Category Archives: Arizona State Parks

47th Annual Jerome Historic Home and Building Tour: What you will see

Source: -By  – Phoenix Day Trips Examiner

Exciting plans are under way for the 47th Annual Jerome Historic Home and Building Tour on May 19-20, 2012. This longest running tour in the state of Arizona promises a look at the historic gems of this charming town including some never seen treasures that will delight visitors. Tickets will be sold on Main Street, right in the center of town at the old firehouse and cost $12 for adults and $6 for children. The first tickets are sold at 9:00AM and the final tickets each day will be sold at 3:00PM, leaving two hours for latecomers to get through the tour by 5:00PM.

The oldest home on tour was built in 1899 and is one of the last homes on the way out of Jerome. Hear some exciting stories about the original owners and the high jinx of the current owners who have enjoyed this home as the Gillenwater family retreat for the past 25 years.

Across the street, The Klagge Home began its life as a one story home right on Clark Street and expanded down the mountain into an art filled three story retreat with a history rich in Jerome intrigue. A new art studio has made it to the list this year.

On Center Street, in the heart of the residential area, textile designer Barbara Fowler will open her doors to show guests her splendid space and explain the process from creation to fabric, all set on the hillside of Cleopatra Hill.

Four more stops on the tour will complete the perfect day in Jerome with all the charm and history of the picturesque mile high town.

In speaking to the owners of this year’s line-up of homes and buildings, the most impressive aspect is their love of the historic town of Jerome. Gil Gillenwater, one of the owners of the Clark Street gem, tells stories with true enthusiasm for all the quirkiness of the place. Purchased in 1983, the twenty-something siblings had eyed the property from a hand-made flyer in 1979, hawking a home with a ‘trillion dollar view’. Four years later, they purchased it as a getaway and proceeded to spend Thanksgivings and holidays in the two-story home for many years prior to the extensive renovation, which has transformed the home into one of Jerome’s most beautiful houses. Being the home closest to 89A in the State of Arizona turned out to be just too tempting for the three boys who were known to jump from the balcony onto passing RV’s for a ride into town for a brew at The Spirit Room. Their sister, who was not a jumper, was known to dance on the highway during their holiday events. Interesting enough, the original owner of the home, James Cain, was the mayor of Jerome in 1917 and was responsible for the NO SPITTING ordinance, which he invoked that year. No doubt, he would have had some stern words for the Gillenwater family.

Across the street, a Jerome banker built The Deming/Klagge home in 1914. Newspaper clippings show that Mr. Deming was twice indicted of bank fraud before he left town for greener pastures. The Klagges have brought this home into a new life filled with mostly Jerome Art, lovely outside decks and forever views of The Verde Valley as well as a bird’s eye view of The Gulch, the lower section of Jerome where people live tucked away behind the trees. They have nicknamed the house “The Catbird Seat”. This is an idiomatic expression used by the late baseball radio announcer Red Barber to denote “sitting pretty” or being in an enviable position.

Mary Wills and Sally Dryer, the owners of Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes in Jerome, have been renovating The Sullivan Hotel since 2006. The Main Street frontage houses the Kaleidoscope shop and the renovation in the back will be unveiled during the tour this year. This building was owned by Jennie Bauters (aka Belgian Jennie), the infamous madam who was murdered in Gold Road, AZ in 1905. She was also thought to be the richest woman in Arizona at the time of her death. After a massive fire in 1899, Jennie rebuilt the structure out of stone to house the infamous cribs for her working girls. Thisincredible structure has been brought back to life with years of labor and love. Master woodworker Steven Gray has contributed his skillful handiwork and visitors will see his contemporary interpretation of a historic bathroom.

The Miner’s Cottage on Main Street is masterfully renovated by Wendy Jackson and has been noted on construction maps as early as 1886. The current property covers what originally held three structures. Early residents were The Rudy family. Mrs. Rudy ran a dress shop on the street level and Mr. Rudy was an electrician with the Verde Central Mine. It is believed that local miners rented space from the family. This seems to be the origin of the name of the home.

