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Best History Museums in Phoenix

By: Cityseeker
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Wells Fargo History Museum

One of America's largest financial institutions, Wells Fargo has been around since the 19th Century, and has contributed significantly to the country's financial growth. The one in Phoenix is located centrally, close to a number of attractions and takes visitors through the organization's development in Arizona. The exhibits include, among other things, an antique stagecoach as well as an intriguing selection of raw gems from Arizona's mining history. Highlight of the museum, is the gallery of artwork by noted artist N.C. Wyeth. Entry is free and tours are available. Check website for more.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Arizona Jewish Historical Society

Founded in 1981, the Arizona Jewish Historical Society protects and promotes the history of the Jewish people in Arizona. Run by the society, the Cutler Plotkin Jewish Heritage Center houses a museum gallery that displays the contributions of the Jewish people to various industries as well as agriculture and commerce. The museum houses an extensive archive including voice and video recordings of the locals. The Society also conducts regular programs and discussions that encourage dialog between generations and rental spaces available for corporate and social functions.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Arizona Capitol Museum

The elegant Arizona State Capitol rests amid the bustle of downtown Phoenix. A stirring escape into the history of the 48th state of the United States, the picture-perfect capitol building showcases Classic Revival architectural style, topped with a gleaming copper dome. Enlisted on the National Registrar of Historic Sites, the capitol building is replete with opulent interiors. Arizona State Capitol is now synonymous with the Arizona Capitol Museum, which traces Arizona's roots as a territory and its transition to statehood. The museum houses a treasure trove of collections, exhibits, artifacts and events which lend deep insights into Arizona's rich and nuanced history and culture. The marvelous capitol is fronted by a garden housing diverse botanic wonders, guarded by the national flag which flutters in all its American glory.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Heard Museum

Founded in the 1920s by Dwight B. and Marie Bartlett Heard, this museum houses tributes to Native American art and culture. At the Heard Museum, permanent displays are showcased along with traveling exhibits displaying the rich heritage of the people. The center was renovated to include an educational facility called the Ullman Learning Center. Free tours are offered daily and there's plenty of parking space. See website for more details.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park

The Pueblo Grande Ruin and Irrigation Sites, are outdoor archaeological open spaces, housing the museum. Exhibited at Pueblo Grande Museum & Archaeological Park are the ruins of a prehistoric settlement of people who lived, farmed and prospered for centuries in this region. Known as the Hohokam, they built their first irrigation system more than 1,000 years ago. They were the first people in the area to develop this kind of canal system. Phoenix's lone National Historic Landmark, sections include an authentic ball court, irrigation canals and a football field-sized platform mound. The site was declared as a National Historic Landmark in the year 1964.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Pioneer Telephone Museum

This fun little museum offers a look into the telephone's past. Delve into communication device history and follow its development. Interactive displays educate about periods from the 1800s to the present day. Featured exhibits include the Teletype and telegraph machines, hand tools, early coin phones, switchboards and even old directories. This museum is open to the public by appointment only.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Arizona Military Museum

Officially operated by the Arizona National Guard Historical Society, the museum exhibits preserved items and artifacts on the history of Arizona's military. The facility is housed in a historical adobe building, which was built in 1936 and used as a shop by German prisoners during World War II. On display are vehicles, uniforms, mementos and artillery items spanning time periods from the Spanish conquerors to the more current Desert Storm. Included are exhibits from the Korean conflict, Vietnam and the Spanish-American Wars. Interesting ones include a diorama depicting an underground escape by German prisoners of war and an army helicopter used during the Vietnam War. Admission is free but donations are encouraged.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

Music lovers should head to the Musical Instrument Museum which has a collection of 15,000 musical instruments as well as multimedia exhibits. The collection of musical instruments comes from every corner of the world. Many so strange, they are exhibited along with an instructional video. Visitors get the opportunity to learn the diverse music styles that exists around the globe. The museum also has live performances held at its theater.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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Deer Valley Rock Art Center

Visit the traditional home of the ancient Hohokam and Patayan peoples who left traces of petroglyphs (rock art) in the Hedgpeth Hills. View more than 1500 of these on a quarter-mile trail. Different interpretations of the designs can be studied at the indoor exhibits. Remember to carry a cap, sunblock, binoculars and plenty of water during your visit. It would be advisable to carry along a notepad to jot down points. Children get an opportunity to create their own petroglyphs out of clay.

Phoenix, AZ, United States
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