Heritage Days commemorating Pima’s founding is April 12 – 13

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Randy Hawkins and his chuckwagon will be out in force at the 25th annual Pima Heritage Days.

By Jon Johnson


PIMA — It’s nearly time to strap on the feed bag and get out the dancing shoes as the town of Pima prepares to observe its founding 140 years ago.

The 25th annual Heritage Days, sponsored by the Eastern Arizona Museum & Historical Society, will be held Friday and Saturday, April 12-13. The event is the annual fundraiser for the museum and emphasizes food, family, and fun.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Nick Bingham, left, and Scott Alder cooks up some pancakes and bacon at the 24th annual Pima Heritage Days festival.

The celebration kicks off with a quilt show Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Cultural Hall on U.S. Highway 70. The quilt show continues the following day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and all are encouraged to view the works of quilted art. Diane Allred and Kerma Matthews are accepting entries. For more information on the quilt show call 485-9462.

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Russell Woods checks on his biscuits.

Clint Colvin’s pit barbecue dinner will be served Friday evening at the Clyde Davis Cafetorium, from 5 to 7 p.m. The meal includes beans, coleslaw, rolls, homemade root beer, and Texas sheet cake. It’s just $10 to get a belly full for those 12 and older and $7 for those 11 and younger.

Don’t stay out too late, though, because the not-to-miss cowboy breakfast starts at 7 a.m. the following day at the W.M. Carter Farm Museum with the posting of the colors and a blessing on the food. Cooks Scott and Joyce Alder, Reece and Anna Jane Jarvis, Kurt Palmer, Shawn Wright and a host of others make the tasty bacon, eggs and all-you-can-eat- pancakes, while the rib-sticking delight that is the homemade and Dutch oven cooked biscuits and gravy prepared by Russell and Jonnet Woods form the icing on the cake. Plenty of juice and milk will also be served to wash down the tender vittles, which will be served through 9 a.m. or until supplies are gone. Prices for the breakfast are $5 per plate for those age 12 and over and $3 per plate for those age 11 and under.

The patriotic trio Tribute will be on hand to sing their hits, and Randy Hawkins’ chuckwagon and the heritage of the Beals and Cluff families, as well as personal artifacts of the Porter, Willis, McEuen, Claridge, Anderson and Blake families, will be on display.

The oldest building in Pima — Cluff Hall built in 1882 — houses the Pioneer Rooms of the museum, which is where Loretta Graves will be playing ragtime piano on the Green family instrument that Spencer W. Kimball learned to play on as a youth.

Throughout the celebration, a raffle will be held for a queen-sized quilt — “Shaded Lilies” — made by Matthews; an aspen walking stick, made and donated by Chuck Maxwell; and a stunning blue necklace and earrings from Gael Song. Tickets are $1 each, six for $5, 13 for $10 and 27 for $20.

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Chloe Skinner checks out the cotton wagon during last year’s event.

The activities at Heritage Days are the museum’s major annual fund-raiser and community event. For further information call Shawn Wright at 928-965-1050, Clint Woods at 928-322-4993 or Anna Jane Jarvis at 928-965-2413.

The Eastern Arizona Museum is housed in three historic buildings, with its entrance being the former Bank of Pima, built in 1914. Adjacent to that is Cluff Hall. Built in 1882 out of tufa stone from the limestone quarry at Bear Springs Flat, the structure is the oldest building in Pima. Rounding out the facility is the former Rexall Drug Store, which was originally built around 1900. The museum and its board are seeking volunteers to assist with the operation of the museum and its events.

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