A journey that began in the early 1990’s when a small group of Fountain Hills citizens gathered to form the Fountain Hills and Lower Verde River Valley Museum and Historical Society, led to the creation of the River of Time Museum located to its current site in the heart of the Town in 2003. Eighteen years later, the River of Time has undergone a complete renovation from the entire interior to the name and mission statement and is poised to become a destination attraction in the Greater Phoenix area.
Now ready to launch, the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers of the River of Time are beyond excited to introduce a facility which reaches beyond the traditional concept of a “museum” and engulfs the visitor in experiences designed to entertain while sharing the multitude of stories that depict life in the Lower Verde River Valley and emphasize the role of water in supporting that life.
The timeline extends from before humans inhabited the area, to the future of water resources in this densely populated desert environment. This journey through the River of Time includes increased interpretation and interactive opportunities for discovery. Partnerships with neighboring organizations like the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy allow for up to date and ever changing information on research like that being done on bat populations in local caves.
Local favorites can still be found in creatively enhanced exhibits. Jack Swilling, known as the “Father of Phoenix” for his work in rediscovering the Hohokam peoples canal system and “Tacky” the P-Bar ranch horse will still greet visitors. New additions include a life size Sonorasaurus painted on the east wall, a mountain lion perched on a rock wall, a trapper working at collecting beaver pelts and archaeologists examining recently unearthed pottery. These vignettes add dimension and character to a dramatically reimagined gallery space.
The Riverbanks Gift Shop will offer locals and visitors a place to shop for unique, locally sourced gifts for every occasion. Re-located to the former Pattea Gallery which is now in the main gallery, the expanded shop space is an extension of the gallery exhibits. Each item is curated to connect to a story in the River of Time.
Local and regional artists will be juried to exhibit their works in the Hall of Art. Those featuring water related themes are encouraged to participate. Local Yavapai artists and crafters will be exhibiting and selling their works in the former shop space.