Many haunted sites exist in this small village.
The Pioneer Living History Village is a blast from the past! It has an exhibit for all aspects of 1880s frontier way of life. They have collected original historic structures and have reconstructed them as well to portray a business district, a variety of homes, a farm house and other farm buildings, a mercantile store, a saloon, a telephone museum, an opera house, a church, a school, a sheriff office, a court and jail. Visitors pay for a ticket and then go on a self-tour.
There is a very nice shady place with picnic tables to have lunch. There is a section where kids can pan for gold, etc. Needless to say, it is a great living museum that is inter-generational. During the school year, school children come here on field trips. The Pioneer Living History Village offers teachers materials to share with their students.
In 1956, Phoenix and the surrounding suburbs experienced a growth spurt. Developers began to buy land, and tear down historic structures to make room for “progress,” building new homes and businesses. However, a group of enthusiastic historic preservationists banded together and formed The Pioneer Arizona Foundation, with the purpose of saving some of the historical structures that were built between the years 1870 and 1910.
This Pioneer Arizona Foundation had some influential founding members who helped to get the ball rolling, including former Governor Paul Fannin, Senator Barry Goldwater, Senator Carl Hayden and Wesley Bolin.
The foundation needed a place to move these historic structures, and restore them, as well as have enough room for reconstructed historical places. The dream was to create an atmosphere of the era, and create a frontier village, with an active hands-on museum where children could benefit by learning about how the early settlers of Arizonat lived and persevered.
The Pioneer Arizona Foundation made the first step to building the dream by buying 90 acres in North Phoenix in what was then the middle of nowhere. Arizona cities such as Phoenix, Prescott Clifton, Gia Point, and Globe donated some of their historic structures. One donation nearly met the wrecking ball but the foundation managed to get enough money together to move it to the Village in time.
Others donated money to reconstruct original buildings now long gone. When they wound up with 15 original structures and 15 reconstructed structures, they decided to change the name from The Pioneer Living History Museum to The Pioneer Living History Village. It opened its doors in 1969.
Somewhere along the way, the state of Arizona bought the museum. For some reason it was put on the auction block in 2010. Great Western Historical LLC outbid the city of Phoenix in the state-land auction. However, a water issue resulted. Great Western Historical LLC Eric Roles: “The state will not permit private lands, which the museum lands will become once the purchase transaction is closed, to serve water and wastewater from state leased lands.”
The Pioneer Living History Village had to close until a water line to the museum site was built. After money was spent, the museum was able to continue its operations.