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San Xavier del Bac Mission in Tucson, AZ.

ca 1907.  Photo courtesy of American Memory.

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Historical Museum Guide for Arizona

A directory of Historical Museums in Arizona, categorized by county.

Taking a trip to Arizona?  A visit to these local Arizona history museums and historical societies will allow you to gain some insight into how early Arizona people lived and played.  We have provided links to the museums as well as old photos, virtual tours, genealogy data and history when it was available so you can enjoy an exciting online journey from the comfort of home.

 

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Arizona History Museums

Arizona State Arizona Jewish Historical Society

Dedicated to the preservation of the heritage of Jewish communities in Arizona and educating the public about Jewish contributions to Arizona life.  Located at 122 E. Culver Street in Phoenix, AZ.

Arizona State Museum  [Online Exhibits]

Part of the University of Arizona, the museum features collections of artifacts and exhibits related to the history of the peoples of the Greater Southwest.  Located at 1013 E. University Blvd in Tucson, AZ.

 

Apache County Apache County Historical Museum

Explore the rich history of St. Johns and the surrounding area in Apache County.  From dinosaurs to Indians and Pioneers, this history museum has exhibits about all of them.  Located at 180 W. Cleveland in St. Johns, AZ.

 

 

Cochise County

Amarind Foundation Native American History   [Exhibits]

Founded in 1937, the museum is dedicated to preserving the local Native American's culture and history. Nestled in the Little Dragon Mountains is an elaborate display of historical artifacts, archaeological finds and anthropology exhibits. Located at 2100 N. Amerind Road in Dragoon, AZ.

Big Nose Kate Saloon

In 1881, Big Nose Kate's was originally known as The Grand Hotel. Dining, history and fun all rolled into one. You can dress the part, and have pictures made behind the bar, or on the piano all while learning about the culture and history behind the people and the place. Big Nose Kate's is located at 417 East Allen Street in Tombstone, Arizona.

Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum

Learn about the history and importance of copper mining in Bisbee, AZ through exhibits and photographs.  Visitors can take a Queen Mine Tour and go underground to a real copper mine to search for copper, gold, turquoise, silver and other minerals.  Located at 5 Copper Queen Plaza in Bisbee, AZ.

Crystal Palace Saloon

Much more than a place to grab a bite to eat. Here you can experience the history of Tombstone in a more unique way. They offer Haunted History Tours, and every Wednesday through Saturday you are welcome to participate in a Ghost Hunt. Conduct a real paranormal investigation in the basement of the Crystal Palace Saloon, or take part in one of the historical horseback tours. Enjoy fine dining, and history. Located at 436 E. Allen Street in Tombstone, AZ.

Fort Bowie National Historic Sites

Hike to the historic Fort Bowie, on the way, you will see the remains of a Butterfield Stagecoach Station, the Chiricahua Apache Indian Agency, and the original fort.  Located at 3203 S. Old Fort Bowie Rd. in Bowie, AZ.

Fort Huachuca Historical Museum    [History]

Built in 1877 as a post to protect against the Chiricahua Apache attacks.  There is still an active Army post on the location but the historic district remains and includes an 1884 adobe house (The Pershing House) and many other historical structures.  Location is on AZ 90, four miles west of Sierra Vista, AZ.

Muheim Heritage House Museum

Erected in 1898 by Joseph and Carmelita Muheim, the home is furnished with period furnishings.  Tours are offered and the property may be rented for special occasions.  Located at 207 Youngblood Hill in Bisbee, AZ.

OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona

Walk in the footsteps of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday here at the original site of one the world's most famous gun fights. Experience a live historical re-enactment of the gun fight, and walk through the corral as it was in the 1880's, and browse through the historical photographs and artifacts. Located at 326 E. Allen Street in Tombstone, AZ.

Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park

This museum once housed the Sherriff, jail, treasurer and supervisors. This two story building was built in 1882 in the shape of the Roman Cross and now holds the history of Tombstone as it was in the early days as a silver mining boomtown. Located on hwy 80 in Tombstone, Arizona.

