Monday, March 25, 2019

Encanto/Palmcroft Historic Home Tour March 24, 2019

Fun and successful day March 24 at Encanto/Palmcroft Home Tour with Julie Moore, Chris Hackett, Mary McMahon, Ruth McLeod (taking the pictures), Pat Christopherson, Susan Dale visiting with customers and sharing AZ history and recipes.  Susan's neighbor, Jenny, shopped with us.

Julie won the prize for biggest sale to John Lea, retired USMC!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

2019 Historymaker Gala Silent Auction

There were amazing Silent Auction items at the 2019 Historymakers Gala. Thanks to Carolyn Hartman and Mary Pat Honey for procuring and organizing such fabulous items.
Some of the items included dining at Lon's at Hermosa Inn, El Chorro and Stockyards. These historic restaurants are also featured in Tastes & Treasures II: A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona, with the book given as part of the auction prize. Some very fortunate winners will be reading the history and enjoying the delicious dinners soon.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Historymaker Elisabeth F. Ruffner 1919-2019

We are sad to report the passing of 2008 Elisabeth Friedrich Ruffner, Historic Preservationist and Community Activist.
Elisabeth Ruffner has dedicated much of her life to preserving historic buildings in Arizona. She came to Prescott from Ohio in 1940 to marry Lester “Budge” Ruffner, whose family had settled in Prescott in 1867. She quickly came to love her adopted home. 
While raising three children, she began her career as a community volunteer. “I had ambition when I was in college. I was going to be a physician and I was going to be the best there was. But I changed my pattern. My pattern turned out to be life in a small town, raising a family and recognizing the quality and assets in a small town life, which are precious.”
More stories and photos at

From The Daily Courier
Elisabeth “Bette” Friedrich Ruffner September 17, 1919 — March 13, 2019 On Sept. 17, 1919, in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, Elisabeth Alma Friedrich came into the arms of her parents, Clara and William. World War I was over, and the country was eager for peace and security. Between the flu pandemic, race riots, the anti-communist blacklist and domestic terrorist bombings, peace was elusive. A Constitutional amendment gave women the right to vote, and prohibition became the law of the land. 
Elisabeth Ruffner and Budge
The youngest of three, Elisabeth attended Indiana University and the University of Cincinnati, working toward a medical degree. Her career plans were interrupted by a handsome young man she met on a blind double-date, he with her sorority sister. This dashing fellow, “Budge,” was enrolled in the mortuary college, and he and Elisabeth dated through the spring of 1940. After Budge returned to Prescott, Arizona, plans were made for Elisabeth and her mother Clara to stop at nearby Ash Fork on their way to Los Angeles on business.
Lester Ward “Budge” Ruffner proposed before the week was out, and Elisabeth and he were married on Aug. 10, 1940, at the Ruffner home on Park Avenue in Prescott. With the onset of World War II and Budge in the Army Air Corps for three years, Elisabeth found herself a war bride with a new baby by 1941. She took a job with Dr. Florence Yount, setting up a new laboratory and filling in for the doctor as she traveled the county making house calls. Elisabeth adored the opportunity to work in a medical practice in Prescott, partially fulfilling her career ambitions.
At the end of the war, Elisabeth turned her attention to family life with daughter Melissa, who was then 4, as well as volunteering with the Girl Scouts, and the public library board. Daughter Rebecca was born in 1947, and son George in 1950. 
For many years, Budge and Elisabeth worked side by side in the family business, Ruffner Funeral Home, which had come into the family in a storied 1903 Whiskey Row poker game. 
Among Elisabeth’s proudest accomplishments beyond her family life was her work in establishing the Yavapai Community Hospital and auxiliary, PEO Chapter Y, the Prescott Arts and Humanities Council, Friends of Arizona Highways, the Rails to Trails program, the Open Space Alliance, and the Friends of the Prescott Public Library.
Bitten early by a deep love of Western historic architecture, Elisabeth incorporated the Yavapai Heritage Foundation, through which funds were quickly raised to save the Bashford House and move it to the Sharlot Hall Museum grounds. That sparked her interest in a growing national movement, which led to her serving as an advisor with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, appointed by President Carter. Some 1,200 buildings in Arizona are now listed in the National Register because of her tireless advocacy to protect and preserve the community legacy they represent.
Prescott residents and visitors today enjoy many local landmarks that distinguish the downtown area, including the Carnegie Library, Octagon House, Hotel Vendome, Hassayampa Inn, Elks Opera House, and the Yavapai County Courthouse Centennial Cornerstone, largely because of Elisabeth’s ability to bring resources together to help property owners achieve their preservation goals.
Elisabeth was recently inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame, one of the first living women so honored. On March 13, 2019, surrounded by the love of her family and dearest friends, and in the tender care of Marley House staff, Elisabeth slipped away. She is survived by her children, Melissa, Rebecca and George; grandchildren Dan, Mari, Rebecca, Leila, Chelly, Garrett, Paul and Lily; great-grandchildren Chelsea, Madison, Christopher, Faith, Everly and Merritt; and a great-great-grandson, Christopher. Everyone who has ever known her is hoping that those pearly gates are in good repair or there will be a committee formed.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to the Elisabeth F. Ruffner Memorial Fund at Arizona Community Foundation, 300 East Willis St., Prescott, AZ 86301, or online at In this way, Elisabeth’s work on behalf of her beloved community can continue in perpetuity.
Ruffner-Wakelin Funeral Home is handling arrangements. For more information, go to A celebration of Elisabeth’s life will be held at a later date.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Tour of Franciscan Renewal Center

