Homesteading

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page” – Saint Augustine

I love this quote, but I’ll admit, the first time I read it I don’t believe it resonated with me then as much as it does now. Five years of traveling full-time in a RV has opened my eyes to all kinds of new experiences and landscapes.

Pink RoseI’ve always enjoyed travel which is probably why I pursued a career as a Flight Attendant when I was younger. But gallivanting around the country can be tiresome and sometimes a break from  travel is exactly what the soul needs.

With that said, Al and I are doing a little ‘homesteading’ this summer in Prescott, Arizona. We’ve settled into an RV Park for the next several months while we focus on a little rejuvenation …. for us and our aging equipment!

Oh, that doesn’t mean we’ll be sitting in a couple of rocking chairs watching the world go by. No, not us! Hmm …. now that I think about it, does sitting outside with a cocktail in hand while watching the sunset count? Or how about binge watching Downton Abbey or House of Cards? Okay, maybe a little rocking chair time is part of the rejuvenation plan 😏 Yeah, a little down time and settling into a neighborhood is just what the doctor ordered. But anyone who knows me, knows I can’t sit still for too long.

Yarrow

Exploring the local life

So it’s time to explore some of the local sights and take in a little history. When I was younger, I rarely embraced history or historical sites. I’ve always enjoyed geography and studying maps, but the interest in history didn’t kick in until we started RVing full-time. Travel has a way of opening one’s mind!

First off, did you know Prescott was at one time the Capital City of Arizona? Yep, from 1864 to 1867 Prescott was the capital until 1867 when it then moved to Tucson but returned back to Prescott in 1877. Finally, the State Capital moved from Prescott to Phoenix in 1889 where it has remained.

Prescott’s downtown historical area is known as Whisky Row which up until 1956 was a  notorious red-light district. In 1900, a great fire destroyed almost all of the buildings along Whiskey Row. Legend has it that the patrons of the various bars simply took their drinks across the street to the Courthouse square and watched the buildings burn, but the patrons of the Palace Restaurant and Saloon removed the entire bar and hauled it to the square as the fire approached. The solid wood bar was later re-installed after the gutted brick structure was rebuilt. That bar remains in use today.

The Palace Restaurant and Saloon was originally built in 1877, and was rebuilt after the 1900 fire. It is now the oldest continuous business in the entire state of Arizona. Past Patrons include the Earp Brothers and Doc Holliday and well-known movies have been filmed here.

Sharlott Hall Museum

Sharlot Hall Museum

I have fun using the term “homesteading” when Al and I park the RV for an extended period of time, but when I think of the pioneers homesteading after crossing the country in covered wagons, I’m reminded how cushy my life is in comparison.

Rose Garden Prescott Arizona Sharlot Hall Museum

A large Rose garden near the Governor’s Mansion

Being a woman entrepreneur in the early 1900’s was no small feat. I’m always awed and inspired by strong women in history. Sharlot Hall was a poet, author, historian, activist and ranch woman whose passion to the preserve the Territorial Governor’s Mansion led to the making of this museum.

Sharlett Hall Museum Prescott Arizona

A beautiful rose garden greets guests at the Sharlett Hall Museum

I happen to visit the museum on June 11, 2018, as the museum was celebrating its 90th anniversary. The grounds are lovely and each historical building I stepped into had a Docent dressed historically correct, and each Docent was eager to share their historical knowledge on their area of the museum.

Some of the on-site buildings ….

Governor’s Mansion – built on site in 1864, this log structure housed the first territorial governor, John Goodwin. In 1928, Sharlot Hall opened the log-building as a museum.

Governors Mansion Sharlott Hall Museum Prescott Arizona

Across from the Governor’s Mansion is the Victorian Fremont House. Built in 1875, it was home to the fifth territorial governor of Arizona, John Charles Fremont.

The Bashford House was built in 1877 by merchant William Coles Bashford and is a beautifully restored Victorian style home.

Bashford House Sharlott Museum Prescott Arizona

The Ranch House was built in the 1930’s to represent early ranch homes of the area. It’s a little one room log structure. The Docent shared an interesting tale of the stove costing around $100 but the shipping cost was around $1500. That was a lot of money over a hundred years ago … hey, it’s still a lot of money today. Guess they didn’t have Amazon Prime free shipping back then 😆

Fort Misery is the oldest log building associated with the Arizona Territory. Built in 1863, here you’ll find the local attorney. Interesting that they would put the words misery and attorney together!

The School House building is a replica of the first public schoolhouse in the Arizona Territory which was built in Prescott in 1867. Each child’s chalk board reminded me of today’s iPad.

school house Sharlott Hall Museum Prescott Arizona

The Blacksmith Shop and Transportation Building were also interesting.

blacksmith shop

Blacksmith shop

Sharlot Hall Museum Transportation building Prescott Arizona

For a couple of hours, it was fun stepping back in time and imaging what life was like over 100 years ago. The Sharlot Hall Museum was a worthwhile stop that I was glad I took the time to visit.

