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Upcoming Museum Programs and Events

Chandler - Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, November 7, 2015Join us for the 8th Annual Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, November 10 - 11, 2017 (Family)

 Experience a rare, up-close look at Western history at this family friendly culinary event. Using historic cooking methods, authentic 1880s chuck wagons from around the Southwest compete to cook up the best meals fit for the trail. Wagon teams win prizes in various food categories, and the public can purchase these unique chuck wagon meals. Enjoy live music, Western history and cooking demonstrations, group tours and much more!.

Information on this year's event being updated weekly! 

New this year: 
- Live Music from Valley Fever - Barefoot and Pregnant, Pick & Holler, Chip Hanna, August Manley's Premiere Waylon Jennings Tribute
- Presale tickets for a catered wagon-style meal on Saturday (Get tickets here)
- Friday evening Sunset Dinner on the Ranch, benefiting Pardners of Tumbleweed Ranch (Get tickets here)


NEW! Alamo Drafthouse with Chandler Museum presents Chuck Wagon Westerns (Family)

Join Alamo and Chandler Museum for three special screenings of Chuck Wagon Westerns during the month of October to celebrate the 8th Annual Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, taking place November 10 – 11. Mark your calendar for October 5, October 19 and October 26. Movies start at 7 p.m. and tickets are $9. Click on the movie and date below for more information and to purchase your ticket. 

City Slickers -  Thursday, October 5  - enjoy the family-friendly film, “City Slickers,” starring Billy Crystal. Mitch (Billy Crystal) is a middle aged big-city radio ads salesman. He and his friends Ed (Daniel Stern) and Phil (Bruno Kirby) are having a mid-life crisis. They decide the best birthday gift is to go on a two week holiday in the wild west driving cattle from New Mexico to Colorado. There they meet cowboy Curly (Jack Palance) who not only teaches them how to become real cowboys, but also one or two other things about life in the open air of the west.

Silverado - Thursday, October 19 - see Kevin Kline, Danny Glover, Kevin Costner and Scott Glenn travel to the city of “Silverado.” In 1880, four men travel (Kline, Glover, Costner, and Glenn) together to the city of Silverado. They come across many dangers before they finally engage the "bad guys" and bring peace and equality back to the city.

Maverick -  Thursday, October 26 - watch the comedy antics of Jodie Foster, James Garner and Mel Gibson in “Maverick.” Ante up – for laughter and action aplenty! Mel Gibson is sly gambler Bret Maverick, Jodie Foster is a charming scam artist and James Garner (the original Bret Maverick from the Emmy-winning TV series) is a laid-back lawman in this crowd-pleaser that deals you a winning hand. A riverboat poker tourney promises a winner-take-all $500,000…and Bret aims to be the winner who does the taking! But first he must cope with the hangman’s noose, a runaway stage, a wily Indian chief, outlaws, ingrates, rattlesnakes and more close calls than a long-tailed cat in a roomful of rocking chairs. Under the wily direction of Richard Donner (LETHAL WEAPON, THE GOONIES), these jokers are wild!

NEW! Tumbleweed Ranch Time Travelers   (Youth)

See the 100-year-old McCroskey House, the Grocery Store, and historic farm equipment as you dive into historical activities at Tumbleweed Ranch. Plant a seed, make a mini scarecrow, test your speed on the sack race course, feel some cotton bolls straight off the plant, and more.  Each month, includes four new hands-on activities set up throughout the Ranch.  Programs in this series promote developmental skills, let youth explore historical methods and tools, and include a take-home item. Appropriate for early childhood participants and homeschool families.

Second Tuesdays, October- April, 10 - 11 a.m., Free to attend

MARK YOUR CALENDAR with the upcoming dates! 
October 10
November 14
December 12
January 9
February 13
March 13
April 10

NEW! Local Voices* Arizona Stories    (Adults)

Discover unique Chandler and Arizona stories of the past through first-person accounts, demonstrations, multimedia presentations, music, and conversation. 

The Our Stories speaker series hosts speakers throughout the year to provide expert insight into the history of Chandler, the Valley and Arizona. Presentations in this series are presented by the Chandler Museum at Chandler Public Library, with support from Chandler Historical Society and the Friends of the Chandler Public Library, in an effort to bring arts, history and culture to Chandler residents and visitors. 

If you have questions or would like more information on Our Stories, call 480-782-2751. 

