Saturday, April 23, 2016

History or Mystery?

Prior posts have shown that the AHS is attempting the smear the mineral museum by falsifying its history, and that it has even falsified its own history. A brief summary of AHS history follows:

1884 - Founded as “Society of Arizona Pioneers” in Tucson

            Sloan. Eleanor B., Seventy-Five Years of the Arizona Pioneers' Historical Society, 1884-          1959, Arizona and the West, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Spring, 1959), pp. 66-70, Published by: Journal of the Southwest.

            Sonnicheson, C.L., Pioneer Heritage, the First Century of the Arizona Historical Society, The Arizona Historical Society, 1984

1887 – Renamed “Arizona Pioneer’s Historical Society” and established as a state agency by the Nineteenth Territorial Legislature

            Faulk, Odie B., Arizona State Historical Society; Its history and leaders, and its services   to the public. Published by the Arizona Pioneers Historical Society, 929 E. 2nd Street, Tucson AZ, 1966, page 6

1971 – Informal name change to Arizona Historical Society

            Bates, Al, Arizona Territory’s Earliest Historical Societies, Territorial Times, Prescott 

1984 – Celebrated AHS centennial (1884-1984)

            Sonnicheson, C.L., Pioneer Heritage, the First Century of the Arizona Historical Society, The Arizona Historical Society, 1984

1996 Established Arizona Historical Society / Southern Arizona Division Docent Inc.

             Arizona Corporation Commission file number 07926852 dated 12/8/1996
2000 Established Arizona Historical Society / Southern Arizona Chapter Fund Inc.

             Arizona Corporation Commission file number 09599202 dated 8/17/2000

2003 Testified before Senate; claimed 1864 founding date

            Senate hearing, Monday, Oct. 20, 2003 (Senate Government Committee)
Anne Woosley, Executive Director, AHS, commented that from its founding by the territorial Legislature on November 7, 1864, the understanding of history and the need to pass that history to future generations have been the guiding principles of AHS.
2004 Official name changed to Arizona Historical Society by Legislature

            House Bill 2318, 44th AZ Legislature, first regular session

2005 Arizona Historical Society letterhead stated “founded by Arizona pioneers in 1884”

2009 Established “Arizona Historical Society” as a trade name

            Arizona Corporation file number 468138 dated 8/14/2009

2009 Changed letterhead / memo founding date from 1884 to 1864

2013 “Explained” relationship between original AHS and present day AHS in Section I of bylaws as follows:

Section 1. Premise. The first Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Arizona incorporated the “Arizona Historical Society” on November 7, 1864, as a corporation with perpetual succession. Later, the “Society of Arizona Pioneers” was organized on February 9, 1884, for the same purpose and incorporated by Chapter 53, Section 1 of the Laws of the 1897, as the trustee of the Territory for the present and future collections and property of the Territory. The “Arizona Historical Society,” as its name was changed in 1971, has continued to exist as a corporate entity (the “Corporation” herein) although its Executive Director and staff are employees of the State of Arizona and the Society maintains many attributes of an agency of the State of Arizona (the “Society”). The separate re-incorporation of this Corporation and adoption of these by-laws are intended to clarify the corporate status of the Corporation and provide the distinction between the private, non-profit and tax-exempt corporation apart and distinct from the Society. The goal of the Corporation shall be to provide a conduit for financial donations, fundraising and financial management for the benefit of the Society, as the agency of the State of Arizona having custody of the historical artifacts, papers and physical assets owned by the State of Arizona.

2014 Celebrated “150th Anniversary” (0nly 30 years after AHS centennial celebration)

            Zeigler, Zachary, AZ Historical Society Exhibits 150 Items to Celebrate Anniversary,        Arizona Public Media, September 1, 2014

            “AHS at 150”, special edition of the Journal of Arizona History, 2014.

The mystery is, was the change in AHS history inadvertent or planned?  Is section 1 in the current bylaws a clumsy attempt to cover up an embarrassing mistake, or is it a deliberate and ridiculous attempt to revise history?

Note: An Arizona Historical Society Inc. was established in Prescott in 1864. However, it was dissolved in 1866, and absolutely no connection to the present day AHS has been established.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rewriten history by Marshall Trimble

After Marshall Trimble presented his falsehoods about the mineral museum on Channel 3, a former mineral museum volunteer attempted to inform him of his many errors. The reply that former volunteer received follows:
           "I've never had a problem with the mining museum and have always been a supporter. However, I did have a problem with those who were blaming the closing on the Arizona Historical Society and spreading misinformation.

