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Victorian Phoenix:  The Rosson House

10/1/2008


 "Where Can I Visit a Little Phoenix History?"

Yep!  It's cooling down and the visitors are coming to stay leaving you, the host perplexed with what to do with the annual visits. Another trip to the Grand Canyon, Sedona, or Tombstone just doesn't tickle the fancy nor does the thought of filling the car up with "liquid gold" to impress the folks excite you or your bank account.  For an inexpensive experience, head south to downtown Phoenix for an exciting day of discoveries:  Heritage Square and the Rosson House Museum.


Tucked away behind the monolithic sprawling Phoenix Civic Center and nestled among the Science and the Phoenix Museums on 6th Street and Monroe in Historic Heritage Square stands a Victorian jewel: the Rosson House which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This Victorian and Eastlake classic home was officially opened to the public in 1980.  For over twenty-eight years, thousands of visitors have stepped back in time to view the life and times of late 19th century Phoenix while touring a "living history" museum.


The house was designed in 1895 to be the show case of the city; a house built and furnished so that every resident in Phoenix and the surrounding hamlets would know who lived there: Dr. Roland Lee Rosson and his wife Flora Murry.  It had electric lights, an upstairs bathroom, an upstairs to downstairs speaking tube, sinks, hot and cold running water in most of the bedrooms, and a telephone.  Such modern conveniences were only talked about, and the Rosson family was one of the first home owners to bring the 19th century into the beckoning 20th century that lay just around the corner.  Phoenix was on the verge of its first major population explosion. The first house made of wood and brick with gables, spires, and tall chimneys was the grandeur of early Phoenix.  Everyone else's home was made of mud: adobe the first major building block of Arizona.


Since most of our appraisal clients have a little Victoriana in their homes, take a tour of the Grand Dame and see if you can spot the ornate silver plate water pitcher, the almost indestructible children's toys that litter the play area, or take a gander at the "modern" kitchen filled with implements that some of us might still be using.  To really appreciate where technology has taken us, stand a while in the doctor's office and wonder what the poor patients must have endured.  


Visit the web and type in Rosson House Phoenix and start planning that full day of adventure: the science and Phoenix museums, and early buildings invite you to explore a bygone era all in one location.  Parking is simple and restaurants abound.  On a shoestring budget, it is time to explore your own backyard and really impress those visitors.  Just think! You might spot a little hidden treasure that might be lost in your own little world at home.   



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