 

Coconino County

John Welsey Powell Memorial Museum

[History of Page]

This history museum for Page, features Native American artifacts as well as early pioneer items and history.  One of the main features is the long boat replica along with the photos and memorabilia related to John Wesley Powell's famed Colorado River voyages which took place in 1869 and 1871.  #6 N. Lake Powell Blvd in Page, AZ.

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

This park is scheduled to close in March of 2010 due to funds and  budget cuts.

Walnut Canyon National Monument   [History & Culture]

Explore the cliff dwellings in Walnut Canyon where early peoples made their homes over 700 years ago.  Guided hikes are available but do require reservations.  Hikes are of different levels from easy to strenuous.  The canyon is east of Flagstaff off of Interstate 40.

Wupatki National Monument   [History & Culture]

Five historic Pueblos can be visited here, it takes about two hours to experience all of them. Located at 6400 N Hwy 89 in Flagstaff, Arizona.

 

Gila County Kinishba Ruins National Historic Site

Pueblo ruins which were abandoned ca 1400 AD. 

Located at Fort Apache in Arizona.

 

Graham County

Graham County Historical Museum

Housed in the old Thatcher School building, the Graham County Historical Society operates the museum dedicated to the history of Graham County, AZ.  Over 500 historic photos are contained in their collection along with 15 rooms of exhibits.  Located at 3430 W. Main Street in Thatcher, AZ.

 

LaPaz County Pioneer Living History Village

Just 30 minutes away from downtown Phoenix, AZ, you will find a place to step back in history to the days when there weren't any cars, life moved at a much slower pace and people worked hard.  The Village is a living history museum featuring a blacksmith shop, working ranch, jail and the staff is dressed in the spirit of the old west.  Located at 3901 West Pioneer Road in Phoenix, AZ.

 

Maricopa County

American Museum of Nursing

This museum is in the process of moving.

Located in Glendale, AZ, the museum is one of the few in the United States which focuses on the history of nursing.

Arizona Capitol Museum

The 1901 Arizona Capitol Building features the history of Arizona from territorial days to present day.  Guided tours are offered.  Located at 1700 W. Washington in Phoenix, AZ.

Arizona Military Museum

The history of the military in Arizona, including the people and events that made Arizona what it is today. Learn about the Spanish Conquest, and the U.S. - Mexican War and the Conquistadors.  Historical photographs and archives, see old military equipment. The museum is located at Papago Park Military Reservation 5636 E. McDowell Rd in Phoenix, AZ.

Arizona Railway Museum [Photos]

Founded in 1983, the museum displays artifacts related to the railways of Arizona and the Southwest.  Historical box cars and photos can be found here. Located at 330 E. Ryan Rd. in Chandler, AZ.

Arizona State Library, Archives & Museum

Come here for all of your historical research needs. There is an extensive photo, map, book and archive collection, as well as many historical artifacts. Tours are given. Located at  The Polly Rosenbaum Archives and History building 1901 West Madison, in Arizona.

Arizona Wing Commemorative Air Force Museum

Offers a fascinating opportunity to ride in an old B17. 

[Warbird Rides]   [Museum Exhibits]

Chandler Museum

Operated by the Chandler Historical Society, the museum is focused on the preservation and display of the history of Chandler, Arizona.  Collections include historical artifacts, documents and photographs.  Located at 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue in Chandler, AZ.

Glendale Police Museum

From the first police officer to the latest police vehicles, experience history in the making, and see the impact law enforcement has had on Arizona over the years. Located at 6821 N. 57th Avenue in  Glendale, AZ.

Heard Museum

Here you can learn about the American Indians arts and cultures of Phoenix through an extensive collection of artifacts and several exhibits including an art gallery, sculpture gardens, guided tours and more. Located at 2301 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix, AZ.

Historic Sahuaro Ranch Museum

The mission: is the preservation and presentation of the history of Sahuaro Ranch and the agricultural history of the West Valley. Tours are offered September through May. Located at 9802 N. 59th Ave. in Glendale, AZ.

