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‘Saving History & Making History’ Sedona Historical Society celebrates 40 years with Open House

Bill Cowan’s chuckwagon. (Submitted photo)

Bill Cowan’s chuckwagon. (Submitted photo)

Originally Published: May 11, 2022 9:47 p.m.

The Sedona Historical Society is hosting a free open house so the entire community can participate in celebration of its 40th anniversary of “Saving History & Making History.”

Set for Saturday, May 14, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the free event will have old-time fun, food, entertainment and activities for everyone.

This will be a day for locals and visitors to experience the Society’s Sedona Heritage Museum and have some hands-on experiences. A full schedule of these activities begins at 11 a.m. with a brief ceremony of recognition of Society past presidents and introduction of pioneer members.

Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty will assist with a ribbon cutting for the formal opening of a newly renovated “Ranching & Cowboys” exhibit in Sedona Heritage Museum. To help with this will be representatives of the families honored in the exhibit, including descendants of the Chavez, Van Deren, Smith, Fox, Michelbach, Miller and Owenby clans. These family members will be available after the opening to meet and greet visitors and tell family stories.


Dutch oven biscuits are a rare taste experience.

A special treat will be professional Dutch oven competitors Grant Smith and Bill Cowan, who will be baking biscuits the way they were made during roundups around Sedona 100-years-ago. Cowan’s award-winning chuckwagon, outfitted for open range, will be on display.

That won’t be the only food on-site. Lunch will be available in the Historic Fruit Packing Shed. Service will be limited and will last until all the meal tickets are sold.


Visitors can try their hand at broom-making and chair caning.

From 11:30-2:30 p.m., old-time crafts and skills demonstrations will be in full swing in the historic fruit packing shed. Soap-carving will no doubt be a favorite hands-on craft, but there will also be chances to try your hand at quilting, weaving, spinning, chair-caning and broom-making. Plus, Museum volunteers will help kids of all ages to try their hand at a “make & take” cornhusk doll-making activity.

There will also be opportunities for behind-the-scenes tours of the Museum’s Collections Room led by the Society’s Historian. Volunteers will give demonstrations of the historic 1946 apple sorting machine and Walter Jordan’s 1930s Farmall tractor.

Live music will be provided by the Rice Brothers, a local duo whose repertoire spans decades of many genres of music. Their music will take guests back in time from the Mills Brothers from the 1930s to today’s country.

This is a free event.

The Sedona Heritage Museum is in the City of Sedona’s Jordan Historical Park at 735 Jordan Road, in Uptown. For more information, call 928-282-7038, or visit SedonaMuseum.org.

Information provided by SHM.