The magic of museums. Here I am in front of the display of old books at the Clemenceau Heritage Museum in Cottonwood, AZ, not too far from Sedona, AZ, where I live and create my art. For years I have passed this building, but never went in. Finally I opened a door to the history of the Verde Valley. The hours are different and admission is by donation. This building was the original school for the town of Clemenceau and surrounding areas. I never even realized there was a a town by that name! Apparently there were too many towns containing the name Verde, so Mr. Douglas, Jerome mine magnate, named it after his WWI friend, French premier Georges Clemenceau. In 1960, the newly incorporated Cottonwood took over this area. Inside the museum is an original classroom with all the desks and books. There are displays of useful items from the turn of the century onward: farm implements; medical and dental tools; kitchen objects; old washing machines; toys; eyeglasses; ladies outfits and jewelry, just to name a few included items. There is a room on Jerome mining, and an entire room with a miniature railroad. What fun to see the pictures of graduating classes during the 1940's and 1950's. These names are now on streets in this area. There was Ms. Anne Jordan of Sedona, wearing the snazziest white shoes with her cap and gown. Scrapbooks of historical events in all the surrounding towns intrigued me, especially Sedona. What magic there is in this local jewel of history.
I love smaller museums like this, which are easily ‘digestible’ in one visit. I have passed by the Clemenceau Heritage Museum many times without realizing it was there. I must visit it one of these days. My family in Phoenix knew the Douglas Family. The son of James Stuart Douglas, who discovered the United Verde Extension copper ore body in Jerome, founded the Bank of Douglas, which became The Arizona Bank, later incorporated into Bank of America. My first bank account was with The Arizona Bank. Some of my favorite museums are smaller ones like this, including The Maryhill Museum in the Columbia Gorge in Washington State, and the rarely visited, quirky little museum in the basement of the Mount Angel Monastery in Saint Benedict, Oregon, south of Portland. “The collection focuses on natural history, gathered for educational purposes, and includes a wide array of fossils, rocks, human artifacts and taxidermy – including a polar bear and two conjoined calves.”ReplyDelete