Rosson House Museum

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Apparently the city of Phoenix has an unpaid
spectral volunteer with a great work ethic!



The website for this beautifully restored Rosson House Museum describes this gorgeous Queen Anne Gothic Rosson House Museum as a place to discover. “The Museum is a fully-restored 1895 (brick;not adobe) Queen Anne Victorian house museum which interprets the history of Phoenix.”

This mansion museum showcases the life of a wealthy family, as well as families who were not so wealthy who lived here.

During the Rosson years, the mansion was not only beautiful but had very practical functions that made life a whole lot easier. The Rosson home had hot and cold running water, an upstairs bathroom, electric lights and electric doorbells, a telephone and many fine, refined decor and furniture; creating a house that could’ve been found in the wealthy neighborhoods of San Francisco.

Though it didn’t have air conditioning, they could attach a cord to the light fixtures and run fans in various rooms.

The home had the common area rooms on the first floor, with the bedrooms on the second floor. On the ground floor, Dr. Rosson had his doctor office and surgery, helping the people of Phoenix to be healthy. There was also the parlor, the dining room, kitchen etc.

While the beautiful woodwork, fireplaces, doorknobs, and other permanent features are always there, the museum curators switch the historical artifacts and exhibits; making things interesting to entice people to make more than one visit.



This beautiful Queen Anne Victorian was built sometime between 1894 and 1895 for Physician/surgeon Dr. Rowland Lee Rosson, his wife, Flora Murray Rosson and their large family. It was the most expensive home to be found at the time in Phoenix. It was designed and built by a well-known San Franciscan architect, by A.P. Petit, who died before seeing the finished home; his last masterpiece in design and comfort.

The main issue for the Rosson family was that their fantastic new home may have been too far from town, and people, which may be why they only lived here sporadically off and on for two years. The house itself had everything available inside for comfortable living for folks accustomed to living life for the well-to-do.

The Rosson family only stayed here a few months before they found a place downtown; a preferred neighborhood close to schools, friends, church and business. The Rosson rented out their glorious mansion during the winter months to Mr. Whitelaw Reid, described as “an influential Republican and head of the “New York Tribune.” The doctor’s office became a mini newspaper headquarters via letters and telegraph.

By 1897, the Rosson family had settled in downtown Phoenix happily, and they sold their showcase home to Aaron and Carrie Goldberg and their children.

After living there only 7 years, the Goldbergs sold the mansion to S.W. Higley in 1904, who lived there with his family until 1914 when S.W, Higley sold their mansion to the Gammel Family. The Gammel family made some “extensive changes” to the home, converting it into a boarding house; that would’ve had A.P. Petit spinning in his grave. While still living in the mansion, the Gammels ran a boarding house as they needed to put the structure to work to bring in funds.

The Gammel family lived there the longest; 34 years. After 1948, the mansion continued to be a boarding house, but there was a “revolving door” of owners, not staying very long and not putting much sweat equity or money into this mansion. Uh oh!

The once glorious Rosson Mansion became a creaky, fixer upper opportunity.

However, the last owners to own this property, protected this wonderful home by applying to have it listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Luckily, the city of Phoenix bought the Rosson Mansion and Block 14 in 1974 and began to restore it back to its original structure; as A.P. Petite had designed it. It remains the last mansion standing that A.P. Petite designed; making it a treasure indeed!

The city of Phoenix, trying to keep the history of Phoenix alive, moved other historic structures to block 14 as well, creating Heritage Square.



People who loose their lives through illness, sudden accident, war wounds, or murder, sometimes like to stay in the place they had pleasant memories, trying to reestablish their lives that were taken from them, not ready to leave this world just yet.

People who enjoy their responsibilities in doing their job; taking care of a structure, sometimes still want to do so in spirit form.

Paranormal activity is connected to a person who cared for the house while it is closed and sometimes when it is open.

People who are murdered /killed near a building, especially if they are fond of the structure, may decide to move inside.

The Rosson House Museum’s caretaker was murdered in the early 1980’s just outside by a punk gunman.



Spirit of the Murdered Caretaker

Most of the activity happen after hours and reported by caretakers, though day staff and visitors sometimes experience something.

Foot steps are heard going up and down the staircase.

The sounds of someone going about their business at hand have been heard in places where the living are not present.

Doors lock on their own. Infact, Caretakers after hours have been locked out of a room when nobody living was inside.

Items are moved around the mansion by unseen hands.

Fire places have radiated heat when they weren’t burning anything.

A spirit of a man has appeared in front of staff, other caretakers.

No hard evidence has been shared online, probably because ghost hunters and paranormal investigations are not allowed.



Yes Indeed! Apparently, the spirit of the murdered caretaker is finding some peace still helping out and doing his duties.



Rosson House Museum
113 North Sixth Street,
Phoenix, AZ

Rosson House Museum is Located on North Block 14 of the city of Phoenix, in what is called Heritage Square and Science Park. It sits on its original foundation, and wasn’t moved. Heritage Square is home to various structures that tell the history of Phoenix of the 1800s and early 1900s.


  • by Lynette Carrington
  • wikipedia

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

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