Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, Phoenix

#12 of 13 in Historic Sites in Phoenix
Cemetery · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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
  • Road trip! This beautiful park is located in front of the Arizona stare capitol building. Very nice and well done memorials!  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.  more »
  • We came here for a volunteer event to help clean up and rejuvenate the cemetery by planting trees, pulling out weeds, and picking up debris. It was a great event, but as for the cemetery itself, there's a lot of rich history. The caretakers (who were very kind and helpful throughout the entire event) were very knowledgeable in not only the history of the cemetery and those who were buried there, but also of the history of the entire area any how things have changed over the years. There were a lot of interesting things in the area to take a look at with lots of great stories.
  • Went there for an ice cream social. I've been there many times before and it is a wonderful place to visit. You get a chance to learn some of the history of old Phoenix.

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