Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The World's Smallest Museum

It was a beautiful day and we decided to go for a drive through the Tonto National Forest east of the town of Superior, AZ on scenic highway 60. This area is part of the heart of Arizona's copper belt. Arizona is the top copper producer in the nation. But first we stopped off at the mining town of Superior to see the "World's Smallest Museum".

This little building houses 134 square feet of offbeat displays in glass cases, tracing everything from rock and roll history to local mining. The building's roof is made of empty beer cans! Outside, there is some recycled working metal parts from mining operations that have been recycled into fountains and a little mini waterfall. There's even a street intersection sign to the side of the museum proclaiming you are standing at the junction of "Waterfall Avenue" and "?????",  I can't remember the name.

They had a Compaq computer in there from the '60's that had a whopping 10 megs of storage space. Another exhibit was a mimeograph machine. That took me back instantly to my first years of teaching, even a flashback of memory to what the mimeograph purple chemical fluid smelled like. I remember it took me hours of making my own worksheets on special paper for the students. You wrote on the front sheet, writing HARD so it would transfer to the copying part of the paper, then you peeled off the back layer and clamped the paper into the machine. Then you cranked the handle and ran your worksheets. I  always had purple ink on my hands after making those. I don''t remember workbooks with ready made worksheets until the early '80's, but maybe that's because I couldn't have afforded to buy them in my first few years of teaching in the early 70's.  When I first started teaching, I was in a three room schoolhouse in Jeffersonville, IN, and the entire little building was for special education students. I didn't have to start in a basement, but that was almost as bad, putting the kids into their own building away from other children! But I digress.....
Artwork on the outside--horseshoe flowers
After touring, er, walking through the little single- aisle museum covering the front door to the back exit in about ten steps, we headed back outside to see some of the little exhibits on the "grounds" of the museum.
Interesting waterfall! Tribute to the working man, perhaps?
Ah-h-h-h-h...yes...now I remember...the intersection sign said, "Waterfall Lane" and "Memory Lane"...good one, Sparky! Until tomorrow......


  1. Just goes to prove that sometimes small ideas grow into small things.

  2. Very interesting. Got to see that museum.