Visitor Center Exhibit
Heritage Square’s Visitor Center is host to a new exhibit that explores Phoenix history. Beginning with the Hohokam and looking at the Victorians and beyond, this exhibit answers the question we often receive, “Why is Phoenix here?” Browsing through this exhibit is free.
Rosson House Museum
Is a 2,800 square foot Eastlake Victorian style home, built in 1895 by Dr. and Mrs. Roland Rosson. A classic example of the late Victorian style, it is fully restored to its original grandeur. Experience what life was like for residents of Phoenix in territorial Arizona. Docent-guided tours feature all living areas of the house and highlight the stories, people and places that influenced the property and surroundings. Tours are available during regular business hours, and last 45-60 minutes. An admission fee is charged.
The Rosson House was restored in the 1970s through a community effort involving the City of Phoenix, dozens of local institutions and hundreds of volunteers. To learn more about the restoration of the Rosson House, view this video, courtesy KAET.
Victorian Oddities & Curiosities
(October 2019) Seen through today’s perspective, Victorians had some truly strange customs. A few, like parlor games that included flaming food or molten lead (used to tell a young lady’s fortune), are kind of funny, despite the likelihood of inducing first or second degree burns. Others, like postmortem photography and hair art (both examples of Victorian mourning practices), make many of us uneasy. Even worse, funerals and wakes were held in people’s homes (usually in the front or formal parlor)!
You are Here: Mapping Early Phoenix
(November 2018 – November 2019) Mapping Early Phoenix was created in conjunction with the Maricopa County Recorders Office, and supported in part by a grant from APS, this exhibit looked at who and what was here in turn-of-the-century Phoenix, and how the city has grown and changed with time.
Victorian Secrets – A Glimpse of the Unmentionable
(September 2013 – July 2015) This popular exhibit included displays of turn-of-the-century underclothes.
(January 2015 – June 2016) From its creation in 1870 and through the twentieth century, the City of Phoenix grew from an agricultural adobe village to one of the largest and fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country.
Progress, however, had a cost – and the fee was often the historic and aesthetic fabric of the city. PHOENIX RE:imagined explores the urbanization of the city and how the diligent work of a preservation minded community resulted in saving historic sites like Heritage Square.
The Phoenix Indian School Legacy Project
(September 2015 – January 2016) Working in cooperation with Native American Connections, the Phoenix Indian Council, and the Heard Museum, this exhibit told the story of the efforts to restore the Phoenix Indian School Band Building. Find out more about this restoration here.
(February-October 2017) Displayed in the Rosson House Museum, visitors got to see turn-of-the-century clothing in their contemporary setting, including the feature piece – a gown worn to the 1909 inauguration of President Taft, on loan from the personal collection of the owner of Black Cat Vintage, Phoenix.
(March 2017 – May 2018) Details delved into the adornments, trinkets and trimmings that defined turn-of-the-century style.
Plate Expectations – Victorian Dining, Decorum & Dishes
(February – October 2018)
Displayed in the Rosson House Museum, Plate Expectations exhibited dinnerware from the Heritage Square collection, as well as historic dining artifacts on loan from Pueblo Grande Museum from the archaeological digs around Heritage Square.