October 7Robert F. Bender: A World War II Bomber Pilot's Stories from Europe 
10:30 a.m., Chandler Downtown Library  WATCH THE VIDEO OF THIS TALK

Our Stories - Vietnam Stories, October 28, 2017October 28From Chandler to the Vietnam War: A Conversation with Maria Luisa Ayala Mellman, Army Combat Nurse

10:30 a.m., Chandler Downtown Library

PBS recently aired The Vietnam War, a documentary series. Explore a local story with Chandler native Maria Luisa Ayala Mellman, who will present her wartime experience. Maria Luisa traces her roots to the Marquez family, who journeyed from Mexico to Chandler in the early 1900s, eventually opening El Zacatecaña grocery store in the Southside neighborhood. She graduated from Chandler High School in 1961, and entered Arizona State University with a nursing school scholarship.  In the midst of the turbulent sixties, she joined the Army Nurse Corp and was stationed at the 12th Evacuation Hospital, northeast of Saigon in 1967. She became the first Mexican American combat nurse to care for 25th Infantry Division soldiers, the “Tropic Lightning” Division that incurred heavy casualties under questionable orders. Become a part of the discussion with Maria Luisa and Dr. Christine Marin as they provide insight into the experiences of a Vietnam War nurse, Chandler’s historic Mexican American community, and the how the war affected local towns and communities. 

November 18Always Ready, Always There: Stories from the Arizona Army National Guard

10:30 a.m., Chandler Basha Library

Arizona Army National Guard members have served at home and abroad for over 150 years. This presentation features unique stories of Arizona National Guard members. Young men of the O’odham and Maricopa Indians helped originate the National Guard as scouts against the Apache Indians in the late 1860s. Activities of the National Guard from the early 1900s are revealed through the story of Tempe’s Cresencio “Chris” Sigala, who later served the city of Tempe as constable, assistant fire chief, as well as a leader for Hispanic civil rights. Turning to contemporary times, Rose Mattie, a native of Minnesota, joined the Arizona Army National Guard as a Mechanic and then CBRN Specialist. She was deployed to Iraq two times between 2003 and 2010. In 2011 Rose was assigned to an elite all-women’s team that supported the Green Berets in Afghanistan. She is now a part-time Blackhawk Pilot for the National Guard. 

NEW! Chandler Museum in the Community (Adults)

Chandler Museum does presentations and talks at locations throughout the Valley on a variety of topics, sharing the knowledge and insight we have gained from local history and parts of our collection. Hear new stories you didn't know took place in our community. 

New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning @ Mesa Community College 

Chandler Museum staff are presenting at New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning, an organization dedicated to adults wishing to continue their discovery of knowledge and advance their learning, located at Mesa Community College. Below are the programs staff will be presenting. Registration and additional information can be found at the link above. 

Dorothea LangeVisual Stories: Dorothea Lange's Depression Era Photography in Chandler, Arizona - September 28 (presented by Tiffani Egnor)

This lecture covers some of the history when Depression Era photographer Dorothea Lange visited Chandler three times in the later 1930s/early 1940s. She photographed people and places in and around chandler, including an auto camp, the Farm Security Administration Cooperative, a migrant family, and more. This talk will highlight her Chandler photographs and dive into the people and places that were her subjects. It will also cover the impact of the Great Depression on Chandler.

Chandler's Confidence Scheme: Selling a Green Garden in a Dry Desert - October 4 and October 11 (presented by Jody Crago) Chandler's Confidence Scheme

Session 1: Explore the technology and ingenuity of getting water to the south end of the Valley in the early 1900s. Learn how founder Dr. A.J. Chandler convinced people that the land in the East Valley was valuable once water was acquired. This session will expose Chandler's creative interpretation of water law and water rights as he convinced people to invest in the area. 

Session 2: Once Dr. Chandler got water to the East Valley, understand how people acquired land. Learn about the shady business deals as Dr. Chandler fraudulently acquired land when people couldn't pay their mortgages. Topics include the Desert Land Act of 1877, the Consolidated Canal Company, Land Sale Day in Chandler in 1912, and the Congressional investigation that followed. 

Frank Lloyd WrightFrank Lloyd Wright and a New Vision for Chandler @ Queen Creek Library - October 12, 6:30 p.m. (presented by Jody Crago)

American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright spent time in Chandler from the late 1920s through the mid 1930s working on various projects in and around Chandler. While most of these projects never came to fruition, his vision for Chandler and the surrounding area was inspired by the desert and its unique landscape. This talk will cover various Wright projects in Chandler, including the San Marcos on the Desert and Broadacre City, and incorporate the correspondence between Dr. AJ Chandler and Wright which sheds light on their decision-making process and the missed opportunities including his potential site for his Arizona architecture school in the San Tan Mountains.

