The White Mountains, and Greer in particular, holds special historical significance for the state of Arizona. In fact, the state’s oldest continually operating hotel is Molly Butler Lodge in Greer– officially established in 1910. With the spunky Molly as host, the Lodge quickly became the center of Greer community life– a place to enjoy a home cooked meal and laugh with friends. It was a friendly frontier outpost that eventually attracted many high profile, out-of-town guests.
Throughout the years, Molly entertained Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover, western novelists Zane Grey, James Willard Schultz, Stewart Edward White and Mary Roberts Rinehart, and Hollywood Westerns legend John Wayne– just to name a few.
The Butterfly Lodge Museum
The storied past of a famous Western writer James Willard Schultz (1859 – 1947) and his artist son, known as Lone Wolf, springs to life at Butterfly Lodge Museum. Nestled on a knoll among towering pines near a spring that trickles to the Little Colorado River this is a destination not to be overlooked!
Butterfly Lodge was built in Greer in 1914. The cabin’s name (“Apuni Oyis” in Blackfoot) was inspired by the countless butterflies in the nearby meadows.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you’ll take a step back in time here enjoying the original furnishings, artifacts, and a gift and book area that include the creative works of both father and son.
Open: Memorial Day ~ Labor Day, Thursday ~ Sunday & Holidays… 10 am ~ 5 pm
Admission: $2 Adult ~ $1 Youth (12 – 17), Children Free – Programs Free or by Donation
Located at the SE corner of St. Rt. #373 & Co. Rd. #1126
X Diamond Ranch Museum & More Nearby Historical Sites
This is a truly unique museum with antiques and artifacts from the Old West. Frontier buildings have been authentically restored to their original condition. Around every corner you’ll see turn of the century vintage fashions. The Music Hall is filled with old-fashioned instruments that are truly one of a kind, such as the rare Violano, patented in 1912, and a Swiss music box patented in 1865. Drop a nickel into a Nickelodeon and let yourself dance to the old time saloon music.
Listen as your guide at The Little House Museum relates stories about the pioneers, preachers and outlaws! Find out about the famous Clanton Gang of Tombstone and see one of the original hideouts of the famous outlaw Butch Cassidy. Learn of the settlement of the Eastern Arizona territory and of the conflicts and hardships of those early settlers.
Museum Tours are by reservation only, so please call (928) 333-2286 to schedule your visit.
Archaeological Dig… and more Ancient Sites… only minutes from Greer!
Why go to the movies when you can have your very own archaeology adventures right here in the White Mountains?! The Southwest is home to some fascinating archaeological sites and you can actually participate in your own dig at an intimate Field School offered 15 minutes from Molly Butler Lodge at X Diamond Ranch (owned by Molly Butler’s descendants).
You can enroll in their Field School and spend the day (or longer) excavating a 1,000 year old native settlement, uncovering artifacts dating as far back as 800 A.D. It’s a chance to learn how the professionals do it! Materials and both laboratory and field techniques are the same as those used in Universities throughout the Southwest. All necessary equipment is provided for your enjoyment.
Looking for more? A bit further down Route 260 in Springerville AZ, you can explore Pre-Columbian ruins at The National Historic Landmark, Casa Malpais. Also, check out the Raven Site Ruin just north of Casa Malpais. Raven Site Ruin features two kivas and more than 800 rooms occupied by a long-vanished culture that thrived here between 1000 – 1450 A.D.