Cave Creek’s Cave Creek Museum

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The Cave Creek Museum works to preserve old west artifacts; it features “prehistory and pioneer, mining and ranching histories of the foothills area.” Although the season to visit ends in May, the need for community support through donations is year-round.

Many of the new exhibits that are shown during next season are restored during the summer, while the museum is not open to the public. Continual maintenance is necessary on the current display pieces, such as the Historic First Church of Cave Creek and the ten-stamp mill which are shown outdoors.

first church repairWhile the restoration of the Historic First Church of Cave Creek was completed in 1988, it is currently in need of some touch-ups. Evelyn Johnson, the Executive Director for the museum, has taken note of the wall boards, which need to be redone with repainting included.

One of their more recent restoration projects, an old ten-stamp mill from the Golden Reef Mine in Cave Creek was initiated three to four years ago. However there are some parts like a back-up battery that are needed and unfortunately the $5,800 needed to complete the restoration could not be covered in their current budget.

Inside, there is a small woven basket which cannot be taken off of display until the necessary restoration is complete. The piece was scheduled to be taken out of the display for maintenance, but the basket itself could not withstand removal from the support of the display.

basketThere are visible signs of deterioration on the side of the basket, where it has broken off and been sewn back together. This too requires further attention.

In a storage room, there are many new pieces that have yet to be restored at all. To keep them safe, special paper, boxes, and bags are used for storage. The tissue paper alone costs around $280 a roll and only lasts six months. One can only imagine how much paper was used, as the room is stacked to the ceiling with new items waiting for their turn at resoration and display.

By the ten-stamp mill outside, there is a sign that reads “donations accepted.” With the museum volunteers active over the summer working to prepare for re-opening to the public in October, right now is the time when donations are very important. Your help and support are vital to the preservation of our history.

If you can help, please send your donation to Cave Creek Museum, P.O. Box 1, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or donate online at