Manistee Ranch

Home to the Glendale Historical Society

Mesa Historical Museum  [Mesa History]

[Historical Home Tours]

Housed inside the historical Lehi School Building, the museum is operated by the Mesa Historical Society.  Dedicated to the preservation of the history of Mesa, Arizona, the museum features exhibits about the area history of Mesa.  Located at 2345 N. Horne Street in Mesa, AZ.

Petersen House Museum

The house is currently closed for repairs.

1414 W. Southern Avenue in Tempe, AZ.

Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park

This museum depicts the archaeological side of Arizona. Most historical artifacts come from the Pueblo Grande dig site, but the museum also has an extensive collection of photographs and research materials. Located at 4619 E. Washington Street in Phoenix, AZ.

Scottsdale Historical Museum   [History]

Mission is to preserve and portray the history of Scottsdale, AZ and the Southwest. There are many permanent exhibits such as the one room schoolhouse, the parlor, and art collections, as well as many seasonal exhibits. The museum is located at 7333 E. Scottsdale Mall, in Scottsdale, AZ.

Tempe Historical Museum  [History]  [Photos]

Learn about Tempe's past.  Located at 809 E. Southern Avenue in Tempe, AZ.

 

Mohave County

Bonelli House

The home was built in 1915 of the local tufa stone.  Furnished in period pieces, antiques and heirlooms, the Bonelli House is operated by the Mohave County Historical Society and visits are arranged through the Mohave Museum of History and Arts.  Located in the Kingman Historic District at 430 E. Spring Street in Kingman, AZ.

Colorado River Historical Museum

Dedicated to preserving the history of the tri-state area (Arizona, California and Nevada), the museum is housed in the 1947 building which was erected for the workers who built Davis Dam.  Exhibits and collections include Indian artifacts, an Indian village display, memorabilia of Bullhead City, the building of Davis Dam, Fort Mojave, old documents, photographs and more.  Located on Highway 95 just north of the Laughlin Bridge in Bullhead City, AZ.

Downtown Kingman Historic Walking Tour

Explore over 60 buildings listed on the National Historic Register in downtown Kingman, AZ.  The walking tour map is available at the Powerhouse Welcome Center

Kingman Army Airfield Museum  [Photos]

Used for training during WWII, the airfield is today a museum which preserves the history of this much used airfield and is one of the few places where you can see the B17 Bombers and other antique airplanes.  Located at 4540 Flightline Dr. in Kingman, AZ.

Mohave Museum of History and Arts

Preserving and presenting the history of NW Arizona through words and photography.  Located at 400 W. Beale Street in Kingman, AZ.

Route 66 Museum

The Kingman Powerhouse served Kingman, Arizona from 1907 throuth 1938 when the coming of the Hoover Dam which produces cheaper power made it obsolete.  Today the building has been saved for it's historical significance and is now known as the Route 66 Museum.  Stop in to learn about the historical evolution of travel along the famed Route 66.... often referred to the "Mother Road".

120 W. Route 66 in Kingman, AZ.

 

Navajo County

Fort Apache Historic Park

Featuring the White Mountain Cultural Center and Museum which is housed in a structure made to resemble a gowa (the Apache traditional holy home), this is the place to learn of the culture of the American Apache Indians.  The Apache Tribe has an impressive and growing archives which includes historic documents, manuscripts and photos.  The historic district offers 27 historic buildings for visitors to explore.  Located on the Fort Apache Reservation.  For 24 hour information, call 928-338-4525.

Margaret McCleve Log Cabin

This historical log cabin was built in 1884.  Home to Margaret McCleve Hancock and husband Mosiah.  She was well known as a midwife in the Taylor, Arizona area where she delivered over 1500 babies.  Located at the corner of Main Street and Willow Lane in Taylor, AZ.

Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park

A Navajo Tribal park that sits on the border of Arizona and Utah, it depicts the Navajo way of life, and also some of the famous landmarks and mesas in the area. The visitor center is one mile east of U.S. highway 163 on the Arizona-Utah border.

