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From the Desk of the Executive Director

by | Feb 14, 2024

A Sweet Story of Past & Present Meeting at the River of Time

We were pleased to welcome over sixty students from the fourth grade at McDowell Mountain Elementary School as they launched their Creating Community curriculum. River of Time Education Docents created seven stations each highlighting a different area of community building. Students rotated through the stations and received a stamp in their passport books to show that they completed the activity at the station.

Stations included composing a short story using petroglyphs, early settlers of the Verde Valley River region video, the water cycle and how water affected settlements, and stories of the ancient settlers, the Yavapai people. In addition to River of Time Docents M.J. Gallagher, Carol Holt, Stan Ziefert, Mary Endorf, Mary Burritt, and Rose Ullrich, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Cultural Center Director, Clissene Lewis, shared a beading activity and stories of her Yavapai heritage.

One of the stations was located in the Fountain Hills Gallery underneath a banner depicting the Town’s first resident, Sally Atchinson (Bailee). One of the students looked up, read the text and exclaimed “that’s my address”. It turned out that Aiden Smith and his family are the current residents at the historic home.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, about a half an hour later, totally by coincidence, Sally Atchinson herself came to do some business at the River of Time. We were so thrilled that Aiden was still on site and we were able to capture this wonderful picture.

It isn’t often that the past and present intersect so sweetly!

Cherie Koss
Executive Director, River of Time Museum & Exploration Center