​​New Adventures in Learning @ Sun Lakes Center of Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Chandler's Early Water and Land Story - October 3 and October 10 (presented by Jody Crago) 

Explore the technology and ingenuity of getting water to the south end of the Valley of the Sun in the early 1900s. This class will expose Dr. A.J. Chandler’s creative interpretation of water law and water rights as he convinced people to invest in the area. It will also introduce you to well documented shady business deals of Dr. Chandler as he acquired land when people could not pay their mortgages.​

Heavyweight: Race, Religion, and a Boxing Title @ Robson Library - December 7, 1 p.m. (presented by Jody Crago)Zora Folley

In 1967, Chandler citizen and professional boxer Zora Folley challenged heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.  Learn the unique circumstances of this fight as race, religion, and sport intersected. Understand the context surrounding this fight, its impact on Chandler residents, and its influence on American culture. 


NEW! STEM Saturday  (Youth)Museum of Science and Sustainability - Chandler Museum

Enjoy science experiments with the whole family. Programming done in partnership with the Museum of Science and Sustainability.  Join us one Saturday every month, October - May, 10am-1pm, Tumbleweed Ranch (located at Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S. McQueen Road), Free*. 

October 14 - Urban Gardening
Come experience an ancient Native American farming tradition and explore companion planting with the Museum of Science and Sustainability at Tumbleweed Ranch. You’ll have the chance to experiment with a water-conserving sub-irrigation method and make your own green onion preservation system that can last for months without refrigeration. The program is free. Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum. 

November 11 - Communication
Come explore how your ancestors communicated in the days before Twitter! Join us at STEM Saturday with the Museum of Science and Sustainability at Tumbleweed Ranch as we explore the wonders of telephone switchboards. The program is free and will take place during the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-off. Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum.

December 9 - Marvelous Materials
Test the tensile strength of your hair and show us what you’re made of at the Museum of Science and Sustainability at Tumbleweed Ranch! You’ll also get to compare the mettle of different metals and use ferrofluids to see magnetism in action. The program is free. Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum. 

January 20 - Wonderous Waves
Make waves with the Museum of Science and Sustainability at Tumbleweed Ranch! Interact with all kinds of waves from sounds to splashes. You'll have the chance to see a noise and hear faster than the speed of sound! The program is free. Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum. 

February 10 - Microorganisms: the Invisible World
Explore the microscopic world of microorganisms with the Museum of Science and Sustainability at Tumbleweed Ranch. You’ll see just how small bacteria really are and how fast they can multiply. Learn about the secret ingredients that keep the ecosystem -and your own body- running. The program is free.  Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum

March 10 - Birds and Flight
Discover the world of birds with the Museum of Science and Sustainability at the Chandler Ostrich Festival at Tumbleweed Ranch. You'll have the chance to race our bouncy ostriches, feel the wind beneath your wings, and figure out why some birds can’t fly. The program is free.  Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum.

April 14 - Electricity: May the Spark be With You
Experience electricity with the Museum of Science and Sustainability at Tumbleweed Ranch. See how science progressed from static to circuits, and make some sparks of your own! Harness the humble electron to create light, magnets, and motors. The program is free.  Drop by anytime between 10am-1pm. Hosted by the Chandler Museum.  

Chandler Museum at the Library  (Youth)

Chandler Museum partners with Chandler Public Library to offer programming during CUSD intersession breaks. Experience the Museum and learn about the past at your local library. These programs are designed for youth, ages 6 - 11. These programs are free to attend. Come back to see what we have coming up next! Thank you to everyone who came and enjoyed "Life on the Cattle Drive" during the Fall break. Check out some photos from this program. 

Happy 100th Birthday to the McCroskey House  (Family)

McCroskey House 100th Birthday!Thank you to everyone who came out for the birthday party on October 6! We hope you enjoyed the wonderful live jazz music and tours of the house. 

Built in 1917, the McCroskey House provides a special look at life in the East Valley 100 years ago. The 600-square-foot kit home was ordered from a catalog and originally located on Pecos Rd., between Price and Dobson Roads. The Edwards, Austin, and McCroskey families lived in the house. Mona McCroskey donated the house to the City of Chandler in 1997. It was moved to Tumbleweed Ranch in 1999 and serves as an experiential learning space for elementary school students visiting the Ranch on field trips. #McCroskeyTurns100  Take a look at the formal invitation. 

