Certified Historical Institution Spotlights

Arcosanti/Cosanti Foundation, Mayer

Photo by Jessica Jameson

Founded in 1965, the Cosanti Foundation’s mission is to inspire a reimagined urbanism that builds resilient and equitable communities sustainably integrated with the natural world. We pursue this mission at our two flagship locations, Cosanti and Arcosanti, as well as with projects, programs, and partnerships that hundreds of thousands of people have participated in over the years. Through ongoing experimentation with the theory of arcology (a combination of the words architecture and ecology), we seek to demonstrate a kind of construction and community that provides an alternative to sprawl development and helps solve modern social and environmental crises.

Founded in 1965, the Cosanti Foundation’s mission is to inspire a reimagined urbanism that builds resilient and equitable communities sustainably integrated with the natural world. We pursue this mission at our two flagship locations, Cosanti and Arcosanti, as well as with projects, programs, and partnerships that hundreds of thousands of people have participated in over […]

Arizona Railway Museum, Chandler

The Arizona Railway Museum is dedicated to restoring, preserving, and displaying railroad artifacts and equipment with primary focus on Arizona and the Southwest. The museum is an all-volunteer operation open to the public since 1984, providing visitors an opportunity to see examples of rail travel from a bygone era. Visitors can explore inside passenger cars dating back to 1879, sit in the cab of a steam locomotive, and see displays of smaller historical artifacts. While walking around the display yard, visitors will see examples of steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, cranes, cabooses, and a trolley car.

The Arizona Railway Museum is dedicated to restoring, preserving, and displaying railroad artifacts and equipment with primary focus on Arizona and the Southwest. The museum is an all-volunteer operation open to the public since 1984, providing visitors an opportunity to see examples of rail travel from a bygone era. Visitors can explore inside passenger cars […]

Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum, Bisbee

Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum Arizona Historical Society

Discover History: Explore Bisbee’s Past Today! With a history deserving of National Landmark status, it’s only fitting that Bisbee’s past be captured and reflected in a museum like no other. A Smithsonian Affiliate, the museum offers an interactive trip back in time for the whole family, telling the story of a western copper-mining town’s role in the industrialization of America. Is the American Industrial Revolution not fun to learn about? Think again! Why copper? Find out!

Discover History: Explore Bisbee’s Past Today! With a history deserving of National Landmark status, it’s only fitting that Bisbee’s past be captured and reflected in a museum like no other. A Smithsonian Affiliate, the museum offers an interactive trip back in time for the whole family, telling the story of a western copper-mining town’s role […]

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum, Miami

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum is a hidden gem – nestled north of the Pinal Mountains and south of the Superstition Mountain Range and Sierra Anchas Wilderness. Currently, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a cultural center and museum showcasing the area’s rich history in mining, ranching, Native American culture, and other areas of interest. BPCCM also exhibits a collection of memorabilia and artifacts from Arizona’s first woman governor, Rose Mofford. Built by architects and engineers Trost & Trost of El Paso Texas, Bullion Plaza first served as a school  from 1923 to 1994.

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum is a hidden gem – nestled north of the Pinal Mountains and south of the Superstition Mountain Range and Sierra Anchas Wilderness. Currently, it is on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a cultural center and museum showcasing the area’s rich history in mining, ranching, Native […]

Colorado River Historical Society, Inc., Bullhead City

The Colorado River Historical Society Museum, originally housed in an historic St. Mary Margaret Catholic Church building, relocated to the Colorado River Heritage Center in Bullhead City adjacent to the Lil’ Red Schoolhouse. Displays and exhibits from the mid 1800s to the present showcase the rich history of the tri-state area, including artifacts from the Mojave People and the original Lil’ Red Schoolhouse built in 1947. There are exhibits about the story of Oatman, river steamboats, and the Lt. Beale camel expedition in the late 1850s along with displays on area geology and the evolution of Bullhead City and Laughlin.

