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  • 3 Apr 2022 1:30 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

      Elberta (Coon) Hulse, with nephew Dennis Coon, and her daughter Martha Morgan. 

    Happy 70th Birthday to Dennis April 2nd.

    And Happy Birthday to Elberta who turns 95 on April 4th. 

    Elberta was born in 1927 at the Coon Ranch near Tapco.

  • 3 Apr 2022 1:20 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    We are saddened by the passing of one of Jerome’s most knowledgeable and dedicated historians, Nancy Smith. 

    Preparing for opening of CHSM left to right Pat Williams, Drake Meinke, and Nancy Smith, circa 2007

    In 2020 CHSM recognized Nancy for her dedication in furthering our mission to preserve and protect the unique history and built environment of Clarkdale, “Arizona’s first company town and planned community.”    Nancy's perseverance and expertise produced a lasting contribution to telling the story of and preserving our region’s rich history.

    Amongst her many achievements and gifts to our community include:

    ·  The placement of the Clark Memorial Clubhouse on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982

    ·  Working as historian for “A Historic Resource Survey of Clarkdale, Arizona” in 1989

    ·  Preparing and finalizing the application for the Clarkdale Historic District to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997 which resulted in its acceptance in 1998

    ·  Completing the application and establishment of the Clarkdale Heritage Center as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2003

    ·  Working to prepare and open the Clarkdale Heritage Center now known as the Clarkdale Historical Society and Museum in 2007

    ·  Serving on the Board of Directors for the Clarkdale Heritage Center.

    ·  Serving as our featured speaker at the September 2019 CHSM First Friday event

    ·  Servings as the museum’s accountant from 2019 to 2021.

    contributed by Michael Lindner, President 

  • 24 Jan 2022 10:54 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    CHSM Board Members and guests left from the Clarkdale School at 16th Street and Main for our short hike over the old Jerome to Clarkdale Road.

    Below is a link to a photo taken in 1920 showing the road entering what is now upper main street. The brick homes furthest west go to 15th street. Note there is a baseball game in progress.


    Below is the link to two versions of the Sanborn Maps of Clarkdale.  The first is from October 2015.  The second is from October 2015 with page updates through December 1938.  (Close evaluation of the maps show they are not completely updated through 1938.)

    The first shows the detail of the construction camp and original wood school house in lower town as well as the upper town business buildings.  The second shows Patio Town (Park) built over the construction camp, enlarged upper town business buildings and a separate map of the smelter site.




    In 1867, the Sanborn Map Company of Pelham, New York, began creating maps to assist fire insurance agents in assessing the fire hazards of particular pieces of property in towns and cities throughout the United States. The maps indicate the size, shape, and construction materials of residences, commercial properties and factories and often include such details as building use, house and block numbers, widths of streets and locations of water mains. In addition to their detail, the Sanborn maps were regularly updated, in some cases up until the 1970s, making them a valuable tool for documenting the changes in structure and building use in American cities.

    contributed by Michael Lindner

    If you would like to comment please contact us at info@clarkdalemuseum.org

  • 11 Jan 2022 10:12 AM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    Beaver Creek Preservation and Historical Society


    Black Canyon Heritage Park


    Camp Verde Historical Society


    Chino Valley Historical Society


    Arizona Copper Art Museum


    Clemenceau Heritage Museum


    Cornville Historical Society, Inc.


    Dewey-Humboldt Historical Society


    Museum of Northern Arizona


    Pioneer Museum


    Riordan Mansion State Historic Park


    Jerome Historical Society


    Mohave County Historical Society


    Sharlot Hall Museum


    Museum of Indigenous People


    Western Heritage Center


    Sedona Heritage Museum


    Skull Valley Historical Society


    Old Trails Museum


    If you have a comment or want to request a correction email us at info@clarkdalemuseum.org 

  • 13 Dec 2021 10:02 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    The story goes that George Benatz Sr. did all the lighting for the town. He would use the fire department’s ladder. However in the1990’s he was not well enough to light the bandstand so the FD dropped the ladder off at Janice Benatz's home. She hauled that big ladder to the bandstand and George had noted all the lights and where they went. Janice says when she was on the bandstand roof it was creaking and unstable, but she got it done. Janice remembered that at one time they used big colored bulbs and Jess Valdez said the kids threw rocks at them to see how many they could break!  George Benatz Sr., Janice's dad, remembered  the original bandstand was closer to Main Street.

