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Phoenix is an amazing city located right in the middle of the desert. It may be hot, but there are so many things to do and see, you will be too busy to worry about the dry desert heat. Phoenix, Arizona is rich in pre-history and history that can be dated back many, many years ago. From pre-historic man to the various Native American tribes around the area, it is a very interesting city to say the very least. Be sure that you check out everything that you can while you are staying the Phoenix area.

  • Arizona Mining and Mineral MuseumArizona Mining and Mineral Museum Phoenix, Arizona
    The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum in Phoenix, Arizona is one of the biggest and best mineral museums in the southwest, contained in the El Zaribah Shrine Auditorium, with permanent and rotating exhibits of minerals, mining relics, ore, fossils and lapidary from the state and around the globe. There is a great little gift shop that showcases minerals and related specimens, beaded jewelry, books and carvings. The museum honors the mining industry that helped build the state, which is the country's number one mining state that has the biggest value of non-fuel mineral production. The origin of the museum can be traced to the Arizona Fair that was in November of 1884; with their mineral display overshadowing all the others. That collection was one of the finest in the entire world, and has continued to grow and get better since then. Every year, about 23,000 school children and 18,000 visitors come here to discover any small gems that might interest them or fit into their collections. It has always been the destination of rockhounds and mineral collectors, and still brings them here every year. There are more than 3000 fossils, rocks, minerals and mining relics that are displayed and highlighting the marvelous collection are the exotic and colorful minerals that came from the Arizona copper mines. One of the most amazing individual specimens shown is an 8 foot native copper quartz geode, with each half weighing 240 pounds, as well as rocks that came from the first lunar landing and a fantastic fragment of meteor crater's meteorite that weighs in at 206 pounds. There are numerous displays of special interest that encase lapidary arts showcasing cabochons made of minerals from the state, carved semi-precious bowls and spheres, fluorescent minerals, mineral crystal systems, causes of colors, habits, fulgarites, faceted gemstones and well-known state specimen localities. It also houses the mineral collection of the Arizona Mineral and Mining Foundation and the Mofford Gallery that contains about 1000 objects that was collected by former Secretary of State and Governor Rose Mofford during her 51 years of government service. Outside the museum, in an obvious place, is the 43 foot high Boras mine head frame that was brought here from Bisbee, Arizona; put alongside an 1882 baby-gauge steam train locomotive that was brought from the Phelps-Dodge Morenci mine. There is also a mucker car and ore car sitting on rails in the front yard, as well as a 19 foot high 5-stamp mill that was added to the historic mining equipment section. Modern open pit mining is shown with a 13 foot diameter tire from the 320 ton capacity mine haul truck and 27 cubic yard bucket that came from an electric shovel; and the mural on the haul truck deserves some attention. The museum started as part of the Territorial Fair exhibit of 1884 and became so popular that in 1917 the state legislature authorized funding to build a mineral building on the state fairgrounds. Finished in 1919, using more funds that had been raised by the mining companies of the state. Except for a period during WWII, the building has been the home of yearly Territorial and then state fairs up to 1953; which happened because 6 of the main mining companies of the state agreed to help underwrite the opening of a year round museum that would be held in the Mineral Building. The building was renamed the Polly Rosenbaum Building in 1991.

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  • The Rosson HouseRosson House Phoenix, Arizona
    The Rosson House, constructed in 1895, sits on the original foundation it was built on in downtown Phoenix's Heritage Square area and was named for Dr. Roland Lee Rosson and wife Flora Murray. It has been occupied by numerous families since, then eventually purchased by the city, which renovated it and brought it back to the former glory; now a museum that offers tours. The stately home resembles the Eastlake Queen Anne Victorian style of architecture and designed by well known San Francisco architect A. P. Petit. It was the final house that he would design, passing on before it was finished, but still the controversy appeared since it contained a French octagonal tower, oriental moon gate and Italian hooded windows. Either way, it was built for the doctor and his wife, who enjoyed it immensely; and Rosson was elected mayor a short time after it was finished. The house is believed to have helped his election win, since it was the first house in the city that was made of wood and brick, instead of the usual adobe bricks. There are many modern conveniences included in the house, like electricity, indoor bathroom which was upstairs, a telephone, and hot and cold running water. Whitelaw Reid rented the house for two winters when his doctors told him to move to a dryer climate that would help his respiratory troubles. His pen and ink set was given to the Rosson House after he passed on and is shown on display. The history of the house has been learned from Reid's correspondence and letters, and helped immensely with the renovation that brought the house back to its former state. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

November 07, 2014