Jerome Town Hall is a stop on the tour this year. This 1924 building was originally known as The Clark Street School. After the mines closed, there were no more children in town and the building was vacant until the 1970’s. Stories abound of the new life as a disco, restaurant, shops and pub. Today, guests will see the Jerome Library, the Town Council Chambers and the newly remodeled upstairs classrooms. Be ready for a surprise as school might just be in session during the tour.

The Jerome Historical Society has owned a Main Street building called The Boyd Hotel since 1956. This is one of the first brick walled structures in Jerome following the fire of 1899. Originally owned by Kitty Boyd, The Boyd Hotel continues to be used as housing with storefronts on the street level. In 2004, The Historical Society won The Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award for major work, making the entire building useable. Guests will see the newest part of the hotel, which will be used as a vacation rental in the near future.

This is a guided tour with transportation provided from home to home. The all-volunteer docents will explain the history and the fascinating stories behind each venue. There are plenty of steps and winding paths so the tour will not be handicapped accessible. For more information, contact The Jerome Chamber of Commerce at (928) 634-2900..

Information provided by: The Jerome Chamber of Commerce

Leave a comment

Filed under AZ, Historic Home and Building Tour:, McDowell Pakr, Yoga - Connect in Nature

Maricopa County All Parks & Recreation Events Feed Update

Maricopa County All Parks & Recreation Events Feed Update.

Leave a comment

Filed under All About Hiking Safety, Arizona State Parks, Bird Walk, Cave Creek Regional Park, Desert Edible Walk, Estrella, Events, Exploring the Dragonfly Trail, Find the Ranger, Haiku Hike, Hohokam Houses - the Ruins of Spur Cross, McDowell Park, Medicinal Plant Walk, Mesa, Polliwogin' Storytime, Reach Your Goal Fitness Series, San Tan Region, Sonoran Desert 101, Sonoran Desert Eco-Tour, Spring into Wildflowers, Spur Corss, Take Your Walk to the Desert, Usery Park, White Tank Park, Wildflower Photography Basics for Newbies, Yoga - Connect in Nature

Feb 11: 27th Annual Tour of Historic Florence

10 am – 4 pm. Florence will celebrate its 27th Annual Tour of Historic Florence on Saturday, February 11, 2012. Eleven historic homes, commercial buildings, and public buildings dating from 1868 to 1930 will be featured on the tour. The self-guided Tour of Historic Florence begins at McFarland SHP, at the corner of Main Street and Ruggles Street in downtown Florence.

MCFA_364To commemorate the Arizona Centennial, the Pinal County Historical Society Museum will host the “Pictorial History of Arizona” presented by author Jim Turner at 2 pm. History comes to life at the Blue Adobe Meeting Center where local historians perform during the Southwestern History Hub Matinee Show at Noon.

Admission for adults is $10 in advance or $12 on the day of the tour, children under 18 are free. Trolleys will provide transportation to all tour sites except the Windmill Winery. Proceeds from the tour support downtown revitalization activities of the Florence Main Street Program. Visit or call 520-868-4496 or toll free (866) 977-4496 to buy tickets or get more information.

Source: Arizona State Parks

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona State Parks

Jan. 21: Didgeridoo Workshop & Australia Day Events at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

didgeridooHOME_3448:30 am. Experience a taste of The Land Down Under — the plants and culture of Australia are as close as Boyce Thompson Arboretum SP. Sign up soon for the two-day class where participants will build their own didgeridoo from a dried agave stalk, and learn to play the growling, howling, haunting aboriginal instrument using the hard-to-master technique known as circular breathing (didge class pre-registration is $180, call 520-689-2723 to prepay). Visitors will have a chance for guided walk-a-bout tours of the Australian plant collections, and after 1:30 pm the eucalyptus forest will echo with stories of life in the Outback, and the droning call of the didgeridoo played during a 90-minute storytelling session, concert and didge-jam.

