Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum

Useful Information

Location: In the Polly Rosenbaum Building, 1502 West Washington, Phoenix. 2 km west of downtown.
Open: All year Mon-Fri 8-17, Sat 11-16.
Closed on Hol.
Fee: Adults USD 2, Children (0-17) free.
Classification: mining and mineral museum
Light: n/a
Guided tours:
Address: Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum, 1502 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1884 Territorial Fair exhibit of minerals.
1917 Arizona State Legislature authorized funding to construct a mineral building on the State Fairgrounds.
1919 mineral museum completed, annual Territorial and then State Fair exhibits .
1953 year round museum.
1972 trasferred to the Arizona Department of Mineral Resources.
OCT-1991 moved to the Polly Rosenbaum Building.


Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum is not a mine, not even an underground structure, so it is not exactly a subterranea. Actually it is a sort of mineral museum, and while we love to visit any kind of geology related museum, it is not the topic of However, we made an exception because of the close relation of Arizona's development with the mining history of the state and the wealth of minerals, which is both the topic and the financial basis of the existence of the museum.

The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum is dedicated to the remembrance of the local mining industry. Today Arizona is the most important mining state in the U.S.A. The value of the non-fuel mineral production is the highest in the country.

The museum was founded because of the first Arizona Fair, which took place in November 1884. The mineral display on the fair was very popular, but it was open to the public only during the fairs. In 1917 the Arizona State Legislature authorized funding to construct a mineral building on the State Fairgrounds, which was completed in 1919. But still it was open only duringh the fair and closed for the rest of the year. Finally, in 1953 six major mining companies of Arizona agreed to found the opening over the whole year. In 1972 the collections were transferred to the Arizona Department of Mineral Resources. In October 1991 the museum was relocated to its current location, a historic building called the Polly Rosenbaum Building.

Today the museum shows more than 3,000 minerals, rocks, fossils and mining artifacts. The central exhibition are colorful minerals from Arizona's copper mines. The most spectacular minerals are a 2.50 m long piece of native copper, the two half of a large quartz geode weighing 108 kg each, samples from the first Moon landing, and a 93 kg fragment of Meteor Crater's meteorite. The mining related exhibits are located outside. There is 13 m high head frame of Boras Mine at Bisbee. An 1882 baby-gauge steam train locomotive, a mucker car, and an ore car represent mine trains. There is a 5-stamp mill which was used to crush the ore. And representing the open cast mining is the tire of a 320 ton capacity mine haul truck and a 27 cubic metre bucket from an electric shovel.