Recently I took my kids on a little field trip to a wonderful Museum in Prescott, AZ that focused on the Arizona Territory in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The Sharlot Hall Museum is located on 3 1/2 acres in downtown Prescott, and consists of 9 restored buildings from the turn of the century that can all be toured. It was AWESOME...and free for kids! The picture above is of the Governor's Mansion. It's 2000 sq. feet, and because of the gold rush during the late 1800's, they had to pay the laborers $10.00/ hour just to build it. That was a whole lot of money during those days. They also had to keep armed guards on duty to fight the Indians during construction.
Below are just a few pictures of the things that I found amusing.
Above is a metal trophy belt worn by the winning team in a fire hose contest. Fires were quite a problem in Prescott's territorial days. The funniest part is that this "belt" was burned in a fire in 1900. Today, cowboys get a bad rap for the size of their trophy buckles, but I have to say that they've really improved in form and function over the last 100 years. That's one ugly belt.
The kids had a scavenger hunt that went along with the museum, and in each building there was a mouse hidden for them to search for. After answering all of the questions, and finding all of the mice, they were rewarded in the gift shop with an old fashioned candy stick. The kids had a ball finding the mice!
Here was a one room school house from the mid 1800's. School only lasted for 3-5 months each year, and met in the winter time. The kids sat on benches and wrote on slates.
Here is an 1800's vacuum cleaner. They've come along way, haven't they?
A covered wagon was one of many forms of transportation in the museum.
This was by far the grossest thing on the tour. It's a wreath hanging above the fireplace in a Victorian style house from the 5th governor of the territory. What's so gross about it? It's made with human hair. All of it. Evidently women used to brush their hair in the evening and save the hair from their brush in a box so they could make things with it. This wreath has many types of hair in it. Below is a closer look.
Makes you lose your appetite doesn't it? Who knew that women were so crafty? Ladies, you need to get to brushing if you want to have a pile of hair big enough to create a wreath with by Christmas. There might be a resurgence of hair wreath popularity in the near future. Get ready. It's gonna be BIG!
Stay tuned for Part II....The History of Whiskey Row. I know you're dying with anticipation!