Back for More Arizona - Winter 2014 travel blog

Sharlot Hall Museum

Sharlot Hall Museum

governor's mansion




county court house

While our main interest in this area is the red rock lands of Sedona, we thought we'd avoid the weekend crowds and and visit places lower on tourist radar like Prescott. This small town is located in a valley laced with streams. It's nice to see all the green vegetation.

If you're going to visit Prescott, make sure you pronounce it "press-kit" or the locals will know you are from out of town. Prescott was the first capital of the Arizona Territory. During the Civil War Abraham Lincoln worried about cash flow and heard that there was gold in the AT. Tucson residents wanted him to make it the capital, but it was full of Confederate sympathizers so Abe looked further north. But the Prescott area was still the very wild west with lots of Indians and little civilization. There wasn't even a sawmill there when what amounted to a double wide log cabin was built post haste. The first two governors lived there until civilization finally arrived and more suitable digs were built.

A local woman Sharlot Hall wanted to preserve the mansion, which was on her property and she started an open air museum in 1928. She arranged to have some local buildings moved to the property including tiny Ft. Misery, the oldest log cabin in Arizona. One building on the grounds houses a collection of old vehicles including a Conestoga wagon. Many of the plants on the grounds are grown from vintage seeds. Wandering the grounds gave us a feeling about what life was like before Arizona became a state.

Prescott is still the county seat and the court house square has a mixture of buildings from back in the day in an area called Whisky Row. If we had wanted to spend a nice afternoon in a bar, this was the place. We didn't. And moved on to a nearby Trader Joe's where we stocked up for the week ahead.

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