The write-up I found was much more than a year old, although that was new to me once I spotted it. The title intrigued me, Did you Know: capital Of Arizona relocated 4 Times before Settling In Phoenix. No, actually I didn’t know that. I’ve featured similar stories that wandering fundings for various other states such together Ohio, Georgia and Alabama. Why not one around Arizona fundings too? The article provided a nice overview so the I can explore few of the stranger aspects and also then the actual areas of that multiple previous capitol buildings.

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Mesilla, brand-new Mexico


For instance, the first Arizona funding was actually situated in brand-new Mexico although not according come the United claims government. The Confederate states of America had a surprisingly solid presence in the neglected farthest southern reaches that the western desert.

The brand-new Mexico territory incorporated an area lived in by modern-day New Mexico and also Arizona in ~ the time. The Confederates claimed the southern half as Arizona throughout the civil War, placing your eastern resources in Mesilla when troops under Col. Man Baylor come in February 1862. No indications remained of their initial capitol building. However, it stood whereby the historical Fountain Theater later on rose in the 1870’s and also still operates this particular day (map). The Confederate federal government wouldn’t last long there. Union troops journey Baylor and also his rebellious pressures into Texas a few months later.



The united States government looked unfavorably ~ above the Confederate incursion as one would certainly expect. So that diluted Confederate sympathies by cleaving Arizona native the western fifty percent of new Mexico rather than the southerly half. Prescott became the Arizona resources in so late 1863 at nearby Fort Whipple (map), an military base.

A few months later the capital moved into the city of Prescott proper and also into more suitable accommodations. A big log structure served as the seat of government as well as the governor’s home. They sold it together a exclusive residence once no much longer needed, as soon as the capital finally wandered far to a new location for good. The City of Prescott preserved the building at its original location. Now it creates the backbone of the Sharlot hall Museum (map).

As the museum explained,

“The log residence served together both home and also office because that Territorial Governor man Goodwin and Secretary Richard McCormick. In September 1865, when Goodwin was elected Territorial Delegate to Congress and also returned to the east, McCormick lugged his brand-new wife Margaret the end from brand-new Jersey, and he soon came to be our second territorial governor… In 1867, the Territorial funding was moved to Tucson, and also Governor McCormick went v it.”


Charles O. Brown House

The capital would continue to be in Tucson because that the next decade, from 1867-1877 (it had additionally served as the western Confederate resources briefly during the war). However, Arizona didn’t build a devoted structure to home the territorial government. The permanent place for its chair of government ongoing to remain unsettled, through political forces nearly evenly divided between choosing Prescott and also Tucson.

Instead the territorial federal government met in number of privately-owned infrastructure spread transparent the town at any type of given time, many famously the Congress hall Saloon. I had a complicated time recognize the specific location of the saloon due to the fact that it was torn under in the at an early stage 1900’s. But I finally did track the site down come a spot along among Tucson’s major road — conference Street (named because that the saloon). The cross roads were Congress and Meyer (map) return Meyer no much longer extends through there anymore.

The Congress room Saloon played a prominent duty in the history of Tucson. Charles Brown was its proprietor, and his house still exist at 40 W. Broadway Boulevard, a pair of block to the east of the old saloon. Not just did the saloon serve as casual territorial funding it likewise hosted an 1871 conference “of prominent townsmen… during which the municipality that Tucson was organized and also officers elected.”

Few frameworks of an ideal size exist in an emerging frontier town. For this reason they chose a saloon and also didn’t care around the alcohol component of it.



Political wrangling continued. The resources moved ago to Prescott in 1877 where it remained until 1889. Finally, the legislature resolved on Phoenix. This time the ar stuck. They determined a weaken location around halfway in between Prescott and also Tucson. If political leaders couldn’t decision on one town or the other at the very least they could stick it in the middle.

A new capitol structure (map) soon emerged on the spot and remained in business until the 1960’s when replaced by the existing capitol building adjacent to it. The initial Phoenix structure then became the Arizona Capitol Museum.

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Old sympathies died hard top top the frontier and much more than a few recalcitrant Confederates stayed in Arizona years after the Civil war ended. Arizona ended up being a state on February 14, 1912. The was fifty year to the job from as soon as Colonel Baylor asserted a Confederate Arizona top top February 14, 1862, establishing its capital in Mesilla.