Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, Phoenix

4.7
#12 of 13 in Historic Sites in Phoenix
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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The Pioneer and Military Memorial Park is the official name given to seven historic cemeteries in Phoenix, Arizona. The cemeteries were founded in 1884 in what was known as "Block 32". On February 1, 2007, "Block 32" was renamed Pioneer and Military Memorial Park. The Pioneer and Military Memorial Park is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The historic Smurthwaite House, which is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places, is located on the grounds of the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park and is used as the cemetery's main office. Pioneer and Military Memorial Park is the final resting place of various notable pioneers of Phoenix, Arizona.
Prior to the establishment of the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, there were other cemeteries already in existence as early as 1850. The citizens of the newly founded city became concerned with the "old" cemetery, which was once located between 5th and 7th Avenues and Jackson and Madison Streets, near a newly built train station. They feared that the sight of the "old" cemetery would be an unpleasant one to the railroad passengers who would visit the city in the newly established railroad system.
In 1884, the city counsel decided to purchase Block 32 in what archaeologists have now determined were the ruins of a pre-Columbian Hohokam community which they named "La Villa". The families who had their loved ones buried in the old cemetery, had them moved to the new one. The city also reburied the unclaimed bodies in a common grave in the new cemetery. On October 8, 1884, John R. Loosley became the owner of some of the western portion of "Block 32". He moved bodies from the potters field of the old cemetery and buried them in what became known as the "City" or "Loosley" cemetery. In 1888, Lulu G. Porter, wife of DeForest Porter, acquired the south half of Block 32 and had it laid out as a cemetery, which is now known as Porter cemetery.
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Pioneer and Military Memorial Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
8 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • This is a collection of around 7 cemeteries, where the pioneers of Phoenix are buried. Most earlier reviews describe large war & other memorials which are located 2 blocks west by the state capitol... 
    This is a collection of around 7 cemeteries, where the pioneers of Phoenix are buried. Most earlier reviews describe large war & other memorials which are located 2 blocks west by the state capitol...  more »
  • A great park to take people of all ages. This was my second visit and they had added recent wars. It is a great tribute to Americas history. 
    A great park to take people of all ages. This was my second visit and they had added recent wars. It is a great tribute to Americas history.  more »
Google
  • To get inside, make sure to email the address provided. You will also have to arrive, reamlatively promptly, at a designated time (Volunteers will be there to unlock the gate to let you in). The cemetery is a very cool to wander, and the self-guided tour pamphlets are useful, too. Make sure to visit during the cooler weather months though!
  • I heard about & waited for a week for the open house (gates unlocked) & went! I sure am happy that we did! Finally I was able to track down "the Lost Dutchman" & inquire about some certain items. Met an enthusiastic staff, did the scavenger hunt, & had a GREAT time! Quite interesting to view the headstones & symbolism. Looking forward to another open house! Brochure says "open Thurs 10-2pm, BUT I wouldn't count on it. I would look @ Assoc. Facebook page (they're mostly volunteers!) Quite interesting Side note: Re: "Dutchman" You'll just have to read about me in the newspapers! LOL If you get the time & are in to pioneer cemeteries...Go! it's interesting.

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