Original name

Wonderful Historical League tour today filled with Arizona history, art history and stories of the Catholic Church with St Francis. Over forty Historical League members attended, so they split us into 3 groups. The tour guides explained, "Since 1951, the Casa has been renewing lives through spiritual growth, healing and transformation, and serving others." It predates the affluent Town of Paradise Valley – with resorts, mansions, pools, paved roads, and all. That a dusty, former dude ranch would become a God-filled spiritual retreat center and that the Franciscan friars –grounded in vows of poverty – would become surrounded by some of the area’s wealthiest residents speaks to nothing less than the astounding “coincidence of opposites;” that which unifies rather than divides.

A delicious lunch followed the tour with more time for discussion.

Thanks to Mary McMahon and Julie Moore for organizing the tour. Julie was married here in 1974.
In 1951, Lincoln was a dirt road

St. Francis overlooking Camelback Mt.

Beautiful art glass with etchings and layers.

LEED certified, A/C and heat comes up through round circles in the floor.

mosaic details

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Two shows in ONE weekend: Litchfield Park Art and Wine Festival AND Folk and Heritage Festival Sahuaro Ranch

Claire Nullmeyer, Cathy Shumard
Litchfield Park Art and Wine Festival runs Saturday-Sunday, March 2-3 from 9 am - 5 pm. Historical League booth is right next to Litchfield Park Historical Society booth. Visit our booths to learn the history of the areas. Tastes & Treasures II is a storytelling cookbook filled with history also! 
Perfect weather to wander the many booths. Stop and sample granola from Tastes and Treasures II book page 150.
So grateful to our volunteers: Cathy Shumard, Julie Moore, Margaret Baker and Claire Nullmeyer.
Cathy Shumard, Julie Moore, Margaret Baker

Opening ceremony with color guard and Historymaker Marshall Trimble singing at Folk and Heritage festival. Sahuaro Ranch. Glendale. Saturday-Sunday. 10-5 pm. Beautiful day to enjoy history. Stop by Historical League booth with Tastes and Treasures II. Share your history.

Historymaker Marshall Trimble has the audience captivated with stories and singing.

Historymaker Karl Eller 1928-2019

Karl Eller, Advertising Pioneer and Business Visionary, dies at 90. Arizona Republic obituary recognizes his many awards including being honored as Arizona Historymaker in 2001.  
"Make absolute integrity the compass that guides you in everything you do. And surround yourself with people of flawless integrity, " Karl's response when asked how he hoped he'd be remembered. 
Read his biography at

Saturday, March 2, 2019

2019 Historymaker Gala with Alfredo Gutierrez, Merrill Mahaffey and Vern Swaback

Alfredo Gutierrez

Alfredo Gutierrez

Merrill Mahaffey

Merrill Mahaffey

Marshall Trimble making presentation

Young Vern Swaback with Frank Lloyd Wright

Vernon D. Swaback