Archaeological Investigations at McFarland State Historical Park, Florence, Arizona

Author(s): Lyle M. Stone

Year: 1979


In 1975, the Arizona State Parks Board acquired a portion of lot 38 within the Town of Florence, Pinal County, Arizona. This lot, located north of Fifth Street between Granite Street on the west and Main Street on the east, is adjacent to the north side of McFarland State Historical Park (Figure 1). The State Park is located on lot 67 and includes the restored 1877-1878 first Pinal County Courthouse. Lot 38 is now a part of the park property and it has been proposed that a new archives building be constructed near the south end of the lot. The archives building will appear as a replica of the A. J. Doran House (1884-1968), an historic dwelling originally located on lot 38, and will serve as a repository for collections of historical documents, including those of former Arizona Governor and Pinal County official Ernest W. McFarland.

In 1968, prior to the acquisition of this property by the State of Arizona, the Doran House was condemned and demolished by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors. Demolition consisted of bulldozing the Doran House down and pushing the rubble to the north end of lot 38. In developing plans for the construction of the new archives building, the Arizona State Parks Board recognized that this proposed action might adversely affect any remaining sub-surface evidence of the Doran House. As a result, the Parks Board authorized Archaeological Research Services (under A.G. Contract 0061) to conduct archaeological test excavations at the proposed archives building site in order to determine if important archaeological or historical remains were present within the area of direct construction impact.

Since the proposed archives building site appeared to be between the south end of the Doran House and the north side of the restored Pinal County Courthouse, a test excavation program was initially designed to expose and define the exact location of the Doran House, and to determine if other archaeological remains were present in a vacant area to the south of the Doran House. Based on the results of these investigations, then, Archaeological Research Services was to develop recommendations concerning the disposition of archaeological or historical remains which might be adversely affected by construction actions. If necessary, Archaeological Research Services was also to consider possible alternative locations for the archives building.

Archaeological field investigations were undertaken by Lyle M. Stone and Edward M. Fortier of Archaeological Research Services between February 19 and 23, 1979. Field activities consisted of locating, exposing, and documenting surface and sub-surface evidence of the Doran House. This field work was supplemented by a review of pertinent historical photographs and documents, including the 1890, 1898, 1911, 1915, and 1941 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Florence, and photographs of the Doran House dated ca. 1885 and 1897.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations at McFarland State Historical Park, Florence, Arizona. Lyle M. Stone. Tempe, AZ: Archaeological Research Services. 1979 ( tDAR id: 399357) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8BK1F71

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Coverage

Calendar Date: 1884 to 1968 (Years between construction and demolition of the A. J. Doran House.)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -111.407; min lat: 33.015 ; max long: -111.373; max lat: 33.056 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Arizona State Parks

Contributor(s): Edward M. Fortier

Permitting Agency(s): Arizona State Museum

Prepared By(s): Archaeological Research Services

Submitted To(s): State of Arizona

Record Identifiers

A.G. Contract No.(s): 0061

Purchase Order(s): 1763

Arizona State Museum Permit No.(s): 79-03

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
McFarland-state-historic-park.pdf 1.66mb May 1, 1979 Sep 28, 2015 11:02:52 AM Public
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