Letter: Historic preservation
Having lived in Prescott for nearly 10 years, it is impossible not to stumble at some point on an awareness of the history of the place! I asked a local architect once how Prescott managed to preserve so many of the historic buildings that are obvious to even the casual observer. His assessment was that whenever the idea of re-development came up - including the courthouse - no one could agree on what to do so, thankfully, nothing was done!
We can all be thankful that the preservation of local history beyond just the buildings is assured by the existence of three museums within Prescott - Sharlot Hall/Fort Whipple, The Smoki and The Phippen! Combined they account for nearly 200 years of experience! Their mottos and missions have words like: preservation, education, respect, heritage, indigenous, history, art, culture, Western and understanding. Time spent at any one of them will impress the visitor with the quality and authenticity of their exhibits. Holiday shopping at their on-site shops proves that they are much more than merely 'Museum Gift Shops' with authentic pieces at price ranges from 'stocking stuffer' to 'you shouldn't have!'
Whether you are just visiting, new to the area or lived here for years, don't make the mistake I made and delay exploring these gems - Prescott may be "Christmas City," "Everybody's Home Town" and the "Cowboy Capital of the West," but it is very much the Museum Capital of the Southwest.
Lastly, our museums cannot survive without the volunteers that continue to make it all happen in so many ways. Become a member, make a donation, volunteer your time and energy to any or all of them: I can assure you, you won't regret it.
Smoki Museum Board