The Colorado River Historical Society Museum, originally housed in an historic St. Mary Margaret Catholic Church building, relocated to the Colorado River Heritage Center in Bullhead City adjacent to the Lil’ Red Schoolhouse. Displays and exhibits from the mid 1800s to the present showcase the rich history of the tri-state area, including artifacts from the […]

Douglas Historical Society and Douglas-Williams House, Douglas

Douglas-Williams House Museum was built in 1909 by James S. Douglas who was instrumental in borderlands copper mining development in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sonoran-born Ben F. Williams was a borderlands cattleman, miner, and inventor. The Douglas-Williams Museum includes period rooms honoring the Douglas and Williams families, spaces with regularly changed displays, research library, and specialty areas. These are world-class Marty-Dess camera collection, Douglas smelters, Douglas schools memorabilia, Douglas Fire Dept. and Sonora’s Elías family, including Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles.

Douglas-Williams House Museum was built in 1909 by James S. Douglas who was instrumental in borderlands copper mining development in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Sonoran-born Ben F. Williams was a borderlands cattleman, miner, and inventor. The Douglas-Williams Museum includes period rooms honoring the Douglas and Williams families, spaces with regularly changed displays, research […]

HD South, Gilbert

HD South, home of the Gilbert Historical Museum, is located at the southern end of the iconic Heritage District in Gilbert. It opened in 1982 and is housed in the original Gilbert Elementary school, which is the oldest building still standing in Gilbert and the only building in Gilbert on the National Register of Historic Places. HD South is the vibrant cornerstone of an intergenerational community that celebrates the past, inspires unity of all people, and cultivates life-enriching collaboration. They are the stewards of Gilbert’s history, and through programming focused on bridging generations, they are a catalyst for connection.

HD South, home of the Gilbert Historical Museum, is located at the southern end of the iconic Heritage District in Gilbert. It opened in 1982 and is housed in the original Gilbert Elementary school, which is the oldest building still standing in Gilbert and the only building in Gilbert on the National Register of Historic […]

Heritage Square Foundation, Phoenix

Heritage Square Foundation Arizona Historical Society

Heritage Square is the oldest remaining residential block in the City of Phoenix. With ten fully restored buildings, the Square offers visitors a unique look into the vibrant history of Phoenix at the turn of the 19th century. Let the memories of yesteryear envelop you at this Phoenix Point of Pride that’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you can tour the museum, visitor center, and Heritage Gallery and enjoy the gardens, stroll under the Lath Pavilion, and savor a meal at a James Beard award-winning restaurant.

Heritage Square is the oldest remaining residential block in the City of Phoenix. With ten fully restored buildings, the Square offers visitors a unique look into the vibrant history of Phoenix at the turn of the 19th century. Let the memories of yesteryear envelop you at this Phoenix Point of Pride that’s on the National […]

Litchfield Park Historical Society, Litchfield Park

Located in a cottage affectionately known as Aunt Mary’s House, the Litchfield Park Historical Society Museum sits on a 21-acre site once belonging to American industrialist Paul W. Litchfield. This intimate, four-gallery museum contains historical photos and artifacts focusing on the Southwest Valley region of the Phoenix metro area. Personalized tours led by knowledgeable docents highlight Litchfield Park’s origins as a company town and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s regional impact on agriculture and a burgeoning aerospace industry. The museum also offers rotating thematic exhibits, educational programs, and cultural events connecting the community to the local heritage and history.

Located in a cottage affectionately known as Aunt Mary’s House, the Litchfield Park Historical Society Museum sits on a 21-acre site once belonging to American industrialist Paul W. Litchfield. This intimate, four-gallery museum contains historical photos and artifacts focusing on the Southwest Valley region of the Phoenix metro area. Personalized tours led by knowledgeable docents […]

Mesa Historical Museum, Mesa

Housed in a century-old school building, the Mesa Historical Museum takes visitors back in time to the early days of Mesa’s settlement by the first founding families. Step inside the 1890s one-room schoolhouse and take pictures in front of a large prairie schooner. Browse our colorful exhibits including the Mesa History room, which features historic artifacts, images, and stories from early pioneers. Learn about Early Entertainment in Mesa. Explore the history of Spring Training and the birth of the Cactus League. Discover the diverse artwork of renowned Arizona artist, Karen Kuykendall. Located in the historic Lehi area of Mesa.

