A Little Day Trip

Hey, everyone!  As you probably know by now, if you've been reading my blog for very long, I'm pretty organized & not very patient about getting projects completed.  The Man, however, is much more "lay-back" & really enjoys doing spur-of-the-moment activities.  Having been married for 42+ years, we've learned the fine art of give and take.  He is so good to me and is willing to build, move, or assist me however he can, especially when I'm in "project-mode."  Soooo, when he wants to break away for a little road trip, I readily agree.  This was the case earlier this week.  After working a couple of days on some re-organizing projects, he wanted a break and off we went to explore Florence, AZ & the St. Anthony's Monastery.

Among Arizona's oldest towns, Florence was founded in 1866 and became the Pinal County seat of government in 1875.  Florence is about 60 miles southeast of Phoenix and is situated along the Gila River in the Sonoran Desert.  Through its history, Florence’s architecture evolved from rustic Sonoran adobe brick buildings to the Modern Movement. Florence is noted for its collection of adobe buildings, the earliest dating back to 1868.   All of the architectural styles that existed in Territorial Arizona can be found along the streets of Florence today. The most spectacular landmark in Florence is the 1891 Pinal County Courthouse.  The Courthouse is  a prime example of American Victorian architecture which reflected the County Supervisor’s commitment to continued growth and prosperity in Pinal County.  He was obviously trying very hard to veer away from the sun-dried adobe.  

It's undergoing some renovations.

This is a photo of how it looked in the 1890's.

Beautiful clock tower.

From a tour map I picked up, I think this original adobe building was once a
 meat market on Main Street.

This late 1870's building was originally built with adobe bricks, a dirt floor & roof, & in the early 1900's was updated with the brick veneer.

I think this was originally a saloon & is currently a dentist office.  Most of the buildings have brick veneer exteriors.  Florence had its own brick yard where they made the fired bricks.

I really liked the lines of this home.  It's on the historical register, but someone lives here and is keeping it well maintained.

I love this building.  It was originally built in 1890 & was the town bakery.  It's the oldest 2-story red brick building in Florence & is now home to the Chamber of Commerce.

This is the courtroom in the original Pinal County Courthouse.  It was built in 1878 & has since served as a hospital, a health clinic, home for the elderly & now a museum run by the Visitors' Center.  It is part of the McFarland State Historic Park.  Yes, the floors are original!  The wall lamps were oil that have been converted to electric.

There are several original fireplaces in this building.

I was fascinated by some of the photos.  This was somewhere on Main St.

Wouldn't you love to have this piece in your home?

There was no note with this photo, but they look like "Suffragettes" to me! 

St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery
Our first glimpse of the Chapel Belfry.

This is a new chapel (built in 2008) dedicated to the Prophet Elias.  It was sitting high on a hilltop away from the main monastery.

It looked so pristine sitting up there in the AZ sun with the beautiful blue sky as the backdrop.

We just missed the tour but thought we might get to walk around the exterior just a bit.

This is as far as we got before a little tiny, very Greek elderly woman turned us around!  We did find out later that we were not properly attired anyway.  Men must have long sleeves, long pants, shoes & socks.  Women must wear long skirts, long sleeves, full head scarves, & flats with socks.  They do keep some clothing at the gate that you can borrow, but........I don't think so!  We didn't really mind not going inside.  It was a beautiful day, and we thoroughly enjoyed the scenery.  We love exploring our state.  What about ya'll?  Do you enjoy what's close-at-hand and 
want to learn about your state's history?

Hope you didn't mind a little history lesson.  I truly enjoy hearing about other states and their interesting highlights.  My next post will be "home decor" related, I promise!  Thanks for stopping by.

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