People who visit Arizona with a craving for some old west atmosphere tend to end up in places like Tombstone to savor what the wild west must have been like. However, there are lots of other towns in Arizona that have held on to the flavors of the west without all the tourist traffic. Florence Arizona is one of those places.
The courthouse has since been replaced by a modern facility on the edge of town but, this building is being restored to serve as government offices.
Main Street in Florence is a treat to explore with many old buildings constructed of adobe bricks still in use today.
The sidewalks are reminiscent of days long passed.
One might pass an antique store or an old saloon that still thrives to this day. These buildings are all adobe walled and built in what was called Sonoran Style. Some of them still have the viga and saguaro rib ceilings.
One place is the headquarters for the Rynning's Rangers, an all volunteer force that provides community service in the form of assistance to law enforcement and to keep alive history, tradition and heritage of the Arizona Territorial Rangers and the old west.
The local newspapers, the Florence Reminder and the Blade Tribune are located in this well-maintained historic house.
Most of the other homes in the central part of town are all constructed from adobe brick with a stucco covering and adorned with beautiful old doors and windows.
Have you ever heard of a the silent film star named Tom Mix? He was the handsome star of some 291 movies between 1909 and 1935. In October of 1940, he was driving from Tucson to Phoenix in a 1937 Cord 812 Phaeton and was probably traveling well over the speed limit (if there was a speed limit at that time) when he lost control of the car and it overturned into a wash. He was killed in the accident that was located on a spot about 18 miles south of Florence. Since then, a memorial to him has been located on the spot and a little roadside rest stop surrounds it. The inscription reads "In memory of Tom Mix, whose spirit left his body on this spot and whose characterizations and portrayals in life served to better fix memories of the old West in the minds of living men."
You won't see any theatrical gun fights or any stage coaches taking visitors for rides but, you will see a little slice of history and you can get a true sense of an old west town by visiting Florence Arizona.