    contributed by Jeanne Baird

  • 11 Dec 2021 2:10 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    Hundreds of former students who attended the old Clarkdale grade school between 1946 and 1985 hold fond memories for Mrs. Minnie Tavasci who taught kindergarten, first and second grades for 40 years!  Mrs. Tavasci passed away at age 98 on October 28, 2021.

    See the class photo of Mrs. Tavasci with some of the first graders in the spring of 1968.  Can you name the students in the photo?   read more...

    Below is from Mrs. Tavasci’s interview at the Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum’s 2012 Living Legacy event:

    Minnie Tavasci was born in Rogersville, Tenn., in 1923.  Her mother’s family came to America in the 1700s and received a land grant from the King of England.  Her brother found the grant after their grandfather passed away.
    She came to Clarkdale in 1946 to accept a teaching job, one she stayed with for well over 30 years.
    “It was my very first teaching job,” she said.
    Minnie taught first and second grade her first year. “I had 38 students my first year,” she said.
    She had expected to teach third grade. “I didn’t know about 6-year-olds,” she said. “But I was fascinated by them.”
    She remembers one day when she was substitute teaching for another teacher. She said a little boy looked up at her and said, ‘I’m the meanest kid in this school.’
    "I leaned over and said, ‘Good, because I love mean little boys.’ I didn’t have any trouble with him that entire day.”
    Minnie married Paul Tavasci. “He started the Clarkdale Dairy,” she said. He also hauled cattle.
    The couple had three children, Paul, Pat and Irene. Her son, Pat, still hauls cattle out of Buckeye. [2012]
    Minnie said that she remembers the women in town played bridge, and she had been told that she would have to join the bridge club.
    “I went one time,” Minnie said. “It was all of the smelter big wigs.” She didn’t feel comfortable and never went back.

    She is extremely proud of the Clarkdale school system.
    "We’ve always had a good reputation of having a real good school system in Clarkdale,” she said. “I’d like to see that remain.
    “Some of the things I treasure the most is seeing the kids I taught,” Minnie said. “They come up and give me a hug.”

    submitted by Michael Lindner a former Student

  • 11 Sep 2021 4:33 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    Bob Beltz, an active member of the Clarkdale Historical Society & Museum,  passed away this summer at age 96.  Bob was a major donor of rare historical material to the museum.  He received the Society's Legacy Award in 2010.

    The archivists mentioned that he was meticulous in identifying locations, events, and individuals in the many photos he provided and reviewed.  Often referred to as 'Mr. Clarkdale', Bob will be missed but remembered with great fondness for his extraordinary memory, wonderful sense of humor, laughter, and gentle ways. A videotape of Bob recalling his years growing up in Clarkdale is available for viewing on the Clarkdale Historical Society's website, click here... Resources/Oral Histories

    From the archives: 

    Bob was born on 16 Jan 1925 in Winfield, KS.  He moved to Clarkdale in Sep 1928 and graduated from the Clarkdale High School in 1943.  Bob was in the Army Air Force from 11 July 1943 to 9 Sep 1945.  Bob was a 1st Lieutenant stationed in Glatton, England.  He was a navigator on a B-17 flying fortress, a 4-engine bomber.  He flew 26 combat missions over Germany.  Bob was recalled to serve in the "Korean Police Action" from 5 May 1951 to 24 July 1952.  He served as a navigator-bomardier, flying 51 missions in a B-26 two-engine bomber over North Korea.   

    Contributed by the Wicks Family/Felicia Coates

  • 26 Aug 2021 12:23 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    In our efforts to build relationships and collaborate with other local Historical Societies, we are excited to share that our friends at the Jerome Historical Society have something exciting planned for history buffs with an appreciation for the dramatic!  

