without dropping to a lower elevation. Edges of the newly broken rocks are highly angular and the surface soil has not yet begun to slough off.
Collapse of the southernmost wall of the sinkhole pre-dated historic collapse events and probably represents an early, formative event in the history of Devils Kitchen. In contrast to the fresh, angular appearance of historically broken blocks, blocks of the south wall display rounded edges and the surfaces carry a patina of manganese oxide that suggests open exposure over several hundred years.
Lindberg, P., 2010, Devils Kitchen Sinkhole - Sedona, AZ: A potential geohazard (includes six figures) http://azgeology.azgs.arizona.edu/archived_issues/azgs.az.gov/arizona_ge...
Lindberg, P.A., 2010, Geologic Report of the Devils Kitchen sinkhole, Sedona, Arizona: Arizona Geological Survey Contributed Report CR-10-B, 19 p. http://repository.azgs.az.gov/uri_gin/azgs/dlio/429