If you would like to send a birthday card to the McCroskey House, please send it to Chandler Museum, Mail Stop 305, P.O. Box 4008, Chandler, AZ 85244, Attn: McCroskey House

Trivia Night with Hipstorian Marshall Shore   (Adults)

Trivia Night with Marshall Shore, June 14, 2016Thank you to everyone who joined us for Trivia Night events this year! We had a blast! 

And, thank you to The Ostrich and Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas for hosting our trivia events. We look forward to seeing everyone in 2018. Check back for upcoming details. 

2017 Trivia Nights

The Original Food Truck: Chuck Wagons and the Wagon Trail - Tuesday, October 17, 7 - 9 p.m., Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 4955 S. Arizona Ave, Chandler

Giddy up, guys and gals! It is time to go head-to-head with other trivia teams as you test your knowledge about the original food truck – the chuck wagon – and the wagon trail. Cocktail in one hand, pencil in the other and delicious food in front of you, it is a guaranteed fun time! Did we mention there are prizes? And, a raffle? Well, now we did! Come on out and compete in trivia team of four to six. 

Hot, Hot, Hot: Top Chandler Headlines - Tuesday, August 15, 7 - 9 p.m., The Ostrich (basement of Crust), 10 N. San Marcos Place, Chandler

We had an amazing time with everyone who came to The Ostrich for this trivia night. Who else was surprised that Moses Green was missing a lovely stove and wash basin with utensils...and it was worthy of a headline in 1915? Well, the fine people who won the grand prize will be glad they know. They won tickets provided by Chandler Center for the Arts to see Charles Phoenix in October. 

The East Valley's Baseball Past - Tuesday, June 13, 7 - 9 p.m., Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 4955 S. Arizona Ave, Chandler

We had a great time at our inaugural trivia night at Alamo! Congratulations to the team that won with their mad knowledge about Valley baseball! We look forward to seeing everyone at the next Trivia Night. 

The Streets of Chandler - Tuesday, May 30, 7 - 9 p.m., The Ostrich (basement of Crust), 10 N. San Marcos Place, Chandler

Thank you to everyone who came to trivia night! It was a great time and a wonderful way to extend the long holiday weekend.
Congratulations to Vice Mayor Hartke and his colleagues on TEAM HEATHER!

Check out photos from two of last year's events: 

September 20, 2016
June 14, 2016

America in Times of Conflict
America in Times of Conflict

America in Times of Conflict was a collaborative series of panel discussions, exhibits, movies, lectures and performances made possible through a partnership between Chandler Public Library, Chandler Museum, Chandler Senior Center and Chandler Center for the Arts. Running November 2016 through April 2017, its programs explored the stories and perspectives from our local community during military conflicts in American history, including World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Many of the programs in this project were supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Below are a list of exhibits and programs in which Chandler Museum had a part: 

February 7 - September 2 @ Chandler Museum - Un-American: Japanese Internment in Our Backyard
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were confined to internment camps. Approximately 15,000 individuals – women, men and children – were relocated to Gila River Internment Camp only a few miles away from Chandler, simply because they looked like the enemy. Experience the photos and stories of the people who were forced to leave behind almost everything they owned to live in stark conditions in the middle of the desert.   

ARCHIVED: February 18 - Un-American: Japanese Internment in Our Backyard
On the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066, Dr. Richard Matsuishi and Museum Director Jody Crago spoke about Japanese internment during World War II. Watch the videoSee the photos

Interested in learning more? Check out the custom-curated list of books on Internment and other topics in the series, compiled by librarians at Chandler Public Library. Just click on the image below. 

Also, keep an eye out for our traveling banner exhibit that honors Chandler veterans at all of the America in Times of Conflict programs. A full list of programs for the series can be found here

Celebration Plaza

Located at Tumbleweed Park, Celebration Plaza honors service organizations and a select group of residents, living or deceased, for their civic leadership, public outreach, personal service and commitment to the community.  Each year, the public can nominate up to two individuals and/ or organizations to be permanently recognized. Nominations for Celebration Plaza have closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted a person or organization worthy of recognition.

Read more about Celebration Plaza.

May 18 - International Museum Day - Check out our album!