When traveling through an area, do you notice the names of the streets and wonder where those names came from? We wonder about these things and the San Tan Historical Society is the place to find the answers for Queen Creek, Arizona.
Location and Parking
The building is located about 5.5 miles south from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The address is 20425 S. Ellsworth Road, Queen Creek, AZ 85142. Parking is available along Old Ellsworth Road and behind the museum (access via Queen Creek Rd).
About San Tan Historical Society
The mission is “To collect, preserve, document, and display the histories and artifacts of the Chandler Heights, Combs, Higley, and Queen Creek Communities. To facilitate the collection of items and to encourage and educate the public to respect and participate in the conservation of the history of our past.”
Admission was free at the time of our visit. The hours for the public are on Saturday from 9 am-1 pm.
Rittenhouse Elementary School Historical Marker
On this site 1925, classes were moved from a muleskinner’s cook shack to this new school named after Charles Rittenhouse. It was constructed of Arizona red brick, with tongue and groove wood floors and slate blackboards. Two rolldown room dividers separated the three rooms. In 1937 additional classrooms were completed to accommodate the growth in the community.
A volunteer shared that 95% of the original floor was refurbished and completed a few months ago.
If you have been following our adventures over the years you know that Mansel Carter was very active in the area. Many locations have been named after him. For example, the Mansel Carter Statue is in the Queen Creek Marketplace and Mansel Carter Oasis Park is in Queen Creek, Arizona. The day we were visiting we learned that one of the volunteers was a good friend of Mr. Carter. The volunteer shared stories about Mr. Carter and how they were neighbors. For 20+ years they would haul water to their homes and Mr. Carter lived with out electric for many years.
The Society accepts donations to help fund the building. When you are on vacation do you like to volunteer or support local history? You can volunteer at many of their events. Such as restoring the Desert Wells Stage Stop by using historic techniques and materials.
San Tan Historical Society Gift Shop
Do you like mementos from your adventures? There is a lovely gift shop to purchase a reminder of your visit to the San Tan Historical Society. Many of the items are handcrafted and if you are lucky like us, one of the volunteers was the person who created the artwork.
San Tan Historical Society
We were very fortunate that the volunteers operating this historical site were long-time residence and loved to share stories about the growth of the community. It is quite a treasure to hear firsthand about life in the areas 50 years ago.
Where did you visit and you met a local that shared stories about the area’s past?