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The mission of the Cave Creek Museum is to preserve the artifacts of the prehistory, history, culture and legacy of the Cave Creek/Carefree foothills area through education, research, and intrepretive exhibits.
Near an old military road at the base of Black Mountain sits the Cave Creek Museum.
The primary focus of the Cave Creek Museum collections is the history and prehistory of the Desert Foothills, as well as the natural history of the Sonoran Desert, where Cave Creek is located.
The Museum's Archaeology Wing includes a significant number of locally excavated items of pottery, tools, shell jewelry and other artifacts from various Hohokam eras. In addition, Navajo rugs acquired by local residents, showcase the influence of Indian arts in Southwest homes. Displays of the flora and fauna are housed in the Archaeology Wing and supplement the Museum's botanical garden.
The Museum's Pioneer Wing features artifacts from local mines, tools and artifacts from area ranches, a "fully equipped" historic kitchen from the early twentieth century, a scale model of Black Mountain showing its geologic history, and currently an exhibit on the Fiesta Days Rodeos of yore.
The Central Ansbaugh Auditorium features three recently-acquired John Wade Hampton bronzes (Hampton, a founder of the Cowboy Artists of America, was a Cave Creek resident from 1963 to 1967). The Rudolph Becwar bronzes are also on permanent display. The Trails Thru Time exhibit features material on early area residents and the presence of the cavalry in the Foothills. Using artifacts and photos, the "mini-wing" presents Cave Creek and Carefree from the 1950s through 1970s.
Outdoor exhibits include an authentic arrastre for grinding ore, a botanical garden, the Tubercular Cabin (listed on the national Registry of Historic Places), the first church of Cave Creek and a collection of large-scale mining and ranching tools.
- Evelyn Johnson
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