Prescott Designations

Prescott is located in North Central Arizona and sits at an elevation of about 5,400 feet. The town has received numerous designations.

  • Prescott was designated “Arizona’s Christmas City” by Arizona Governor Rose Mofford in 1989.
  • 2000: Downtown Historic Preservation District (which includes “Whiskey Row”) —one of 12 such National Register Historic Districts within the City.
  • 2004: A “Preserve American Community” in 2004 by First Lady Laura Bush.
  • 2006: One of a “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • 2008: Yavapai Courthouse Plaza recognized as one of the first ten “Great Public Places” in America by the American Planning Association.
  • 2012: Number 1 True Western Town of the Year for 2011 by True West Magazine and One of the 61 Best Old House Neighborhoods in the U.S and Canada by This Old House Magazine.

Parks, hiking and lakes …

There’s more to Prescott, Arizona, than its Old West history. Guess I better strap on the hiking shoes, charge up the camera battery, and get outta that rocking chair. Time to explore!

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Shows we’ve been watching (affiliate links)  Downton Abbey
House of Cards
The 1970’s movie, Junior Bonner starring Steve McQueen, was filmed at the Palace Saloon in Prescott, Arizona

Junior Bonner: The Making of a Classic with Steve McQueen and Sam Peckinpah in the Summer of 1971 (Hardback)THE Magnificent Seven – Junior Bonner – Steve McQueen Double Feature

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65 thoughts on “Homesteading

  1. Dave and I are enjoying our homesteading in IA but we’re still staying semi ready. Going to IL in a few weeks. Looks like Prescott would be a nice place to spend a month or so if it weren’t so gosh darn hot.

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  2. It does the soul good to take a break and rest a bit. Although ours is not the summer we had planned, we are hoping to get some projects completed and do a little exploring right out our back door. Great write-up on Prescott.

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    • We are working on a bunch of projects so it has turned out well for us to sit. If you don’t mind me asking, what were your original summer plans? You always come up with something interesting.

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          • Thanks Ingrid. As for the finger, it is one step forward and two backwards, but I will get there in time. I’m just not accustomed to sitting still.

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  3. I fell in love with Prescott, Arizona, when we visited during the fall of 2017. With so much nature and history to explore I was like a kid in Disneyland. It is definitely a place I could stay for a month or more. Enjoy your time there.

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  4. I too really started enjoying local histories once I began traveling. For me at least, I find that interest follows the visit and that once I can put it in context (which includes the physical setting) it really comes alive for me. Learning all the unique things about regions and geographies has been one of my favorite things about traveling the country.

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    • Agree …. taking in the local sights and history has provided a source of entertainment I never imagined. The variety of fun via RVing has been a pleasant surprise.

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  5. It’s a welcome respite to settle down for a bit in our nomadic lives. That’s why we always look forward to our summers on Lopez Island. Seems like you have a very good reason for staying put this summer! And it looks like you’re keeping busy with projects…nice job on your website redo!

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  6. I love learning about the history and the stories of those before us 🙂 I think at times I should have been born in the late 1920’s/early 1930’s. Thanks so much for sharing. Happy Day – Happy Exploring – Enjoy!

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    • Funny that you would pick the 20’s/30’s … we binge watched Downton Abby in May and loved it. I’d probably pick the late 1800’s or early 1900’s when it was still the wild west out here 🤠

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    • Do be careful of elevation and weather. Since Prescott sits above 5,000 feet in elevation, it does get cold and snow here and thus not usually viewed as a winter destination for RVers. Be sure and keep me posted when you’re in AZ …. lunch?

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  7. New look, new you! I like it. We do need to get Prescott another chance after that freak snow. But it will take a while for we will be eastbound this winter 😦

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    • Oh, I assure you, it IS TOO hot for the two of you. I’ve turned into a reptile and don’t even turn on the A/C until temps get over 85. I’m not sure I could handle a MN summer anymore 😄

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    • I do believe you are correct about travel being in my veins. My parents were avid travelers and I’m sure I inherited that gene. Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

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  8. Great pictures and stories! My parents were big on taking me out on long trips in the RV when I was growing up and we went to a lot of really interesting places. I wasn’t always happy about it at the time (being away from friends), but now I’m amazed at all the memories I have of these random places and all the cool things I’d never have any reason to know about if I hadn’t visited.

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    • RV adventures with the family are so much fun. I think exposing a child to travel is very important for a number of reasons. Sounds like you and your family have some wonderful memories 🙂

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  9. I think we may head through this area next spring so this will be helpful info for our stop. Looks like there’s no shortage of stuff to see and do. I am hopeful it will be a bit cooler then since we all seem to be roasting out here in the west and we lose motivation quickly when it’s this toasty. Anyway, thanks for the tour and the lovely photos. I, too, like this new blog format. I keep thinking about changing and simplifying some of my pages, but it’s hard to get started….. Thanks for the dose of motivation.

