Interesting Historical Facts about Phoenix Az

Though Arizona is a relatively “new” state-having been made official in 1912-the state is still rich in history. Many people know of Tombstone and the great gunfight at the O.K. Corral, but the history of Arizona extends beyond the commonly known. Specifically in the Phoenix area, the stories of years past are retold through landmarks and museums that many visitors aren’t even aware of. For those history buff vacationers, here are some interesting historical facts about the area and a few places to learn more about them:

One of the most interesting legends in Phoenix is that of Jacob Waltz, the Lost Dutchman of the Superstition Mountains. Back in the days of Cowboys and Indians, Waltz traveled to Arizona for the Gold Rush around 1886. Legend has it that Waltz stole Apache-owned gold ore and stashed it at a hidden location in the Superstition Mountains. Prospectors and historians alike have been in search of Waltz’s cache ever since. Visit the Superstition Mountain Museum just outside of Phoenix to learn the whole story and even see the maps that Waltz drew. Maybe you could be the first to solve this mystery.

Want to step into history and become a part of the old west? Visit Goldfield Ghost Town at the gateway of the Superstition Mountains. The town was first settled back in 1892 and it was thought that Goldfield would become a premiere city in Arizona. Unfortunately, the city struggled as miners found less and less gold ore and the town eventually fell to ashes. Goldfield is complete with gunfights, horseback riding, mine tours, and the “only operating narrow gauge railroad in Arizona”. The Goldfield museum’s second floor is dedicated to the films of the old west, specifically those filmed in and around the area. For a great family activity, try your hand at gold panning with the instruction of a resident gold historian and keep any gold you find.

Only an hour and a half north of the city of Phoenix, you’ll find some of the best preserved ruins in the country. Montezuma’s Castle is a cliff dwelling of the ancient Singuan people. The ruins are over 1,000 years old. Visitors can look through the windows of the dwelling and take a virtual tour via the internet to better understand life in an unforgiving desert. On the property is also Montezuma’s Well, a nature preserve unlike any other on earth. The well was formed many years ago by the collapse of a limestone cavern. Each day, without fail and even in spite of a drought, over one million gallons of warm, fresh water circulates through the pool. The well is host to plant and animal species that can’t be found anywhere else.

If you enjoy the mystique of Native American ruins, also visit the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix. Pueblo Grande is home to an expanse of Hohokam ruins about 1500 years old. The Hohokam people occupied the Phoenix area centuries ago and the ruins tell us the story of their lives. Visitors can walk the ruins and view petroglyphs left behind by the Hohokam. You can also see the ingenious irrigation system developed by the people. The museum offers an in-depth look at an ancient culture through artifacts, tours, and stories as well.