Arizona was still a territory, and some years away from becoming a state, when the Rosson House was built in Phoenix in 1895. At the time, Phoenix had a population of a few thousand, not the few million who live there today, and it would be about a year after the Rosson House’s completion that the first palm tree would be planted in what today is the palm-frocked Valley of the Sun.
Today, the Rosson House is the cornerstone of Heritage Square, a half-block area of downtown Phoenix where some of the city’s earliest homes and other buildings have been preserved, and where the rest of the block includes much more modern structures, such as the Arizona Science Center and Phoenix Museum of History and Science.
Early each February, the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department stages a classic car show in Heritage Square: “Motoring Thru Time: Where the transportation past meets the future.”
Heritage Square has room to display about 100 cars and a few vintage camping trailers, with the Rosson House lawn given over to a Heritage Festival that features traditional craft demonstrations and, this year, a real cowboy chuck wagon from the Arizona Historical Society collection.
A vintage fire engine or two from the Hall of Flame museum in Phoenix, a succession of musicians, and a couple of food trucks add to the atmosphere and the attraction as Phoenix makes its annual transition from Arizona Auction Week to its regular weekly wintertime array of classic car shows and cruise-ins.
Photos by Larry Edsall