Monday, November 14, 2011
Located in the historical Pioneer Cemetery in downtown Phoenix is the Smurthwaite House. It was built in 1897, and designed by James M. Creighton in a Shingle style. This building is one of a couple 19th-century built homes still standing in Phoenix.
It started out as a boarding house but became a private residence when Captain Trustrim Connell and his wife Anne bought it in 1903. They owned the house for 35 years until it was sold to Caroline Smurthwaite. Her husband was an art dealer and specialized in Native American art. Their daughter, Carolann, became ownership of the house after her parents died. When she died in 1982, she specifically stated in her will that the house be preserved so the public can enjoy it. It was donated to three Arizona museums who entrusted the house to the City of Phoenix.
In 1991, the house went through lots of restoration to bring it back to its former glory. Three years later, the city moved the 3,000 square foot building 26 blocks where the Pioneer Cemetery is located. More restoration was done and by May 17, 2001 the Smurthwaite House was put on the National Register of Historic Places.