Watch highlights of last year’s event in a video by Volunteer Mike Rolfe.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona State Parks

Jan. 14 & 15: Gathering of the Gunfighters at Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park

EacYUPR_Gun_335h January, Old West reenactment groups ride into Yuma, Arizona for the Annual Gathering of the Gunfighters at Yuma Territorial Prison SHP.Once their dust settles, the Southwest Ghostriders, Arizona Ghostriders, Pistols & Petticoats and the WesTroupe acting groups begin their skits, set in the time period between 1876 to 1909, for coveted prizes. The event draws thousands from around the Southwest to experience the old west lore in this historic territorial prison setting.

The quiet streets of Yuma will once again be filled with the anguished wails of innocent citizenry crying out: “They robbed the bank!” A host of individual and group competitors from nasty outlaws, rough and ready cowboys, audacious saloon gals, to some just plain ol’ low-down dirty, rotten characters will assemble for a day of fun, competition and mayhem.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona State Parks

Jan. 14: Bird Walk at Roper Lake SP

ROLA_3427 am. Enjoy a Bird Walk at Roper Lake SP hosted by Michael McCarthy. Michael has taught classes about birds (Birds of the Gila Valley) through Eastern Arizona College for many years. He has been department chair of biology for over a decade. This will be an opportunity for amateurs and advanced bird watchers to enjoy a morning of fun and leisure.

Winter is the best time of the year to observe waterfowl. We can expect to see ducks and hawks that have migrated in for the winter. Michael will also discuss the amazing adaptation in birds that allow them to fly. Please bring bincolars. Download Walk Information (527 KB PDF) Cactus Wren Photo by Mark Wagner.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona State Parks

Kartchner Caverns Cave Tour Information – Park is Open

To make Cave Tour Reservations and Book Tickets: Reserve online Online Reservations (24-hours) or call (520) 586-2283. You can call 7 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm MST. To make same day Cave Tour reservations (based on availability) please call (520) 586-2283. Promo/Agent codes may only be redeemed online. Cave Tour tickets must be picked up at the park within 1 hour before your reserved tour time or risk forfeiture.

Kartchner Caverns
Cave Tour Prices
Cavern Tour Adults 14+ Youth 7–13 Children under 7
Rotunda/Throne Tour
Big Room Tour
Note: Big Room Tours are not available for children under 7 years of age.

Rotunda/Throne TourRotunda/Throne Tour

Length: ½ mile.  Time: 1½ hours.
(This tour is currently closed. It will re-open December 15th, 2011. You can book tickets for dates after December 15th.)

This tour has been open since 1999! It is half of a mile in length and takes approximately an hour and a half to complete, 50 minutes of which is underground. Discover the role that water plays in creating the caverns. You will see the discoverers’ original trail, 45,000-year-old bat guano, delicate formations and “Kubla Khan,” the largest column formation in Arizona. Reserve online Online Reservations (24-hours)

BIg Toom TourBig Room Tour

Length: ½ mile.  Time: 1¾ hours.
(This tour is currently open and will remain open until April 15, 2012. You can book tickets for any date until April 15th, 2012.)

This tour has been open since 2003. Tours are available from mid-October to mid-April and are scheduled throughout the day. It is half of a mile long and takes an hour and 45 minutes to complete, one hour of which is underground. The Kartchner Cavern story is about amazing discoveries past, present and future. Marvel at the many strange and colorful formations. Learn about the cave fauna, both living and ancient. Experience the wonder of the cave’s discovery and learn about new scientific research and discoveries as ongoing studies continue. Note: Big Room Tours are not available for children under 7 years of age. Reserve online Online Reservations (24-hours)

General Tour Information

All tours are led by a trained guide, no self-guided tours are available. Various tours are scheduled daily. It is recommended that tours be booked as far in advance as possible to ensure availability. No items (bags, purses, packs, bottled water, etc) are allowed into the cave while on tour; however lockers are available at the park to store these items. It is imperative to arrive within 1 hour before your tour time. We also request that you familiarize yourself with our very important Cave Tour Rules and Reservation & Cancellation Policies.