Show Low Historical Society Museum

Dedicated to the history of Show Low, AZ.  Located at 561 E. Duece of Clubs in Show Low, AZ.

Shumway School

A brick one room schoolhouse built in 1904.  Now restored, names of early students are carved in the brick walls.  Located on State Route 77 in Taylor, AZ.

Stinson Pioneer Museum

A museum dedicated to the preservation and display of historical artifacts and photos from the pioneer days in Snowflake, Arizona.  Located at 102 N. 1st Street E in Snowflake, AZ.

Taylor Pioneer Museum

Housed in a 1930 home, the museum tells the story of the pioneer days of Taylor, Arizona through display and artifacts. 

14 South 400 East in Taylor, AZ.

White Mountain Apache Culture Center & Museum

[White Mountain Apache History]

This museum has been telling the story of the Apache Tribe for almost 40 years.  Learn about the Apache heritage while viewing arts which are available for purchase.  Admission to the Culture Center includes admission to the Kinishba Ruins National Historic Landmark. 

 

Pima County

Arizona History Museum

Focused on the history of Southern Arizona from Spanish colonial times through the territorial eras.  Includes exhibits related to mining, transportation, Arizona Treasures and 18th century Spanish silver artifacts.  Located at 949 E. 2nd Street in Tucson, AZ.

Center for Desert Archaeolog

Located at 300 N. Ash Alley in Tucson, AZ.

Colossal Cave Mountain Park  

[History Timeline]   [Virtual Tour]   [Museums]

I have visited this cave sometime in the mid 1980s.  What I recall is a road leading to this place that seemed like a roller coaster.  The caves were wonderful and the history of robbers and Indians made it feel adventurous.  If you like caves, these are great.  Since the time I visited, they have added some museums in the area.  La Posta Quemada Ranch Museum which focuses on the history of the Cienega Corridor and Colossal Cave Mountain Park.  You will also find a museum dedicated to the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) who undertook the Colossal Cave project in 1934 and helped to make it what it is today.

Fort Lowell Museum

Housed inside the reconstructed Officers Quarters of Old Fort Lowell, the museum features exhibits about military life in the fort and on the Arizona frontier.  Located at 2900 Craycroft Road in Tucson, AZ.

Manning House   [History]

Built in 1907 as the residence of Levi Manning and his family, it is 12,000 sq. ft. and it is believed that his ghost resides in the home. Here you experience life as it was in the early 1900's and how Levi Manning changed Arizona with his ideas. Located at 450 W. Paseo Redondo in Tucson, AZ.

San Xavier del Bac Mission

A working mission still today, visitors are welcome to view this historical vision of beauty.  Located at 1950 W. San Xavier Road in Tucson, AZ.

 

Pinal County

Bob Jones Museum   [History of Superior]

Featuring exhibits related to local history, the collection includes photographs, mining equipment, historical artifacts and geological samples.  A favorite exhibit is the life sized miner.  Located at 3031 E. Manor Drive in Phoenix, AZ. 

Pinal County Historical Society Museum

The Pinal County Historical Society Museum is a good first stop to orient visitors before visiting Florence's historical district.  Florence was once an 1870s silver mining boomtown with a true wild west heritage of stage coach robberies, shoot outs and even a former Civil War spy. Our museum and library affords the visitor a chance to explore these stories as well as view artifacts of the area history and people. Historical items include 1890ís cactus furniture, an 1884 square grand piano and Apache playing cards. Rodeo exhibits highlight Florenceís connection to the Madison Square Garden rodeos and Gene Autry. Memorabilia and information about Western film star Tom Mix who visited Florence often and was killed nearby, is on view. Florence helped inspire Gus Arriola to create the comic strip Gordo and an exhibit is included giving a taste of Florenceís rich Hispanic heritage. The outdoor exhibit boasts a fine collection of farm machinery, a blacksmith shop and a furnished 1928 homestead cabin. Of particular interest is our archive on the Arizona State Prison in Florence and the 28 actual nooses used for hangings at the prison. The double execution chair used for the first gas chamber execution in Arizona can be seen, along with items relating to Winnie Ruth Judd, the trunk murderess of the 1930ís. A non-circulating library and archives keeps rare and out of print books, documents, letters and photographs about the area as well as Arizona Highways Magazines dating back to 1937. To do extensive researching, call ahead for an appointment. A private non profit museum, donations are appreciated. Escorted tours available. Located at 715 Main Street in Florence, AZ.