Housed in a century-old school building, the Mesa Historical Museum takes visitors back in time to the early days of Mesa’s settlement by the first founding families. Step inside the 1890s one-room schoolhouse and take pictures in front of a large prairie schooner. Browse our colorful exhibits including the Mesa History room, which features historic […]

Old Trails Museum, Winslow

The Old Trails Museum is located in historic downtown Winslow and across the street from the Standin’ on the Corner Park. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building housed a series of banks starting in 1921, and the original marble-faced counter, mosaic-tile floor, and vault provide an authentic backdrop for the museum’s exhibits and collections. Historic objects, photographs, textiles, and documents illustrate Winslow’s unique story, which includes historic trails, the Santa Fe Railway, area ranches, trading posts, Fred Harvey’s La Posada Hotel, US Route 66, the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport, and much more.

The Old Trails Museum is located in historic downtown Winslow and across the street from the Standin’ on the Corner Park. Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building housed a series of banks starting in 1921, and the original marble-faced counter, mosaic-tile floor, and vault provide an authentic backdrop for the […]

Oracle Historical Society Inc., Oracle

Acadia Ranch Museum, built in 1880, has been a sheep ranch, boarding house, tuberculosis sanitarium, beauty salon, post office, and morgue. Inside find historic items from the Oracle area including photographs, artifacts, documents, and a permanent TB exhibit. The adjacent Trowbridge Tack Room is part of the original Acadia Ranch. OHS owns American Flag Ranch, one of Arizona’s last territorial post offices. AFR’s exhibits highlight its history as a PO and mining headquarters, and the Tack Room focuses on ranching and mining. The Acadia and AFR are on the National Register and were rehabilitated by OHS to preserve their historic integrity.

Acadia Ranch Museum, built in 1880, has been a sheep ranch, boarding house, tuberculosis sanitarium, beauty salon, post office, and morgue. Inside find historic items from the Oracle area including photographs, artifacts, documents, and a permanent TB exhibit. The adjacent Trowbridge Tack Room is part of the original Acadia Ranch. OHS owns American Flag Ranch, […]

Pinal County Historical Museum, Florence

Step back in time and explore Florence’s rich history at the Pinal County Historical Museum. Our displays of cactus furniture, Florence’s Historic District, Shootout at the Tunnel Saloon, Second Territorial Prison, Junior Parada Rodeo, farm equipment, and more bring Florence’s stories to life. Additionally, the museum houses a large and diverse research collection from which exhibits and programs are created, as well as opportunities for academic and community-based research. Find one-of-a-kind art, jewelry and notecards, books, gifts for kids, and more at our gift shop.

Step back in time and explore Florence’s rich history at the Pinal County Historical Museum. Our displays of cactus furniture, Florence’s Historic District, Shootout at the Tunnel Saloon, Second Territorial Prison, Junior Parada Rodeo, farm equipment, and more bring Florence’s stories to life. Additionally, the museum houses a large and diverse research collection from which […]

Pinetop-Lakeside Historical Society & Museum, Lakeside

Pinetop-Lakeside Historical Society and Museum is nestled in Arizona’s White Mountain region in the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine tree forest. Early settlers arriving in the late 1800s discovered a land rich in natural resources, and logging and sawmilling soon became main industries. Early pioneers established sawmills, namely, the Fish and Webb families. The largest sawmill–the William Cady Lumber Co, originally from Louisiana–was moved to McNary. This museum explores the area’s timber history and has many other important displays depicting the richness of Pinetop and Lakeside.

Pinetop-Lakeside Historical Society and Museum is nestled in Arizona’s White Mountain region in the world’s largest contiguous ponderosa pine tree forest. Early settlers arriving in the late 1800s discovered a land rich in natural resources, and logging and sawmilling soon became main industries. Early pioneers established sawmills, namely, the Fish and Webb families. The largest […]

Pioneers’ Cemetery Association, Phoenix

Pioneers’ Cemetery Association Arizona Historical Society

Pioneer and Military Memorial Park contains the oldest existing seven cemeteries within the city limits of Phoenix and the 1897 Victorian Smurthwaite House. The cemeteries are located within a prehistoric Hohokam Indian site known as La Villa. Established between 1884 and 1898, the cemeteries closed to burials in 1914. The cemeteries contain the rich history of Phoenix and its settlers. Those buried in the cemeteries include Darrell Duppa who gave Phoenix its name and Jacob Waltz of the fabled “Lost Dutchman Mine.” People of all ethnicities, cultural backgrounds, wealthy, poor and the unknown are buried in PMMP.

