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.


  1. It is very simple. Dr. Woosley was way out of her depth. There was no way that she could have raised the funds for this project. There was no chance that an ill conceived project like this should have even been considered. Woosley never raised any funds in the past and she never let her Board of Directors vote on this mess. But her Board can't raise funds on a normal day why would she think that they would for this mess.

  2. If Trimble was always a supporter of the MMM, he kept it well hidden! He was always a member of AHS and did nothing to advise them against closing the MMM that he also supported. Instead he is pitching lots of misinformation about the MMM and knows nothing of it's incredible success. Trinble was not present when AHS and the Dept.of Administration fired all of the MMM staff and locked the kids out! He was nowhere to be seen when scientists asked that the State Mineral Collection remain with DOA/AZGS. AHS fought to keep it at a hearing with the then Atty General, who ruled that the collection stayed with the MMM. The collection was not thrust upon AHS--they wanted it! And not a word was uttered by DOA about the building needing to be closed when the MMM was. AHS locked the doors and Trimble was not there. I really want him to explain why AHS came up with a 15 million project with Gallagher when they all failed on
    a 5 million one for 5C's and totally ignored the recession. Nartually they failed and the MNM he supported closed for 5 years with AHS the only opposition to its reopening. "Bizarre" is the word that comes to mind!

    1. Maybe he was too busy being a Parade Marshall to notice?

  3. AHS,and now Trimble, won't accept the responsibility for closing the MMM and keeping, giving away, or destroying its contents. They insist that it was the recession! The decision was made by the Director of AHS (without Board knowledge or approval) and Governor Brewer. Both failed to consider the obvious recession in their planning,and their grandiose plans failed. In addition, they both ignored the legislation that required keeping the MMM intact and adding a 5C's Museum. AHS participated and Brewer signed that legislation. This was AHS "making history" and still denying their responsibility. Our science students and teachers were the victims. The legislature gets what happened and has voted solidly to reinstate the MMM.

    1. Dr. Ann Woosley also had no experience in raising funds, the AHS has no community support because nobody goes in the museums, their Board of Directors also do not raise funds, and Bill Ponder the AHS assistant director gives really bad advice. Woosley did not do all of this alone.

  4. In addition to blaming an economic event, the recession, rather than their faulty decisions and planning, Trimble adds all sorts of falsehoods about the MMM. Poor attendance, not meeting state science standards, not cataloging the mineral collection are among them. These, even though untrue, he considers their reason for closing the MMM. By his reasoning, AHS should have been closed long ago!

  5. It's pretty apparent that Dr. Woosley gave Mr. Trimble awards and kiss up to him in order to get him to be the Board president. That's what museum director's do. They get somebody who will do their bidding. In the case of the Mineral Museum this has looked like it has bit Dr. Woosley in her posterior. She has a Board President who is clueless. Well, at least he and the Board are busy raising funds for the agency. I was not wrong....was I?