Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum

Five stamp Mill for crushing ore
Photo by: Leonard G., Creative Commons

A museum that focuses on mining and minerals may not exactly be every visitor’s idea of a good time, but then, the Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum has more than the geeky content and the uninteresting displays. With its inventory of 3,000 minerals, artifacts, fossils, rocks and other items connected to the mining industry, there will surely be something that will appeal to any type of traveler, earth science geek or not.

This museum earned a spot in the headlines when in 2010, the Historical Society of the state took control of the museum, with a new state law to back this move. The society made plans to have the facility converted into a history museum with its opening to coincide with the centennial of Arizona statehood in 2012. The plan also included the renaming of the museum into the Arizona Centennial Museum with its focus to include not just minerals but also cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.” This project has been delayed, though, because there are items that are apparently on loan to the museum that have liabilities.

Currently included in the museum’s collection are a mineral collection and mining equipment, as well as their items donated by the state’s former governor by Rose Mofford. Before entering the museum, there is already an exhibit of mining equipment, both historic and modern. Among the displays are minerals from well-known Arizona mineral localities with focus on copper specimens. Women will appreciate faceted gemstones and cabochons gotten from the mineral deposits of the state. One of the more popular items on exhibit is a piece of the Meteor Crater meteorite which weighs 206 pounds.

The museum is popular among tourists because it offers air-conditioned comfort, perfect for those seeking refuge from the excruciating heat outdoors. Moreover, children under 18 may enter the museum for free, while adult guests enter for a minimal entrance fee.


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