Pioneer and Military Memorial Park contains the oldest existing seven cemeteries within the city limits of Phoenix and the 1897 Victorian Smurthwaite House. The cemeteries are located within a prehistoric Hohokam Indian site known as La Villa. Established between 1884 and 1898, the cemeteries closed to burials in 1914. The cemeteries contain the rich history […]

Scottsdale Historical Museum, Scottsdale

In partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Historical Society serves as the operating entity for the Scottsdale Historical Museum located in the Little Red Schoolhouse.  It contains photographic panels and artifacts illustrating Scottsdale’s growth from a small farming community to a vibrant growing city. The museum is located at the western end of the Scottsdale Civic Center near Brown and Main in Old Town Scottsdale. The Museum is temporarily closed while the Scottsdale Civic Center undergoes major renovation. Our goal is to be reopened by spring of 2023.

In partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the Scottsdale Historical Society serves as the operating entity for the Scottsdale Historical Museum located in the Little Red Schoolhouse.  It contains photographic panels and artifacts illustrating Scottsdale’s growth from a small farming community to a vibrant growing city. The museum is located at the western end of the […]

Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society, Wilcox

Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center is operated by the Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society in Willcox. It features the history of the Chiricahua Apache from Cochise’s time through their time as prisoners of war and includes personal items of Cochise’s great granddaughter. Exhibits cover the story of the founding of the town, military history, cattle ranching, famous people, and outlaws. The Research Center houses exhibits, photos, newspapers from 1894, and archives of Willcox and the surrounding area of northern Cochise County.

Chiricahua Regional Museum and Research Center is operated by the Sulphur Springs Valley Historical Society in Willcox. It features the history of the Chiricahua Apache from Cochise’s time through their time as prisoners of war and includes personal items of Cochise’s great granddaughter. Exhibits cover the story of the founding of the town, military history, […]

Superstition Mountain Historical Society, Inc, Apache Junction

Photo by Jack Olson

The Superstition Mountain Museum is an interactive history park nestled in the foothills of its majestic namesake. Visitors experience indoor and outdoor exhibits of regional history, memorabilia from local Western movie and television production as well as extensive mining and model railroading displays. The museum hosts programming that includes a Native American Arts Festival; weekly lectures on local history, legends, and culture; Mexican Artistry; and a tribute to Apacheland Movie Ranch.

The Superstition Mountain Museum is an interactive history park nestled in the foothills of its majestic namesake. Visitors experience indoor and outdoor exhibits of regional history, memorabilia from local Western movie and television production as well as extensive mining and model railroading displays. The museum hosts programming that includes a Native American Arts Festival; weekly […]

The Patagonia Museum, Patagonia

The Patagonia Grammar School was designed, located, and built in 1914 by Nogales architect, O. J. Omstead. This handsome building served the children of the area from 1914 to 2014, making it the longest continuously utilized elementary school facility in Arizona. Following a period of restoration, the building reopened to the public in January 2016 as the home of the Patagonia Museum. The former school with its 14-foot ceilings and 4,200 square feet of floor space is filled with an evolving series of exhibits, photographs, and displays that highlight the rich history and culture of eastern Santa Cruz County.

The Patagonia Grammar School was designed, located, and built in 1914 by Nogales architect, O. J. Omstead. This handsome building served the children of the area from 1914 to 2014, making it the longest continuously utilized elementary school facility in Arizona. Following a period of restoration, the building reopened to the public in January 2016 […]

Verde Valley Archaeology Center, Camp Verde

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Museum is the hub of the region’s archaeology that includes National Park Service monuments, U.S. Forest Service Heritage sites, preserves of The Archaeological Conservancy, and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. The museum provides a snapshot of ancient Indigenous life with displays of household goods, farming, weaving, and textiles. Two murals by contemporary Hopi artists tell the story of Hopi Life and of the emergence of the Hopi People. The Yavapai-Apache gallery features basketry showcasing their artistry. Fine-art exhibits complete an immersion into the archaeology and culture of Sedona and the Verde Valley.

The Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Museum is the hub of the region’s archaeology that includes National Park Service monuments, U.S. Forest Service Heritage sites, preserves of The Archaeological Conservancy, and the Yavapai-Apache Nation. The museum provides a snapshot of ancient Indigenous life with displays of household goods, farming, weaving, and textiles. Two murals by contemporary Hopi artists tell the story of Hopi Life […]

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