    Working with the good folks out at Gold King Mine, they are working to put together a fun weekend of family entertainment and historical education at that unique location.  Termed “Jerome Mining Days,” their goal is to put on a variety of scenes, demonstrations, and stories presenting a living history of the Mining Days in Jerome and the surrounding region, including Clarkdale. The event will possibly feature music, family activities, and maybe even food vendors. This event is currently in the planning stages so things may change as they move forward but there are high hopes of making this event a reality.  In the meantime, please save the dates:  Saturday Oct. 23rd and Sunday Oct. 24th from 11AM to 5PM each day.

    JHS is seeking community participation to make this event happen.  Volunteer opportunities include: story writers, actors and story presenters, guides, ticket sellers/takers, guest services, etc. If anyone is interested in helping JHS please contact Don Feher at feher.sailing@gmail.com or leave a message at the JHS Office @ 928-634-1066.

  • 22 Jun 2021 10:37 AM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    In an excerpt from a Spring weekly report from the Town Manager (Tracy Hlavinka), “Community Development Director, Ruth Mayday, spent Friday working with Public Works staff in Patio Park assisting residents on Fiesta and Siesta with junk and debris. The Town put 40 yard containers in the area for a designated time to expedite the clean-up and property maintenance issues. During the clean-up a sign from the Mining Days was located and donated to the Historic Society. Thank you to Ruth, Bill and Ethan for their work in getting this sign to the Historic Society.”

    Mike Lindner stated, "as briefly discussed in a recent Strategic Planning meeting, the museum is now in possession of the UVCC Safety Kiosk that was located in a yard in Patio Park.  The kiosk is currently laying on its side in the rock landscape area between the museum and the police department.  It will require some planning and work to protect and preserve pending a plan for restoration and future installation / use in the historic district.  The greenish trim along the roofline is made of small metallic rectangular pieces of what appears to be zinc or copper.  Some of the this detail was damaged in the move but there are extra pieces attached to the roof top that can be used to repair."  These photos were provided by Ruth Mayday.

    Have a comment? please email clarkdaleheritage@gmail.com  

  • 27 May 2021 12:49 PM | Francine Porter (Administrator)

    On Saturday, May 15, 2021, Vincent Randall, a true Clarkdale Native and Dilzhe'e Apache Elder, was honored by the Clarkdale Heritage Society and Museum as the first recipient of Legacy Award. The presentation was at 10:00am at the View Deck of the Clubhouse. 


    As the event was scheduled prior to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it was not open to the public. Mr. Randall, his wife, Erie, his brother, dignitaries from the Yavapai-Apache Nation, Clarkdale elected officials, the Museum Board and Town Manager Hlavinka attended. 

    The award, a beautiful copper sculpture of a tree, was presented by CHSM President Michael Lindner. 

    “The tree represents life and family roots and the copper signifies the richness of history,” Mr. Lindner explained. 

    Mr. Lindner recited many of Mr. Randall’s accomplishments including Educator, Coach, Yavapai Apache Nation Chairman, and Yavapai Apache Nation  Historian.

    Mr. Randall added another profession: mowing the lawn of Mr. Lindner’s grandparents home. 

    After his gracious acceptance of the award, Mr. Randall regaled the crowd with stories of his tribe’s history. Pointing to a stunning vista, he said, “That was where my family’s camp was.” 

    He indicated the location of his grandmother’s wickiup and the nearby Apache ceremonial grounds.  

    Painful history was shared as well. In 1875, his ancestors were forced to relocate to San Carlos, a brutal journey the many did not survive. As a child, Mr. Randall was not permitted in many Clarkdale facilities, such as the pool.  

    “They had another pool over there for brown skinned kids,” he said. He noted, however, that class divisions were more financial than racial. 

    Mr. Randall expressed gratitude for the opportunity to share his stories and explained the importance of doing so. 

    “You have to share your stories,” he said. “Otherwise, someone else will come along and tell them, someone who wasn’t there, didn’t live it.” 

    Mr. Randall’s First Friday presentation can be viewed at the CHSM website 

    CHSM appreciates Mr. Randall’s many contributions and looks forward to learning much more from him. 

    Have a comment? please email clarkdaleheritage@gmail.com  

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