No free lunch, a free museum

Old Arizona State Capitol Building
Old Arizona State Capitol Building

Tucked away in plain site is the Arizona Capitol Museum. It’s housed in the old state capitol building smack in the middle of the state capitol complex. It’s open 9AM to 4PM weekdays and 10AM to 2PM on Saturdays, closed on state holidays. Guided tours are available arranged in advance for groups of ten or more.

I stumbled upon this little gem while wandering around the central city and the state capitol.

What a great way to step back into the past and the history of Arizona. It’s housed in the original state capitol building complete with shining copper dome. The halls are lined with paintings of Arizona’s natural wonders  by an Arizona landscape artist David Swing.

Arizona desert scene
Arizona desert scene

The first floor has a great exhibit featuring the USS Arizona and its story. It was the largest ship sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941 with over 1100 American casualties.

Model of the USS Arizona
Model of the USS Arizona

The upper floors house the original  offices of the secretary of state, governor and other historic offices. The ends of the building of the third floor hold the original state house of representative and the senate. One can almost hear the echoes of past debates. It all reminds one of simpler and more innocent times. The men’s and women’s rooms are labeled Gentlemen and Ladies. Maybe that is only wishful thinking.

Original Arizona State House of Representatives
Original Arizona State House of Representatives
Recreation of Arizona Sanitary Livestock Commission Office
Recreation of Arizona Sanitary Livestock Commission Office

One of the rooms on the third floor traces the history of Arizona since before territorial days and on up to statehood. I was surprised to find out that Arizona was a part of the Confederacy in the early days of the Civil War.

This site is definitely worth an hour or two  of exploring the history of Arizona and its government.

 

 

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