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“A Great Step Back In Time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pioneer Museum

Pioneer Museum
2340 North Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
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Ranked #41 of 80 things to do in Flagstaff
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Attraction details
Owner description: Originally constructed as the Coconino County Hospital this museum includes a main building, barn and cabin that offer exhibits and crafts demonstrations pertaining to life in the early 1900s.
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“A Great Step Back In Time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

This museum is located in an old hospital building from the 1930s. It was saved and preserved to house a myriad of antiques and items from the past, both relating to the hospital and regular household items. The collection is huge and each room of the hospital holds items separated by the years, ie. 1920, 1930, etc. A couple of the rooms are furnished with the original equipment, such as the operating room, the nurses quarters, etc. The volunteer on duty was very knowledgeable and provided some great insight and anecdotes of the history and times of the hospital. One item in particular is an iron lung, which had been used fairly recently and has an interesting story with it. This museum is a one-of-a-kind and worth your time to visit. Nominal fee of $6 to see it, but worth the price. Make it a definite stop in your travels to the area. Look for the old articulated steam engine in front - another neat item to look at. Highly recommend. A+ rating.

Visited December 2013
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50 reviews from our community

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  • English first
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English first
Poway, California
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
26 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Decent collection, not well organized/documented, steep entry fee”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2013

Unless you are really into antiques and truly fascinated by old things, this might be one attraction to skip. We went with the kids during our vacation they more or less breezed through everything in less than 30 minutes. The collection seemed to be more of an assortment of anything old they were donated, so there was stuff from the early 1900s all the way to the 70s. There are several outdoor areas to roam and view, but there are no placards so you don't really know what it is you are looking at.

The admission was $6 each adult and free for the kids. We were only vacation so said the heck with it, knowing my wife is not into museums and my 2 and 5 year old move fast enough that I don't have time to really read any of the display placards. I would have been much more pleased if there was no admission and perhaps a suggested donation. I would have given $10.

Museum staff was what appeared to be two college students making $10/hour. We were they only patrons there. I would have thought that one of the two would have taking the time to show my kids something neat or explains an exhibit to them, but they were too engrossed in their own conversation and their cell phone. this was a bit of a turnoff for me.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Use the entry fees to fix up the place”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 1, 2013 via mobile

For a historical society run museum I am surprised at the morass of unlabeled 'stuff'; it made me sad. I have to say it was hard for me to rate this poor but it gets the mark it deserves. The employee who takes your fee was sure friendly ( really sharp and friendly) and I am sure if there was someone else there he would have walked and talked with you for the duration of your visit. Although $6 a head for adults is ok, I certainly hope the historical society tries to organize and label things better. I understand it is being renovated on the lower level in a room but the upper level had rooms full of bricker-brack ( period stuff ) behind little barriers where some had no information when entering the room. Other rooms you eventually came to the conclusion that the story cards were out of order. Watch out for the room with cameras and phonograph as there are yellow jackets living in there and they are active.

I wish I fully understood why the iron lung was at the museum as the story above it is not clear if the subject in the story was a AZ resident that was in the iron lung in the museum or not.

Each room upstairs seems to be a period in time room 1890, 1920's etc etc, but other than looking into a room with old stuff in it and getting the 'wow that stuff is old ' it could have been so much more.

Outside the pioneer museum is a train, old pioneer house, and other old equipment. The Pioneer barn has very interesting buggies, carts, and wagons, shoved off into he side of the barn where one can only look from afar to take note of them.

It was worth the first visit, but without the museum truly being fixed up, we will not be back. I hope the best for the Historical society as no one can say the museum got this way overnight or because of a renovation of a room downstairs.

Visited October 2013
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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A work in progress”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2013

We stopped at the Pioneer Museum because we passed it nearly every day on our way to and from our vacation rental.

Although the museum has some interesting items and the only employee was nice and helpful, the museum is a work-in-progress. The first floor is somewhat organized and many items are labeled in three smallish rooms, but there are also empty rooms. On the second floor, many items have been shoved into rooms to be organized later. They are dusty, have no accompanying labels, and are totally disorganized. Being called the "Pioneer" Museum, I expected to see mostly items from pioneer days, but many items from more recent times can be found. There is an iron lung, WWI combat boots, a room that is set up as it was when occupied by the head nurse when the building was a hospital for the indigent. Outside, one can find an old railroad engine and caboose (both in good condition) but also many old rusty pieces of machinery. My understanding is that the place is run my a historical society and that the curator is shared with another attraction and spends little time there. The place certainly needs someone to organize everything, keep it clean and dusted, and give the place some TLC. I would guess it would take a full-time curator more than a year to bring the place into a more professional-looking museum. As it was when I visited, I didn't think it was worth the entry fee.

Visited September 2013
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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
“Small museum, but definitely worth the stop!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

Worth the stop. Our three young children loved it, especially the hands on school room...wooden toys, cookware, cowboy toys, etc. A great time learning about AZ history!

Visited September 2013
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