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New Trolley Exhibit to be installed in the Capitol Museum this Spring

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We have a new publication "The Trolley Quarterly"

where you can learn more about Phoenix History and the Museum.

We have been working with two venerable museums in the Phoenix area to get our message on street transportation history to a wider audience: The Arizona Capitol Museum and the Heard Museum.

With assistance from the Heard Museum, PTM has opened an exhibit at the Arizona Capitol Museum. In the tradition of “pop up” museums across the world, the installation will be a short term exhibit that tells the Phoenix streetcar story in the original territorial capitol of Phoenix.

This is appropriate since the man who donated the land for the capitol was Moses H. Sherman, early real estate entrepreneur and founder of the Phoenix Street Railway. Sherman knew if you built it, they would come. So, he built one of his trolley lines to the capitol, thus increasing the value of his subdivisions along the route and ensuring customers for his trolleys.

The Heard Museum, one of the world’s preeminent museums for the presentation, interpretation and advancement of American Indian art, highlights the link between Native Americans and early transportation in Phoenix. One of the streetcar routes was the “Indian School Line” which went up Third Street to the Indian School, now part of a city park and the location of three remaining historic buildings. 

The Phoenix Indian School was a federally-operated boarding school in operation for 99 years where children from tribes across the West were sent to receive a Euro-American education. The trolley line to Indian School Road was an important means of transportation for Native peoples in the historic era, both for students traveling around town and for relatives visiting the city.

PTM was very fortunate that the Heard Museum agreed to assist with the temporary exhibit. The Heard is serving as a lending institution willing to donate the part-time services of an exhibit curator for this short-term project.

Even more fortunate for PTM and the community, the Heard Museum has three Andrew W. Mellon Fellows on staff. This is a talented group and it is the second year of the fellowship for two of them. One of the fellows, Velma Craig, will provide research assistance for the PTM project. Velma has written some family-based gallery guides during her first year at the Heard. 


Please assist us in furthering the objectives of the Phoenix Trolley Museum by making a contribution. Your donation will help make it happen.

For additional information, please contact the Phoenix Trolley Museum.

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