          Here's a brief history. The museum had been a line item for the AZ Dept. of Mineral Resources. In 2009 when the state legislature eliminated the department, Governor Brewer transferred the mining claims and other documents to the Geological Survey and the collection to the AHS. AHS was given no money to sustain the collection. All this coincided with the recession.

          All the money appropriated annually by the legislature goes to pay ADOA rent on the building; $367,300 plus $67,630 salary and benefits for a curator.

          AHS did not request the collection, it was given at the direction of the governor. You might even say it was thrust upon AHS. The governor wanted to create a Centennial Legacy museum featuring the Five C’s but the recession quelled the plan.

         The largest part of the collection was in storage in a basement. The ADOA discovered water leaks, holes in the wall, boxes stored on concrete floor and no ventilation or temperature control.

         The museum was closed at the recommendation/request of ADOA, the architects, engineers, and construction manager who insisted that their work could not proceed in the presence of the public and non-essential staff.  In fact, AHS was pressured to close the building and we kept it open as long as possible, late in the school year. 

         When AHS received the mineral collection which numbers in the thousands of pieces, it was not systematically catalogued or stored.  A substantial “housekeeping” effort was first required to inventory the entire collection, secure and, in some cases, conserve specimens, and catalog it to provide public access.  The extensive collection was digitally catalogued and is now, for the first time, available on line.

         AHS developed strong educational programming, including teacher and student materials that meet State Science Standards.  Classroom teaching aids were developed and teacher workshops held.  Mining, mineral and natural history exhibits have been installed at AHS museums and off site at other museums such as Bullion Plaza in Miami.  Discussions are underway to install mineral displays at the Historic Capitol Museum, in Kingman and Show Low.  There are plans to develop traveling exhibits for communities around the state.

        The majority of the mineral collection is housed at the Arizona Heritage and Cultural Center Museum in Tempe where AHS recently celebrated Mining Day with members of the mining community and K-12 students.  A portion of the collection is on loan to the Arizona Mineral Museum.

          As president and state historian it's my duty and responsibility to act in it's best interests and that of the state. Those supporters moving the mining and mineral museum back to the old building need to keep in mind it will take millions of dollars to bring it up to code before ADOA will allow occupancy.

         I hope this helps."

The facts:

As reported by the April 4th post, the former mineral museum curator has already debunked many of Marshall Trimble’s false claims about the mineral museum. Additions false claims included in the above message are debunked in the following paragraphs.

The Governor did not eliminate the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources in 2009. It still existed in 2010 when the AHS and its supporters executed a hostile takeover of the mineral museum. The revised state statures show this very clearly.

No funds in addition to the rent and curators salary were needed to sustain the collection. The mineral museum had done it for decades with one state paid employee and community support.

The recession is not responsible for the current mess. It began in before the AHS ever began preparing their Centennial Museum plans. The AHS is blaming the recession for failure, but knows the recession was underway before it began secretly preparing its Centennial Museum plans in 2009. The recession cannot be used as valid excuse.

The AHS definitely did not keep the museum open as long as possible. In fact, it moved the closure date up without notice in the spring of 2011 while children were still scheduled to arrive on school field trips.  The AHS and its supports had not raised any funds, so absolutely no work began when it was closed. Why would anyone have pressured the AHS to close the museum if there wasn’t any money to begin construction?

The mineral museum was not closed because it does not comply with current building codes. It had a $950,000 upgrade in 1990 when the historic Shriners temple was converted into a museum.

An "official state historian" and  retired history teacher should be a bit more accurate about recent history.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Reviewing the history of the AHS mess

Guest post by a disgusted teacher:

 I’m reflecting, five plus years later, on the Centennial  disaster that deprived 40,000 students and their teachers each year of the well-attended and respected Mining and Mineral Museum.  Our Centennial should have been a time to honor the famous 5C’s, but it turned out that we never got that accomplished.  The reason is that those  5 C’s were replaced by five different C’s that were nothing to celebrate.  Looking back, here’s what we now know happened:

1.  COVETING:   Governor Brewer and AHS clearly wanted the building, which was already dedicated as a permanent home for the Mining and Mineral Museum.  Both were involved in planning for the Centennial . At that time there were many empty state buildings nearby. They had to have the MMM building!

