In April, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed by Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey.
The lockdown continued for nearly two months. When Gov. Ducey finally gave the go ahead to reopen, businesses slowly began the road to recovery. Even those listed as “essential” had a challenge with this economic recovery.
Many small businesses and non-profits in Arizona didn’t survive the lockdown. The businesses that did survive are hanging on as best they can. Copper Area News wanted to give something back to the local business community. Over the next several weeks, our newspapers (Copper Basin News, Superior Sun and San Manuel Miner) will be featuring local businesses and non-profits, encouraging our readers to Shop at Home, stay local and support our local businesses.
In San Manuel, the San Manuel Historical Society Museum has had to adapt to a new normal. For the volunteers serving as docents, it has meant face masks and limited access for members of the public. While the museum used to have regular hours open to the public, now it is only open by appointment.
The pandemic hasn’t stopped society members from amassing a beautiful collection of gems and minerals and other memorabilia of a mining age that has passed into memory here in the Tri-Community. One of the most unique items in the museum’s collection is an original street light from when San Manuel first became a town.
Looking for a unique gift, why not purchase one of Onofre “Taffy” Tafoya’s books on the area, Los Mineros and Mother Magma? Both books are sold by the historical society and profits go directly to the San Manuel Historical Society.
The historical society depends on donations from patrons. It used to be supported through sales at a thrift store, located several doors down from the museum. Unfortunately, the thrift store fell victim to the pandemic and the crashing economy. The store was unable to remain open and closed its doors last year. The San Manuel Historical Society gladly welcomes donations, both historic and monetary. Currently, the society is looking for donations of photos of San Manuel when Magma was running it. Monetary donations are also needed. If you’d like to help, send your donation by mail to San Manuel Historical Society, PO Box 742, San Manuel, AZ 85631.
Sharon Matthews is the current president and Kathy Phipps is the treasurer. If you’d like to make an appointment to tour the museum and view their wonderful collection, please call Sharon at 520-279-5002 or Kathy Phipps at 520-385-4465.