Tucked just beneath Arizona's Backbone, the famed Mogollon Rim, the Pine-Strawberry Museum in Pine, Arizona was opened in 1979 for the purpose of displaying artifacts relative to the prehistory and history of Pine and its twin among the pines, Strawberry. All around us, the Mogollon Rim is a wilderness of ethereal beauty, carved majestically into unmatched proportions. To our north and accessible from Highway 87 north of Strawberry, the Rim Road FR 300 is a twisting, graveled legacy to settlers and cavalry tenacity.
The community of Pine was settled in 1879 by Mormon pioneers, who endured many hardships during their settlement of this untamed country. But through their determination and faith, Pine survived. Much of what is displayed in the Pine-Strawberry Museum today is in tribute to the dedication and hard work of our founding families.
The museum relocated to its current location in 1990 from a single room in the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Public Library in Pine. This larger facility allows the display of more artifacts and documents; especially those that pertain to the Native American cultures that occupied our area, the first Spanish and Anglo pioneers to visit and settle the area, and the peoples who have remained in the community since the initial settlement.
The museum houses prehistoric artifacts found in the land area of Pine and Strawberry Valleys and near plateaus, as well as artifacts actually brought and used by the earliest settlers to the communities.
Also on display are artifacts relative to the Pine and Strawberry area that were neither found here nor actually used by the founding families, yet are typical of those used by the early settlers. Examples of these would be wash buckets, irons and oil lamps. In general, items displayed in the Pine-Strawberry Museum pre-date 1945.
Between the years 1917 and 1981, the Main Room in the Pine-Strawberry Museum served the Mormon community as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or "the LDS Chapel." Between the early 1980s and the year 1990, when the museum relocated to the building, the facility was used as a school. Today, the museum is part of the Pine Community Center. Also located in the Community Center are the Cultural Hall, the Arts & Crafts Center, the Senior Center, the Thrift Store, and the Kiwanis Building.
The ornate tin ceiling in the Main Room remains today exactly as it was in earlier days. In addition to the Mormon Church history displayed here, visitors will find a barber chair used from the late 1920s through the mid 1940s, memorabilia and uniforms from World War II, and memories from early school days in Pine.
The Archeology Room contains pottery found during the Strawberry II excavation. Other displays feature Kachina dolls carved from Cottonwood root, fossils and arrowheads found in the area.
Hallway and Dining Room
As you walk through the hallway toward the Dining Room, be sure to notice the Seed Sprouter used to provide winter forage for poultry, the farming implements on the walls, and the period clothing, dating back to the late 1800s. In the Dining Room, notice the wood table and chairs that date back to the 1930s and the kitchen cupboard used in the early 1900s. The cupboard, tableware, and sewing machines were used by members of our founding families.
Bedroom and Laundry Room
As you pass the Bedroom, note the bedroom furniture that dates back to the late 1800s. And be sure not to miss the milk cooler cabinet in the Laundry Room, that was used before electricity came to Pine.
Newly developed Randall Park, in historic downtown Pine, is the site of the "Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library," a celebrated building, now on display. The building, donated by Ralph and Velma Fuller, was converted from a 1920s rental cabin into Pine's first library in the 1960s. Visitors may peer inside the old structure and view artifacts from the library's heyday as well as enjoy an audio history that plays upon approaching the building. Randall Park, located next to the Randall House, also features picnic tables for relaxation, as well as a clubhouse filled with books for the children. This relaxing environment boasts water friendly plants, birdbaths, and wind chimes. Come and have an historic experience in charming Randall Park.
Directions [ map it ]
Pine is located in Central Arizona in Northern Gila County about 105 miles northeast of Phoenix on Arizona Highway 87. Go through Payson, you will come to Pine first and then Strawberry is about 3 miles north of Pine.
If coming from the north or south using Interstate 17, exit at Camp Verde (east on Arizona Highway 260) to Rt. 87 and south to Strawberry. Strawberry is 38 miles from Camp Verde. Pine is 3 miles south of Strawberry.
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