The Verde Valley is home to many quality cultural heritage sites and museums. Many of these are struggling to stay open, if they have been able to open at all, and to pay their bills.
According to a survey by the American Association for State and Local History, one-third of museums feel there is a “significant risk” of closing permanently, or they “didn’t know” if they would survive this time of crisis. Regional museums are navigating a similar unknown future.
These institutions often collaborate and are now collectively encouraging residents to consider a visit during these times of slow visitation. And parents might find a field trip to a museum a welcome opportunity to provide an educational experience for their school-age children. These excellent cultural and historical centers are right here in our own backyards and have worked hard to create safe visitation environments and protocols. They also want to remind residents that their Gift Shops are an important source of revenue for these organizations, and they encourage local patronage.
These institutions offer order by phone, curbside service by appointment and have taken many steps to make visiting and shopping as safe as possible during these uncertain times.
Many of these organizations are stepping into their pivotal role as educators providing virtual educational programs, experiences, and curricula to students, parents, and teachers during the current pandemic. However, without continued support, those efforts will be severely limited.
To learn more about a visit or how you can do your gift shopping with one of these historic sites or museums, you can use the following guidelines and contact information. Remember, masks are required at all these locations. A phone call before your visit is recommended, in case things change at each institution.
The Sedona Heritage Museum has local history books, items made by local artists, movies made in Sedona, jewelry, knives, toys and stuffed animals (even javelinas) for kids, ornaments, art, Sedona-themed calendars and totes, fiber art and all types of gift selections. Museum hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. daily, at 735 Jordan Road. For details, call 928-282-7038.
Cottonwood’s Clemenceau Heritage Museum offers their 2019 Calendar picturing Historic Verde Valley, “Images of Cottonwood” historic photo book, local books and authors, minerals, fossils, jewelry, carvings, toy dinosaurs and t-shirts with museum and local railroad logos. Hours vary, so call ahead, at 1 N. Willard St., Cottonwood. For details call 928-634-2868.
Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum features local and area history books by local authors plus assorted Clarkdale souvenirs. Hours are Wednesday 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m., at 900 N 1st St. For details, call 649-1198.
The Camp Verde Historical Museum has reprinted the 1954 book “Pioneer Stories of Arizona's Verde Valley”. When the museum isn’t open, the book is available at the visitor center next door, open 7 days a week from10 a.m.-4 p.m., at 435 S Main St. For details, call 928-567-9560.
Fort Verde State Historic Park has a variety of historical books and items relevant to the history of the fort. Hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, at 125 E. Hollamon, Camp Verde. For details, call 928-567-3275.
At the Jerome State Historic Park you’ll find mineral samples, copper gift items and local history books. Open daily 8:30 a.m.-4:45 p.m. at 100 Douglas Rd. For details, call 928-634-5381.
The Jerome Mine Museum gift shop, by the Jerome Historical Society, offers significant discounts during the month of December on their full line of copper jewelry, statues and wall art. Hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m., at 200 Main Street. For details, call 928-634-1066.
The Western National Parks Association (WNPA) bookstore at Montezuma Castle National Monument offers an extensive selection of books, collectibles, games and Native American crafts. Hours are daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m., at 2800 N. Montezuma Castle Hwy., Camp Verde. For details, call 928-567-3322, x225.
The WNPA bookstore at Tuzigoot National Monument also offers a long list of books, education and exploratory items for kids and adults, and now handmade baskets by the Tohono O’odham, as well as Native American jewelry and pottery. Hours are daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. at 25 W. Tuzigoot Rd., Clarkdale. For details, call 928-634-5564.
The Verde Valley Archaeology Center offers a large selection of archaeology-related books, clothing items with the Center’s logo, Native American jewelry and the popular Mata Ortiz pottery which are recreations of the Mogollon pottery found in and around the archaeological site of Casas Grandes. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 385 S. Main St., Camp Verde. For details, call 928-567-0066.
You can find unique gifts an un-crowded, un-harried environment, enjoy tax-free purchases, and support area cultural institutions all in one shopping trip! You don’t need to pay admission just to shop and you can provide much needed income to these non-profit organizations in the process.