Originally Published: June 10, 2018 6 a.m.
Five years ago, June 11 was declared “Sharlot Hall Museum Day” by the City of Prescott. It was designated to honor the vision and courage of a woman far ahead of her time and the Museum she started. On this date in 1928, Sharlot Hall welcomed her first guest to the “Gubernatorial Mansion Museum” that housed her collections and writings from more than four decades as a writer, pioneer ranch woman, political activist and historian — the first woman to hold public office in the Arizona Territory.
Today, the community and state celebrate the 90th year of the Museum that bears her name, honors her life achievements, and the continuing legacy she began in her adopted hometown. In honor of “Sharlot Hall Museum Day,” admission to the Sharlot Hall Museum is waived for the day, June 11, with festivities all day — from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — throughout the four-acre, park-like campus in Prescott, two blocks west of the Courthouse Plaza and Whiskey Row.
Living history interpreters, Museum docents and staff will provide details and histories of Miss Sharlot, the 11 exhibit buildings (six of which are historic), and the many displays and exhibits that document the region’s history and heritage.
A highlight during the noon hour will be when visitors, guests and staff share in the 90-inch-long anniversary cake festooned with historic images of Sharlot and the Museum’s 90-year history.
Throughout the day, programs on campus will engage visitors with a wide range of activities. Guests of all ages are encouraged to help contribute to an artistic community ‘quilt’ of images that celebrate the Museum’s 90 years in the Prescott community.
Hourly drawings will be held to award lucky visitors a one-year pass for the family to the Museum during this 90th year. Children will enjoy coloring Willoughby cartoons of the Museum, and watching puppeteering presentations by Dick Morgan on the porch of the Frémont House.
Docents will be in the print shop, mercantile, school house, and ranch house, as well as other key venues, plus live entertainment on the campus, and tours of the Library and Archives facility across McCormick Street.
Visitors will see plans for the new Education Center, for which construction is expected to start later this year, as well as have an opportunity to establish a personalized legacy with a paver project for that new addition to the Museum.
Cake, refreshments and entertainment will highlight the day, and the annual meeting of the Museum’s historical societies create a fitting finale to the “Sharlot Hall Museum Day” festivities.
Information and photographs provided by Sharlot Hall Museum.