Warning, this post is graphics heavy.
|Above: Interior of the Elvis Memorial Chapel from the|
Apacheland Movie Ranch. Below: The Church.
Near Goldfield and Apache Junction Arizona is a fine museum with an eclectic collection of gold mine history and artifacts. The Superstition Mountain Museum is another must do when you are in the area. They even have 2 buildings from the Apacheland Movie Ranch, which was built in 1959-60, and burned down twice, once in May of 1969 and again in February of 2004. This last fire destroyed almost all of the movie sets and ultimately led to the closing of the movie ranch in October of 2004. The church is about the only building that escaped unharmed, the barn, they told us, did have considerable damage, but was salvaged and moved to the Museum anyway.
(You can read more about the Apacheland Movie Ranch and other movie set towns at this Wikipedia article. Note that this article is in need of some serious sourcing, so take it for what it is worth.)
Man and I spent at least an hour in the Museum, here are a few of my favorite photos:
|Above, Hohokam Indian Flair Rim Bowl with bird design.|
Taken through display glass, some glare present in photo.
Some of you may remember my chatting a bit about Weaver's Needle and gold and such. This entire area has stories and then more stories, including, but not limited to, the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. There is, but of course, a Wikipedia article on the lost gold mine, and if you Google the term, you will find a lot of web pages that talk about it. The museum has a collection of maps, drawn by many, treasure maps to the lost gold, here is one, maybe you can find the lost gold yourself with this. I wish you all the luck in the world, my cut for providing you the map is just 5% of the total take - - - -
I know it won't surprise you to tell you that they had a very nice collection of assay office tools. Looks interesting, but, I have no idea what all this stuff does.
And, you may remember the Saguaro furniture I showed you back at the end of March. Here is a lamp made from Cholla cacti. If you have not been to Reflection's Flora and Fauna in the last month or so, jump on over, I have shown cholla at least 4 times.
And, last, but not least, hanging on the wall just before you depart the museum you will find this 1870 Log Cabin quilt which was donated by Gold Canyon residents, the Kukuk family. The quilt is stored behind glass, I did not use a flash to take this photo, all glare and white spots are from the lighting in the museum.
The buildings that surround the museum proper contained a blacksmith (on duty and showing his craft); a barber shop with a 1891 barber's chair; a jail, but of course; gallows; a stagecoach; and a bunkhouse.
In the barn there were photos of many of the actors who filmed at the Apacheland Movie Ranch, along with bootprints of some of them. Many of the bootprints, with signatures, were faded, worn, the names were hard to read. I didn't take a lot of photos, but, did try with Clint Walker's, as it looked like it might actually show up. You can tell that this has actually been broken and repaired. But there is his signature and his boot prints:
Nice museum, nice collection, well displayed, and, of course, there is the church where Elvis was married (name of movie - - sorry cannot remember). The Superstition Mountain Museum, a good thing, one could almost say, a golden thing.