Sunday, November 27, 2016

Superstition Mountain Museum and Trains

AJ, AZ  High 72  Low 54

If you like model trains and are in this area, you need to make a stop at the Superstition Mountain Museum. The Museum itself makes for a great visit and the train just adds to it.

Thomas and Percy were running for the kids.



The following is from their brochure.

Welcome to Dutchman’s Gulch, a journey through Arizona history via a Garden-scale model train exhibit. These larger models run on 1500 feet of 45-mm gauge track. This exhibit displays the key role that the introduction of the railroad to Arizona, during the period 1875 to 1930, played in the rapid growth of not only Arizona, but the entire American West. The coming of the railroad to Arizona enabled the transport of key Arizona exports (including cattle, cotton, citrus and ore products). In addition, tourists and settlers were able to travel to Arizona to enjoy the climate.

Native Americans were the first settlers in the area, then came the Spanish establishing missions in the Tubac and Tucson areas. Prospectors and explorers followed. With the coming of the railroad, mines, ranches and towns sprang up along the railroad track.

There are seven areas showing the growth of Arizona.


The Pima are related to the Tohono O’odham people. They are probably descendants of the ancient Hohokam Indians. The Pima are American Indians who live along the Gila and Salt rivers in southern Arizona. They call themselves the Akimel O’odham, meaning “river people”.


Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino was one of the early Spanish explorers of the deserts of the American Southwest.


3. ROOSEVELT DAM – circa 1905 to 1911.

Theodore Roosevelt Dam was the first dam on the Salt River that controlled water flow into the Greater Phoenix area. The dam is 357 feet high and was built between 1905 and 1911.


4. GOLD MINE – circa 1860.

Two major finds occurred in 1859 and 1862 in the Yuma area near the confluence of the Gila and Colorado Rivers. If the legendary Lost Dutchman Mine here in the Superstition Mountains does exist, it is still waiting to be rediscovered today.


5. SILVER MINE – circa 1858.

There were four major areas of silver production, the largest being the Silver King Mine near Superior which produced an estimated $42 million worth of silver ore between 1875 and 1900.


6. CATTLE RANCH – circa 1865.

Cattle and other livestock came to Arizona over 300 years ago with arrival of the Spanish Missions. After the Civil War, overgrazed pastures in Texas led ranchers to the Arizona Territory and began the state’s cattle boom. By the 1890s, about 1.5 million cattle roamed in Arizona.


7. FRONTIER TOWN – circa 1864 and forward.

The town in the exhibit is representative of towns in the early 1900s. In 1864, Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple (Army Post near Prescott). At that time Tucson was deemed ineligible as they were supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War. After the Civil War, the Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877. Finally, in 1889, Phoenix became the territorial capital and in 1912, the state capital.


Elvis Chapel

Another stop you want to make while at the museum is the Elvis Memorial Chapel which is a movie memorabilia museum showing the movies that were filmed at Apacheland.

Elvis Memorial Chapel

There are several hiking trails also available in this area and with the Superstition Mountains as a backdrop, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place.


  1. Looks like a wonderful museum and love the trains, maybe check it out one day.

  2. We went hiking in the Superstition Mountains the very first time we were in Arizona back in January 2005. Beautiful area, and we've never made it back there.

  3. We went to Tubac a few years ago..very neat..There is a lovely old mission there too!!

  4. Fun to see the railroad version of Arizona history. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Added this to our list when we get there in early March. Looks like a cool place. We had a big train in my flower garden at our old house. Paul will enjoy seeing the trains. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. I really need to take a trip there I love trains and this looks great.

  7. The Superstition Mountains certainly are beautiful, we'd love to spend more time in the area. One visit was not enough! ;c)

  8. Love the area. It's so fun to go out exploring. You never know what you're going to find.

  9. Looks like a fun adventure to go exploring! Will have to make a stop here when I go to visit my aunt in Arizona.

  10. You're just like a walking encyclopedia. Enjoyed all the information. I would love to see the movies or info about them that were filmed in Apache Land.


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.