Globetrotting: Museums=Windows into History

When starting a new relationship, be it friendship or dating, we usually build intimacy through sharing our stories, naming meaningful people, and recounting tragic and humorous experiences.  I think connection to Globe-Miami happens much in the same way.  As relatives and friends come for the holidays followed by our influx of winter visitors, I love helping people get to know our community through our rich local history by sending them to our museums and unique historic locales.  This includes recommended visits to Besh ba Gowah (highlighted in the last blog post) and three other favorites:  the Gila County Historical Museum, Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum, and the Old Gila County Jail and Sheriff’s Office.

The Gila County Historical Museum is located in the former Old Dominion Mine Rescue Station just across the road from the Old Dominion Historic Mine Park.  One of my favorite sections of this museum is the room with mine rescue artifacts.  There are exhibits on Native Americans; famous Globe politicians (like the first governor of Arizona, George W.P. Hunt, and the first female governor, Rose Mofford); and lots of unique history including information on Cornish pasties, a delicacy still loved by locals.  The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm, and Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm (closed Sunday and Monday).  

Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum is located in a Neo-Classical Revival building designed by the famous architectural firm of Trost and Trost to serve as a segregated elementary school for Mexican American and Native American students.  The 1923 building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is being lovingly restored and used by the community for lectures, meetings, and events.  My two favorite sections of this museum are the mineral hallway with gorgeous rock and gem specimens and the McKusick Tile Works exhibit that highlights how these famous local tiles were made and decorated.  Bullion also has sections honoring significant cultural groups for the area (Native American, Mexican, Slavic); a large collection of gifts given to Governor Mofford; and sections on mining, ranching, military, and local dignitaries. It is open Thursday to Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm, and Sunday from 12 pm to 3 pm (closed Monday to Wednesday).  

My Aunt Lorraine and I at the entrance to the Old Gila County Jail & Sheriff’s Office

The Old Gila County Jail and Sheriff’s Office is located in a 1910 poured cement building in the heart of Globe’s downtown.  It is almost unfathomable to me that its metal cages were used for humans until 1981.  I love the photos and memorabilia from former inmates, the jail cell graffiti, as well as the stories of this space and the people who stayed here.  I highly recommend starting with the short informational video before touring the building and ask to hear the steel cell doors closing (i.e., the sound of hope dying).  The jail is the frequent focus of paranormal investigators for its alleged haunting and, whether you believe in ghosts or not, the space is definitely creepy.  The jail is open by appointment and on the second Saturday of each month, with paranormal tours scheduled on the second Friday of the month.

Our community has a unique draw that elicits loyalty to and love for this wonderful place.  To catch the essence of Globe-Miami, start by looking through these windows into our history and heart.

The Gila County Historical Museum is located at 1330 N. Broad St. in Globe (928-425-7385), Bullion Plaza Cultural Center and Museum is at 150 N. Plaza Circle in Miami (928-473-3700), and the Old Gila County Jail can be found at 177 E. Oak St. in Globe (928-425-4449).  Interested in reading more Globetrotting posts about unique treasures of our area?  Go to https://acornconsulting.org/blog/