The cave has an average temperature of 72° Fahrenheit (22° Celsius) and 99% humidity year-round, so it will feel very warm and steamy. Most areas are dimly lit and some passages may pass through narrow or enclosed areas. This may be difficult for persons with mobility, respiratory or claustrophobia issues. See our Accessibility Information for more details.

Tickets & Reservations

Electric TramReserve online Online Reservations (24-hours) or call (520) 586-2283 between 8 am and 5 pm (Mountain Standard Time) any day of the week. Reservations are highly recommended for all tours. You will need to pick up your tickets at the park on the day of your tour; we do not mail out tour tickets. Bring your reservation receipt with you to the park. Cave Tour tickets must be picked up at the park within 1 hour before your reserved tour time or risk forfeiture.

Any tickets not reserved in advance will be sold at the park on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the tour. These tickets generally sell out early and quickly. There is no guarantee there will be any first-come, first-served, unreserved tickets available on any given day. Don’t risk not seeing the cave, make advanced reservations. (To make same day Cave Tour reservations (based on availability) please call (520) 586-2283.) In the event a tour has 4 or less people on it, the tour will be rescheduled for the next available tour.

 Information for Parents

It is not uncommon for young children, six years and under, to become frightened or uncomfortable in the cave environment. In these instances, the child and parent will be allowed to leave the cave tour for their well being and safety. Please inquire upon check-in if you have any concerns.

Strollers and backpack carriers are not permitted on the tour. For very young children (birth to one year) soft slings or pouches with the child on the front of the mother or father are recommended. Most infants do not tolerate the cave environment very well so prepare accordingly when planning your visit to the park.

Booking Both Tours on the Same Day

If you are buying tickets for both tours on the same day make sure to leave at least a 2-hour window between tour start times. If you take a longer break between tours you may enjoy a picnic lunch or enjoy lunch at the Bat Cave Cafe.

Kartchner Caverns State Park
Time of Tours Calculator
Taking Rotunda/Throne Room Tour First
Rotunda/Throne Room Tour First Purchase Big Room Tour Tickets for this time or later
8:20 am 10:15 am
8:40 am 10:45 am
9:00 am 11:45 am
9:20 am 11:45 am
9:40 am 11:45 am
10:00 am 12:15 pm
10:20 am 12:15 pm
10:40 am 12:15 pm
11:00 am 1:15 pm
11:20 am 1:15 pm
11:40 am 1:45 pm
Noon 2:15 pm
12:20 pm 2:15 pm
12:40 pm 2:45 pm
1:00 pm 3:15 pm
1:20 pm 3:15 pm
2:00 pm 4:15 pm
Kartchner Caverns State Park
Time of Tours Calculator
Taking Big Room Tour First
Big Room Tour First Purchase Rotunda/Throne Room Tour Tickets
for this time or later
8:15 am 10:40 am
8:45 am 11:00 am
9:15 am 11:40 am
9:45 am Noon
10:15 am 12:40 pm
10:45 am 1:00 pm
11:45 am 2:00 pm
12:15 pm 2:40 pm
12:45 pm 3:00 pm
1:15 pm 3:40 pm

Eco-Science Trek:
Try the Eco-Science Trek and learn about the conservation techniques used to preserve the cave’s fragile ecosystem during construction and continued visitation. It follows the same path as the Rotunda/Throne Room tour.

–>Reserve Online Online Reservations

Top of Page (Top)     Facilities (Next)


Leave a comment

Filed under Arizona State Parks, Caverns