[Source: Gold Canyon Today]
Florence will celebrate its 26th Annual Tour of Historic Florence on Saturday, February 12, 2011 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Eleven historic homes, commercial buildings, and public buildings dating from 1868 to 1930 will be featured on the tour. Florence is noted for its collection of Territorial period architecture with over 120 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The heart of the downtown commercial district retains much of its original western character with old adobe homes, graceful Victorians, and early 20th century commercial structures. The tour not only focuses on the town’s architecturally significant buildings, it also gives visitors a glimpse of Florence’s colorful past. The stories that shape Florence’s history run the gamut from old west gun fights to politicians and movie stars.
In addition to the tour, visitors and residents alike will not want to miss the grand re-opening celebration of McFarland State Historic Park at 10:00 a.m. Special guests Renee Bahl, Executive Director of Arizona State Parks; Marshall Trimble, Arizona’s Official State Historian; Jim Garrison, State Historic Preservation Officer; and Florence Mayor Vickie Kilvinger will all speak during the event. The park recently opened after being closed for more than two years thanks to a partnership among Arizona State Parks, the Town of Florence, and Florence Main Street Program. The park now houses the Florence Visitor Center in addition to the museum.
Among the other activities happening that day, the Pinal County Historical Society Museum will present
“The Southwest Table” at 2 p.m. where they will have a demonstration of cooking with cactus and other desert plants by Jean Groen, author of “Foods of the Superstitions” and “Plants of the Sonoran Desert and Their Many Uses.” The museum will have a special display consisting of American tableware of Southwest design from the 1940’s and 1950’s.
After the tour, stop by the Florence Aeromodeler Park to see the Fun Fly & Swap Meet just two miles south of Florence on Highway 79. The Blue Adobe Meeting Center will feature their weekly History Hub Matinee Shows at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. for a separate fee not included in tour admission.
The self-guided Tour of Historic Florence begins in downtown Florence at 291 N. Main Street, at the corner of Main Street and 8th Street. Admission for adults is $10 in advance or $12 on the day of the tour, children under 18 are free. Trolleys will provide transportation to tour sites at no additional cost. Proceeds from the tour support downtown revitalization activities of the Florence Main Street Program.