Early Florence, Arizona was driven by the discovery of silver and supported by a strong agricultural base. The resulting economic opportunities, born of a growing town, attracted a diverse population which is reflected in many of today’s Florence homes and other structures.
The architectural styles of Florence’s historic homes reveal more than the adobe and brick foundations. Archaeologists often study architecture to learn more about past societies and communities. Historic homes and buildings speak volumes about the lives of this community’s earliest inhabitants.
Florence history will come alive at the 34th Annual Historic Florence Home Tour on Saturday, February 9, 2019. Visitors will view a total of 18 homes and historical structures, each with unique architectural styles. The tour begins at Jaques Square located at 291 North Main Street. Day-of-ticket sales begins at 9:30 a.m., while the tour is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Visitors may walk the tour route or ride any one of three trolleys to the outlying historical structures.
One of the featured homes on the historic tour is the Vasquez House, a Sonoran style home built in 1878. Records show the home was built by John T. Barleson, a probate judge who was the husband of President Harry Truman’s aunt. One of the historic buildings on the tour is the Silver King Hotel which was originally built in 1876 and served as “modern” accommodations for overnight guests with fine dining. It is now home to several businesses as well as a sandwich shop.
The theme for the Home Tour, “Small Town, Big History – Living within Adobe Walls” describes the historic significance of this small community as well as the lives and stories contained within the walls of the homes.
In addition to the home tour, the Florence Arts and Culture Commission will present its third annual Quick Draw Artist Contest beginning at 9:30 a.m. Artists have 90 minutes to begin and complete a portrait or landscape. The finished products will be auctioned off at the end of the contest. Spectators are welcome to watch as these talented artists, create impressive works of art. The contest is at the Jacob Suter House located at 270 North Pinal Street.
The Pinal County Historical Museum will present its Vintage Quilt Show from 10:00 am. to 4:00 p.m. Quilts representing historic Florence will be displayed.
Home Tour tickets are only $20 for adults the day of the event or $15 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. Tickets may also be purchased online at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3605805.
For questions or more information, please call the Florence Community Services Department at (520) 868-7040 or go to www.florenceaz.gov/hometour.