2.  COLLUSION:  The plan they came up with was to use the building for a Centennial Museum to honor the 5C’s. This was done secretly and the plan was never discussed with those running the very successful Mining and Mineral Museum.   Governor Brewer  wanted to give the people of AZ a ‘’birthday present” as her legacy, and the AHS director wanted a museum near the capitol. The plan was kept secret even from the AHS Board of Directors, as well as AZ citizens. In a recent hearing to reopen the MMM, a lobbyist from the AHS’s lobbyist’s group opposed the reopening and stated that it was always the plan to close the MMM, as if therefore it was OK to destroy it, (even if it was a secret plan)!

3:  CORRUPTION:  The two –party  decision was announced as the path forward by a surprise press conference at the Mining and Mineral Museum .  The Governor announced her plans for her legacy and that AHS would run the new museum and that Gallagher and Ass. would be the designer and it would be a $5million dollar museum to honor the 5C’s.  (No need to follow state hiring rules, and AHS and Gallagher were present.) The 5C’s would each contribute a million, without being asked!  No mention was made of what would happen to the MMM, and the staff was immediately  subjected to a “gag order”. A lobbyist  tried to sneak  the needed legislation  through as an amendment  on a non-related bill, but MMM supporters caught it and would have sunk the bill in committee if the offensive ploy was not retracted.  A separate bill authorizing the Centennial 5C’s Museum was then introduced and the MMM supporters  and AHS testified at the committee hearing.  The bill passed, with amendments and  both MMM and AHS personnel were present when they were drafted .  The bill that passed  kept the MMM intact, under AHS, and added a 5C’s museum in same building.  A Governor’s representative wrote the amendments and the Governor signed it.  What looked like a good solution and was accomplished by the legitimate legislative process was corrupted ten months later.

4.  CALAMITY:  On a Sat. late afternoon at the end of April, in a surprise attack, the entire staff of the MMM was fired, the doors locked, and the schools and students who were scheduled for field trips through the end of May were subjected to the chaos caused by AHS violating their statutes that  now said they were to keep the MMM ,its educational programs, and displays and equipment.  Schools, students, and teachers were shocked by this unprofessional, and illegal, treatment.  That Sat. is still remembered as the “Saturday Night Massacre”.  The chaotic ensuing days saw all of the scientific displays dismantled and removed without careful documentation .  The AHS action was hostile, unauthorized, and unnecessary as it was already known that they and the Centennial Committee had not raised enough money to start anything.  However, when asked to explain their harmful actions, the reason given was that they had to start re-modeling.  When they abandoned the 5C’s /MMM museum,  for lack of fund-raising,  AHS replaced it with a $15 million Experience Museum which , of course, never happened.  And our students remained the victims!

5.  COVER-UP:   Of  course, without funds, no remodeling was ever begun, even to add some 5C’s displays, which would have been possible.  The calls for an explanation continued, but were never really addressed until the legislature proceeded to correct the problem and the victimization of our science students.  During the hearings, specific attempts were made to get answers as to why it happened.  AHS did not explain, but rather tried to blame the recession, which started way back in 2007 and was well-known by 2010.  The recession was not the cause of their failure as the MMM was still going strong.  The fact that the recession was affecting their fundraising should have kept them from the grandiose plans that never happened.  AHS continued to testify against the reopening of the MMM, showing how little they cared about the kids they displaced for no reason.  The next excuse was that they had a geologist so the state mineral collection was safe—the position was for a curator, and there was no museum.  Then we were told that they had a gallery at the Tempe AHS museum—four years after closing the impressive MMM.  Big problem, no one goes to that museum—attendance is dismal.  This year we heard that all was well, they also had a Mining Diorama, and again, attendance still lags.  The schools and displaced science students are not going to the AHS for science field trips!  And finally we got a whole new set of reasons from the new Pres. of  AHS , Marshall Trimble:   The Department of Administration closed the building because it was unsafe—AHS had it for 10 months and DOA was never involved.  The MMM had no visitors so it was OK to get rid of it—(how about 40,000 students a year, plus another 10,000 other visitors?)  The AHS Tempe museum had 2 science displays so the problem was fixed!  It would be too expensive to reopen the MMM—in fact it had been operated with only 1 state employee and self-funded all other positions. (AHS destroyed the self-funding strategies that worked so well when they slammed the doors and moved  everything.) The MMM did not meet state education science standards –and the historian who can’t deal  in facts is well acquainted with those standards? Take your pick—their excuses fill a bucket that doesn’t hold water!  Oh, I forgot—Governor Brewer , made them do it!

