Hello Friends and Family,

Pioneer Living History Museum, Part 9

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

This is the Victorian House and depicts a typical 1890s middle-class Phoenix dwelling with a parlor, music room, kitchen and two bedrooms.

It was originally located at 4032 North Seventh Street in Phoenix, the property lines fronted Central Avenue, extending from Thomas to Indian School Road. John Marion Sears was the owner of this 80-acre homestead.

This home was one of the earliest wooden homes — earlier homes tended to be constructed of adobe brick.

In May of 1969, the Sears home was scheduled for demolition.

In less than 30 days, it was donated to the museum and moved to this location where it underwent a complete restoration.

Every small town had to have a bank. This structure is a reproduction of a bank that was originally called The First National Bank of Phoenix.

The original was the first bank in Arizona that was built solely for banking. Previously, banks were found in the back of stores or the basements of hotels.

The bookkeeper was a fixture to make sure the accounts were kept honestly. My late uncle Jack told me that he once worked in a bank before computers. One Friday, their manual records were off by one penny. The staff spent hours trying to find the error that led to that 1¢ discrepancy but find it they did. Just think, with computers the discrepancies can be much larger and so much more difficult to track — don't you just love modern times.

Here we see the Sheriff's office, a reconstruction of an original that stood in Globe, AZ some 80 miles east of Phoenix. The thick clay, sand, and sand walls insulated the occupants from the elements — keeping the interior cool in summer and warm in winter. The original not only contained the Sheriff's office but also the jail and a courtroom for a circuit judge who might visit once a month to try cases.

Behind the Sheriff's office was a small pen containing a goat. I saw no signs explaining "why a goat?" Maybe it kept bleating so that any prisoners could not sleep and thus discouraging them from a life of crime. Of course, the image that kept coming to my mind was Otis Campbell, the town drunk in Mayberry from the "Andy Griffith Show".

Hopefully, this was a peaceful town and they did not need to use these gallows very often. Perhaps it was to warn people against bad behavior since the consequences could be quite severe.

This structure is a reproduction, built by Eagle Scouts in 2014.

Prior to mass communication, entertainment was provided by the townsfolk themselves. Someone could play a mean fiddle, someone else the washboard with old Joe on the banjo. A few people could provide decent vocals and others could dance a fancy jig.

This bandstand is a reconstruction of one originally located in Globe, AZ around 1881. Note the anachronism — there are tiny string lights hung on the railings and canopy. Since the town would not have had electricity in those days, this must be for the convenience of us modern folk.

This is the last in the series of photos from the Pioneer Living History Museum. I hope all of you enjoyed it.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com