Step into the sights and stories of the past at the 32nd Annual Florence Historic Home Tour
by John Nixon, Florence Parks and Recreation Department
It is time once again for the 32nd Annual Historic Florence Home Tour! This year’s event, on Saturday Feb. 11, features diverse architectural styles in over 17 homes and historical structures. Visitors can soak in the sights on foot or utilize local transportation for the route, which begins in downtown Florence.
The theme for this year’s home tour is “Florence: Born of Adobe Brick and the Frontier Spirit,” and this will be demonstrated in several accompanying events. Attendees can enjoy two re-enactments of Pearl Hart, female stagecoach robber, performed by the San Tan Foothills High School Drama Club at 11a.m. and 1 p.m. As well, members of the Buffalo Soldiers will present a camp re-enactment and presentation at 2 p.m. at the Pinal County Historical Museum. The Florence Arts and Culture Commission will present a Quick Draw Art Event beginning at 10:00 a.m. All events are open to attendees of the home tour.
The William Clarke House is an excellent example of the Late Transitional Style of architecture; a blending of Sonoran adobe walls, elegantly detailed Anglo-Victorian entrance porch and louvered bay window. The interior was furnished with an impressive array of Eastlake Period furniture including a square grand piano used by Clarke’s wife who taught music lessons. The piano is now located in the Pinal County Historical Museum. The Clarke House was originally a wedding present for Ella Clarke and also served as a community cultural center with concerts, recitals, tea parties and ice cream socials. A crawlspace in the attic, accessible only be a ladder, provided a hiding place during Apache raids. William Clarke came to Arizona as a surveyor, and like so many new settlers, he turned to mining at the Silver King Mine where was an engineer. Arizona’s last territorial governor, Richard E. Sloan, lived here when he served as Pinal County District Attorney from 1885 to 1888. Now the house is the offices of the Florence Reminder and Blade Tribune newspaper. The building was renovated and restored by Donovan M. Kramer, Sr. of Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, Inc.
The event runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and tickets are $15 for adults the day of the event or $10 in advance. Advance tickets are available at the Pinal County Historical Society and Museum, Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce and the Florence Library and Community Center.
For questions or more information, please contact John Nixon at the Florence Parks and Recreation Department at (520) 868-7699 or at www.florenceaz.gov/hometour.