Historic Site sights in Arizona
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Having made a fortune from their Arizona Lumber Company, brothers Michael and Timothy Riordan had the house built in 1904. The Craftsman-style design was the brainchild of architect Charles Whittlesey, who also designed El Tovar on the South Rim. The exterior features hand-split wooden shingles, log-slab siding and rustic stone. Filled with Edison, Stickley, Tiffany and Steinway furniture, the interior is a shrine to Arts and Crafts. Visitors are welcome to walk the grounds and picnic, but entrance to the house is by guided tour only. Tours leave daily and on the hour; advance reservations are accepted.
Montezuma Castle is a stunningly well-preserved 1000-year-old Sinagua cliff dwelling. The name refers to the splendid castlelike location high on a cliff; early explorers thought the five-story-high pueblo was Aztec and hence dubbed it Montezuma. A museum interprets the archaeology of the site, which can be spotted from a short self-guiding, wheelchair-accessible trail. Entrance into the ‘castle’ itself is prohibited, but there’s a virtual tour on the website. Access the monument from I-17 exit 289, drive east for 0.5 miles, then turn left on Montezuma Castle Rd.
Fourteen miles southwest of Fredonia on Hwy 389, Pipe Spring is quite literally an oasis in the desert. Visitors can experience the Old West amid cabins and corrals, an orchard, ponds and a garden. In summer, rangers and costumed volunteers re-enact various pioneer tasks. Tours (on the hour and half-hour) let you peek inside the stone Winsor Castle (8am-4:30pm Jun-Aug, 9am-4pm Sep-May), and there’s also a small museum (7am-5pm Jun-Aug, 8am-5pm Sep-May) that examines the turbulent history of local Paiutes and Mormon settlers.