Originally published Sunday, June 10, 2018 at 06:03a.m.

Prescott’s lore as a frontier town is preserved today in the exhibits, collections and archival records of the Sharlot Hall Museum, the “Crown Jewel” of the Arizona Central Highlands and legacy of a woman far ahead of her time.

For 90 years, the Museum that bears her name plays a central role in the education of youth and children in the AZ Central Highlands. Museum exhibits and programming expose more than 6,000 children annually to the people and events that preceded them in history, thus laying a foundation for each of them as to who we are as a people and what it means to be an Arizonan ... for that matter, an American.

Educational programming includes monthly lectures, presentations, demonstrations, volunteer training, children’s activities, festivals and additional program activities. Children’s day camps include the Day in the Life program, a multi-cultural, two-day camp for Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe and home-schooled youth.

This and other youth programming is designed to fulfill Arizona social studies standards for children in grades one through eight.

The monthly Arizona History Adventure — living history presentations featuring authentic costumes, tools and weapons depicting frontier lifestyles realistically — is akin to the finest offerings of Colonial Williamsburg and other major historic sites, most found east of the Mississippi River.

Encompassing four acres, the Museum campus features an array of historic structures, exhibit galleries, a heritage rose garden, herb gardens and other diverse plants and trees that form a genuine arboretum with few equals in the region.

The Museum preserves more than 40,000 objects in its collections, and its archives and library annually provide full service research opportunities to thousands of patrons through its vast collections of rare books and special holdings of original documents, photographs, maps and oral histories.

The Lawler Exhibit Center, completed in 1979, highlights the area’s history from the earliest Americans (Clovis people) to the Prescott Culture with their hilltop sites, to the coalescence of indigenous people pre-dating the arrival of such European cultures as the Spanish conquistadors of the mid-1500s or U.S. settlers venturing West in the mid-1800s.

The planned Education Center, set to begin construction by early 2019, will feature classrooms and a multi-use auditorium will accommodate expansion of much-needed exhibit space, as well as archival storage and collections space in the basement.

Freed space in the Lawler Center will allow expansion of exhibits and displays to include early exploration by Spanish conquistadors, mountain-men and fur-trappers, and Army surveyors, moving forward to the founding of Prescott with its development into the 20th century, including the world wars and the Great Depression.

For information about the Education Center or about the Museum, call 928-445-3122, or visit the website: www.sharlot.org.

Information and photographs provided by Sharlot Hall Museum.