We supporters of the restoration of a first class earth science and natural resource museum hope it will finally happen this year under the AZ Geological Survey at the UofA.  Keep your fingers crossed that lobbyists won’t keep this from happening again.  We need to show our students and teachers that when the legislature is on record as wanting this to happen, we can make the legislative process work.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Another real student unhappy with Marshall Trimble

On April 12th, someone posted a comment on the April 9th blog post. It asserted that the letters from students on the April 9th post are fake. They are not, and anyone who doubts it is invited to East Valley Academy to meet the children who wrote them. Another letter from Gabriel follows:

Dear Mr. Trimble,

My same is Gabriel and I’m a sixth grader at East Valley Academy .  I moved to Phoenix from Canada in 2009.  My family took me to the AZ Mining and Mineral Museum before I came to this school and I remember it well even though I was young.  It was the neatest thing I saw in a long time.  My favorite exhibits were the fluorescent rocks, the fossils, the meteorite. the huge quartz crystal from Brazil , and the “rock” food.  It’s a bad thing that school kids in Arizona haven’t been able to see this great museum since 2010.  My teacher gives us an interesting unit on earth science but not all kids in Arizona are lucky enough to see all this cool stuff.  My teacher got most of her collection from the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum .  Please bring this museum back!

The AHS does not seem to realize how many hundreds of thousands of students and teachers it has offended by the senseless closure of the top rated mineral museum. Those students will never be AHS members.  They won't want to have their tax dollars given to the AHS either. The longer the AHS resists restoration of the mineral museum, the more it threatens its future existence.

note: the author of this blog believes that the AHS abruptly closed the mineral museum ahead of schedule in 2011 because of thousands of letters that children were sending to Governor Brewer and the AHS begging that it be kept open. If so, it was the meanest thing any state agency ever did.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Dear Mr. Trimble,

Note: Marshall Trimble, a retired teacher, is opposing the reopening of the mineral museum and its K-12 science education programs. The April 4 post includes false, derogatory statements he made about the mineral museum on Channel 3.

Dear Mr. Trimble,

“My name is Raina and I am in sixth grade at East Valley Academy .  I am also the only student in my school who has ever seen the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum . We used to go every year for a field trip and I remember the fluorescent rocks, the big meteor, the moon rocks, the rock food exhibit, and many other beautiful things.  We learned so much from this museum and I miss it so much.  I am thankful that I had the experience to see it but am sad because my classmates and all the other kids in Arizona will never be able to see this museum again.  Our teacher told us that the museum dates back to territorial times and we cannot understand why it was taken away.”

 “I am Tiffany and am a sixth grader at East Valley Academy . I am one of the many Arizona school students who have never been to the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum . Science and geology, in particular, are very interesting to me.  It is also an important subject for all Arizona students to be learning. This museum gave kids and people of all ages the opportunity to learn about an important part of Arizona ’s history and geology.  Why is it now gone (since 2010)?  Our teacher told us that the centennial museum that was planned to replace the AMMM never was developed and, meanwhile, a wonderful museum has been taken away.  This is just wrong.  I’m sure the rest of the kids in Arizona want it back as much as I do!”

 “I am Summer and I am in sixth grade at East Valley Academy .  I never got to see the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum but have heard many great things about it.  I love studying geology in school and I can’t understand why our state government has allowed this to happen.  I think Governor Ducey should see to it that the AMMM is restored to the same place as it was.  That museum served 40,000 kids a year in Arizona .  That many kids will never see it again if it’s stuck in a university or some other museum nobody ever visits. Everyone is always talking about how education is so important in our state and then they destroy a great museum that goes back to territorial days. All this state does is talk about Common Core and testing but museums give kids a hands-on learning experience.  Please restore the AMMM.”

 “I am Austin, a fourth grader at East Valley Academy and I would just like to say that I think it’s a shame that 40,000 schools kids (including me) have been robbed of a beautiful and educational museum that goes back to Arizona’s territorial history. It was a great learning experience for people of all ages so please restore it to its original place.  I’d like to see it before I get out of elementary school and I know lots of other kids who would too.”

Monday, April 4, 2016

Correcting Marshall Trimble

As reported in prior posts, Marshall Trimble is spreading false and potentially libelous statements about the closure and status of the mineral museum. The April 4th post on presents a detailed rebuttal from the former curator of the mineral museum.

Mr. Trimble is being called out publicly for his false statements about the mineral museum.  He is the AHS board president, a history teacher, and official state historian. He, of all people, should not be guilty of rewriting history.


1. The March 24th and 25th posts on CAMMAZ also contradict Mr. Trimble. The were written by a prior curator and a key, dedicated mineral museum employee.

2. On CAMMAZ, the blog posts are on the right side of the  homepage.