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    • I always enjoy freshening up the blog for a little inspiration. June seems to be the hottest month in AZ – you’ve been warned 😆 July and August are monsoon season which brings in afternoon clouds and rain cooling things off a tad.

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  10. What a lovely tour of Prescott, thank you for sharing. We haven’t explored much of the area around us. It’s hard to do much with Pete’s back pain preventing him from doing much walking, so I live vicariously through your adventures.

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    • Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about Pete’s back. I know how challenging that can be. I’m dealing with some injuries myself which are preventing me from hiking 😥

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  11. Thanks for the tour of historic Prescott, Ingrid. We’ve traveled that part of AZ before, but want to spend much more time next time through. Your flower photos are beautiful. Yay for summer! We move our rv to our new house on Wednesday. Going from FT to PT. It’s going to be a great life! But we’re already planning our next 4 road trips and we haven’t even opened many boxes yet! lol Even with a house, I can’t stay put long. Our rv pad and 50 Amp hookup for friends passing through is ready to go! We’re excited about our new life!

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    • Thank you Kathy and glad to hear you are getting settled in to your new home. It’s my goal to go part-time. I’m beginning to miss a ‘home base’ … some place to go back to to rejuvenate but with no intention to give up a RV. Nope, like you, after sitting still for a bit, I’m ready to roll in search of greener grass 😄 Congratulations on your “new life”.

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      • Thanks, Ingrid. Yes, a home base. That’s how we think of it now after being FT. Not nearly as long as you, but enough to figure out what will work best for us. Good luck in finding your home base when you’re ready. Being near kids is always a plus!

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        • Yes, the children are the key ingredient. If not for them, we would have found that “spot” by now. I think that’s why we don’t venture too far east. After a couple of months of not seeing each other, we all miss each other. Love getting those text messages asking us when we’ll be back in town… confirmation that they miss us … love it!

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    • There’s several really nice national forest campgrounds in the area, but I don’t think much boondocking. There’s a fantastic trail system. Area is super dog friendly on the trails and in town.
      Glad you like the new format. I struggled a tad … wanted to make sure it was simple, easily legible, but also showcased my photos.

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  12. Thanks, Ingrid, for introducing me to Prescott: great article and photos. 🙂
    I like the quote, btw. Very much so. I’d totally subscribe to it/ I have another one about travelling which I like, and that’s from Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.“ [Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad/Roughing It]. This is my motto, kind of, for my “Bilderbuch” blog [https://wp.me/P107Dr-2]. I keep wondering if Mark Twain kind of foresaw our present times!
    Enjoy rejuvenating,
    Pit

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    • Prescott also has a fantastic trail system for hikers and bikers alike. Lots of fun things to do around here. Thanks for commenting and sharing the quote … interesting!

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      • Arizona is one state Mary and I still need to add to the list of states in which we bicycled 10 miles at least. So Prescott will certainly be a good idea.

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        • Be sure and let me know if I can offer any recommendations. Spring and fall are the perfect months to visit AZ. Summer can get pretty hot even at the higher elevations.

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  13. Prescott is an interesting place. i love the history of downtown. My very favorite thing there is all the antique shops. We have found some fun stuff. Enjoy your summer there again.

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    • We spent Friday strolling around and stepping in and out of shops (and bars). Fun way to spend an evening/happy hour. The western history is entertaining!

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    • This will be our second summer spent in Prescott. I love hiking at Watson and Willow Lake and when it gets too hot, I head for the tall pines at Lynx Lake. Did not know about the haunted B & B. Will need to check it out. Thanks!

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  14. Reading free library books is a good downtime activity, too. I just finished Marc Eliot’s book “Steve McQueen, A Biography”. What a character he was! If you have a library card, check their ebook website alternatives. Amazon participates with Overdrive.com which participates with thousands of USA libraries. And if you don’t have a library card, get one where you’ll be “homesteading” long enough to meet the local library’s minimum requirements to get a card.

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    • Yep – we are library fans and have cards in several counties in AZ. The DVD’s we watch are almost always from the library. And since I’m old school and prefer the feel of a ‘real’ book in my hands, I’ll always pick up a book or two at the library and give the iPad a rest. Thanks for the info!

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  15. I think it’s great to park the RV for a while for some rejuvenation. Sitting outside with a cocktail, binge-watching Downton Abbey, and exploring local sites all sound like the perfect way to relax. Prescott seems to have a lot of interesting things to offer. Have fun homesteading, Ingrid. 🙂

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  16. I envy you hanging out in Prescott for a few months. It still is the one spot in Arizona in which I can envision settling down. Such a beautiful area. As always, your superb photos make me want to head right over there and see it for myself.

    Have a great summer.

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    • I don’t think you would enjoy the excessive heat right now. June seems to be the hottest month around here. Once the afternoon storms roll in during monsoon season, things have a tendency to cool off.
      Our son is getting married in August on a ranch in Skull Valley, just 10 minutes west of your favorite campground near Granite Lake.

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