Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Spanish Missions in Arizona

Building on the success of my California Missions and Texas Missions websites, I've just launched a new site,

There were only five missions built in Arizona, between 1691 and 1768. (Apparently even the Spanish missionaries found 115 degree temperatures a bit extreme.)

The first three were founded by Jesuit missionary Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who was responsible for more than 20 missions.  Most of the missions founded by Kino lie within the Mexican state of Sonora.

The mission church at Mission San Xavier del Bac was constructed between 1783 and 1797.  It is the oldest "European" structure still in use in Arizona.

I've certainly enjoyed learning about the Arizona missions, and in particular the work of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, who has been likened to Saint Junipero Serra, founder of the missions in California.

For my technically inclined readers, the Arizona Missions site is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Hall of Flame Museum of Firefighting

The Hall of Flame is a surprising cool museum located in Phoenix, Arizona. They have a collection of over 80 vehicles used to fight fires, including wagons from the 1700's up through fire engines from the 40s and 50s... plus a lot of other equipment, like helmets and axes.

At 70,000 square feet, this is the largest firefighting collection and museum in the world. It's well worth a couple of hours to explore.

You'll even learn some things.  For example, cities once had lookout towers with bells to keep watch for fires and sound an alarm.

And in more modern times, a "3 alarm fire" means that three different calls were put in for different fire companies to fight a blaze.