Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sanguinetti House: a cool piece of Yuma's history

Sanguinetti House Museum
The Sanguinetti House Museum is a good place to chill out on a hot day in Yuma, Arizona. Located in Old Town, this adobe house, built in the 1870s, has at least one modern convenience: an air conditioner. It also has a lush garden with plenty of shade in back.

E.F. Sanguinetti
The museum is named for its former owner, E.F. Sanguinetti, an early pioneer in Yuma who was a businessman, merchant, farmer and banker. He was considered one of Yuma’s most influential citizens of that era.

This Arizona Historical Society Museum traces the history of Yuma and the Lower Colorado River from the mid-16th century one. Reproductions of old photographs, such as President Taft signing the Arizona statehood bill, line the walls of this compact house. Antique buffs will love the two small rooms crammed with dark, ornate period furniture and other furnishings. One of the museum’s most interesting features, however, just very well may be the 37-minute video that traces the history of Yuma. It is a fast-paced presentation crammed with loads of interesting facts about this important military and agricultural community in the very southwest corner of the state. I particularly enjoyed learning more about Yuma’s military history: that General George Patton trained his troops for warfare in North Africa near here, and that B26 bomber gunners learned how to shoot at the military base, now a Marine air station, by riding a Jeep that had a gun mounted to it around a track.

Sanguinetti House garden
The garden is at the rear of the house. It is filled with lush greenery not usually found in Yuma. Benches are tucked in among the greenery, giving visitors a place to sit and enjoy the peacefulness and privacy of the garden. The garden could have used a good weeding the day we were there, but it did not detract that much from the serenity of the place. At one time, the garden had an aviary, but now there are only empty cages.

The Sanguinetti House Museum is located at 240 Madison Street. It is closed Sundays and Mondays. There is a small admission fee.



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