Superstition Mountain Museum

The museum preserves and protects the history of the Superstition Mountain region, and the Apache Junction. Historical artifacts and relics from the 1800's, as well as extensive photo collections, and reproductions of historic Wells Fargo offices, stage coaches and more. It is said people still search here for the treasure of the Lost Dutchman Mines. The museum is located at 4087 N. Apache Trail in Apache Junction, AZ.

Wells Fargo History Museum at Phoenix, AZ

Featuring the history of the Butterfield line with artifacts, stagecoaches, telegraph exhibits and an art gallery with Western artworks of N.C. Wyeth, the museum is located at 100 W. Washington Street in Phoenix, AZ.

World's Smallest Museum [Cyber tour of Waterfall/memory lane]

A unique road-side exhibit portraying ordinary life, and extraordinary people that make up Arizona's history. There is also a waterfall/memory lane, where they display a certain person and their personal impact on the state of Arizona. Located at 1111 W. US Hwy 60 in Superior, AZ.  

 

Santa Cruz County Pimeria Alta Museum

[Nogales History]  [Nogales Photo Gallery]

Operated by the Pimeria Alta Historical Society in Nogales, the museum features photos, objects and research materials related to the history of Santa Cruz County and part of northern Mexico.  The society holds lectures, dinner events and social history gatherings.  Located at 136 N. Grand Avenue in Nogales, AZ.

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

The park marks the site of the first European settlement in what later became the state of Arizona and offers a museum, an archaeological excavation exhibit, a territorial schoolhouse, an adobe row house and more.  Located on Presidio Drive in Tubac, AZ.

Tumacacori National Historic Park  [Guided Tours]

Explore the mission church, cemetery and grounds while learning of the first Europeans who settled in Arizona and the Native Americans who lived there.

 

Yavapai County

Fort Verde State Historic Park

The fort was home to General Crooks Army in the 1800's, and visitors can experience life as it was through the eyes of a soldier. With furnishings, photos and other historical artifacts from the 1800's. Located in Camp Verde, AZ.

Mine Museum and Gift Shop

Opened in the 1950's this museum displays Jerome's past to the present. Historical artifacts such as old mining equipment, saloons and more. Located at 200 Main street in Jerome, AZ.

Sharlot Hall Museum  [Museum Exhibits]

Founded by , Sharlot Mabridth Hall who was considered one of the most remarkable women in the West, the museum features 7 restored historic buildings, compelling exhibits, extensive collections of photographs, and some beautiful gardens. Located at 415 W. Gurley St. in Prescott AZ.

Sedona Heritage Museum   [History]

The main museum building is the original farm house of Walter and Ruth Jordan. It tells the history of the first pioneers and how they lived. One room commemorates more than 100 movies made in the area, many golden age westerns. There are also lots of historic photos and artifacts. Located at 735 Jordan Rd. in the Jordan Historical Park.

 

Yuma County

Sanguinetti House Museum

Built in the 1870s, the home was sold to E. F. Sanguinetti in 1890.  The family created a beautiful Italian oasis which included bird aviaries.  The aviaries are still maintained today and there are displays and exhibits related to the history of the lower Colorado River area.

240 Madison Avenue in Yuma, AZ.

Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

Erected in 1876 by the inmates who occupied it.  Imprisoning over 3000 prisoners during it's 33 years of existance, the prison today is a historic site offering tours.  Special events sometimes provide re-enactments and living history exhibits.  Located at 1 Prison Hill Road off I-8 in Yuma, AZ.

 

 

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