Riordan Mansion State Park
Historic Homes tour and Ranger Gift shop
I think it's cool that these families liked each other enough to build their houses and connect them in the middle. It's like this place is a really really big cabin, but lots of old stuff in there. One of the coolest things is that one of the rooms has a ginormous fireplace and instead of having a couch in front of it, they actually put in a swing!
Riordan Mansion State Park is a gem of a place to visit while you are in the Flagstaff area. The Mansion was built in the early 1900s by Michael and Timothy Riordan - two brothers and early Arizona pioneers who were a huge part of the foundation of the city of Flagstaff. Though the two brothers were shrewd businessmen, they had a strong commitment to family ties, which is one reason why this home is so unique. The "Mansion" is actually two nearly identical rustic cabins joined together by a great room that allowed for the families to socialize and relax in a shared environment.
Since the family was quite wealthy, the home is not a reflection of how most people lived during the early 1900s, but it does provide visitors with a chance to see the uniqueness of this one particular family who had such a heavy influence on the Flagstaff area. Topping out at over 13,000 square feet, the home is lavish and decorated with nearly all of its original furnishings. Since there are more than forty rooms in the house, it's easy to be overwhelmed, but it is the smallest details, such as a wooden egg carton (recycling at its finest!) or the Steinway piano (which visitors are encouraged to play), which make this historical site one of the most unique around.
Another thing I liked about the Riordan Mansion is that the museum is truly dedicated to preservation of the items and educating the public about the items on display. Forty-five minute guided tours are provided so that visitors can learn about the family, their roles in the community, the unique aspects of the house and more. The docents are strict about "staying on the red carpet" to ensure that the home remains in excellent shape for years to come, so make sure that you respect the rules that are explained at the beginning. That being said, it is apparent that the volunteers are very well-informed and love to share their knowledge with the visitors.
Tours start at the beginning of each hour, so it is recommended that large groups make reservations in advance. Because of the wealth of history here, this place is a great place to bring children to expose them to what life used to be like last century. There are educational programs ranging from the Junior Ranger program through the Arizona State Park system to Girl Scout badges that can be earned.
409 West Riordan Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Admission (subject to change):
Hours(subject to change):
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Nicholas' Tip: There is a park area outside where you can run around and play after you have finished the mansion tour. Don't run in the house, though, because the tour guide will yell at you!
Mom's Note: Don't forget to stop by the Visitor's Center before you leave to check out the gift shop! It's located in the old garage next to the mansion
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