Our little city has a fun and funky museum! The Buckeye Valley Museum is located between 9th and 10th Streets on Maricopa County Route 85 in historic old town Buckeye.
A year ago, if you had driven through town you most likely would’ve missed it. I know I did. I don’t think I even saw the sign out front because I remember thinking how cute the park next door to the museum is. The park is still cute, but the museum’s new facade makes it hard to miss and it’s adorable!
Entering the lobby the first thing you notice is the reclaimed wood paneling that adorns many of the walls used in the interior facades. During my sneak peek tour I learned the wood is from many old Buckeye structures.
Since its original opening in 1930, the museum has grown and expanded incorporating everything from pre-Columbian pottery dating back the city’s earliest days to a look at how Buckeye modernized and became the city it is today.
As you wander the museum, which offers several hands-on and kid-friendly exhibits, you’ll see the recreated fronts of many of Buckeye’s original businesses. My tour guide, Jo, explained that citizens used local materials to create the small-scale storefronts inside the museum.
Each of the businesses features displays of items you’d find there. The barber shop was built with glass front cabinets, a barber chair and other items saved when the shop closed in 1950. Jo proudly showed off a picture of the local craftsman who chose the best of the cabinets for the recreation, even tracking down a “Kennedy for President” sticker when the original one couldn’t be salvaged.
Nearly every item in the museum comes from a Buckeye family. The city historical society requests items and locals offer up their treasures to preserve the past in this quaint little museum.
I spent about an hour and a half chatting with staff members and marveling at the memorabilia, images and descriptions that fill the Buckeye Valley Museum. It’s well worth a trip, especially if you time it to grab lunch at one of the city’s popular eateries. The museum is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 to 3 and on three special Saturdays (Sept 10, Oct 8 and Nov 5). There is no charge and parking is free out front.
There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Find something fun to see in your hometown.
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