Pyramid Tomb.

Pyramid Tomb of the Father of Arizona

Field review by the editors.

Florence, Arizona

Charles Debrille Poston was known as "The Father of Arizona" because in the 1860s he'd successfully argued for the creation of the Arizona Territory. He was also a bit of a nut. Fascinated by Zoroastrianism, he wanted to build a temple to the sun atop a volcanic mound outside of Florence -- but he ran out of money.

When Poston died, penniless, in 1902, he was buried in a pauper's grave in Phoenix. That didn't seem right to his friends. So in 1925 they built a 14-foot-tall masonry pyramid atop the desolate mound (now known as Poston Butte), dug up Poston, and reburied him in it, facing the rising sun. His reinterment was attended by a crowd of 1,500, including Arizona's governor.

The crowd was assured by Poston's old friends that despite the reburial and the pyramid and the whole temple to the sun thing, Poston did in fact believe in the Christian god.

Pyramid Tomb of the Father of Arizona

Address:
W. Hunt Hwy, Florence, AZ
Directions:
Drive north out of Florence on Hwy 79, cross the (dry) Gila River, then turn left at milepost 136 onto Hunt Hwy. Drive west 1.5 miles. You'll see a small brown sign on the right, "Poston Butte Monument Park." Turn right, follow the dirt road to the parking area, then follow the trail on foot a half-mile up the hill to the pyramid.
Hours:
Daily dawn-dusk. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Admission:
Free
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

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In the region:
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