The Fredonia Town Council was treated to a private tour of the Red Pueblo Museum Tuesday as their council work meeting.

Founder Dixon Spendlove led the group through the extensive collection of primarily Anasazi artifacts. His vast knowledge of the period, culture and people shone through his informative and entertaining presentation. According to Spendlove, many of the artifacts have been donated for display at the museum by local families, including the Van Gorder family, who is largely responsible for the arrowhead collection. 

The Red Pueblo Museum is home to many unique pieces rarely seen by the public, such as a medicine bundle or shaman’s bundle. Hand woven footwear dating back to 400 to 700 AD, an eight to ten thousand year old Sandia-style arrowhead, children’s toy bow and arrows, as well as pottery, baskets, rugs and more fill the display cases.

The Fredonia Town Council was given a glimpse into Anasazi life through the tour. They were then taken outside to the historical park, where Spendlove is working with the Fredonia Historical Society and the Incorporated Arizona Strip Historical Society, to recreate historical homesteads of the Arizona Strip.

Spendlove gave a brief history about homesteading in the 1920s and 30s. He explained during that time, the government would issue a deed to anyone who could homestead a property on the Arizona Strip for 10 years. Very few were able to make it. One such family had access to a camera and documented their life as homesteaders. Some of their pictures portrayed the small 10x12 dwelling they built for their family prior to being “starved out,” according to a letter they had written to the government to release them from their homesteading obligation. 

Through these pictures and other research, the organizations are able to recreate the home with donations from many community members and the Town of Fredonia, as well as donated labor.