Gov. George W. P Hunt’s tomb is a small white pyramid-shaped tomb hidden behind a fence at the top of a hill in Papago Park in Phoenix, Arizona. Gov. Hunt was the state of Arizona’s first governor.
Hunt was a freemason, as were most influential men at the time. As a result, he modeled his own tombstone after the masons’ favorite emblem, the pyramid. Hunt had his wife buried here in a 20-foot-tall pyramid covered in white bathroom tile when she died in 1931. When he died three years later, he joined her, and his in-laws, his wife’s sister, and his daughter followed suit.
According to the National Register of Historic Places, it’s made of concrete and covered in two layers of white ceramic tile, the second of which was applied to preserve the original surface in the 1960s. After vandals defaced the tomb, a tall wrought iron fence was added.The National Register asserts the monument is an important landmark for commuters, visitors and air travelers.
In 2008, the tomb was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is visible from anywhere in Papago Park’s south west section, where it sits atop a large hill overlooking the Phoenix Zoo and provides a panoramic view of the Valley of the Sun’s eastern region. The tomb is distinguished not only by its grand appearance and elevated location, but also by Papago Park’s central location in the state capital during Hunt’s governorship.
The Papago-Saguaro National Monument was designated as a National Monument in 1914, but Congress delisted it in 1930 because tourists had decimated the park’s ecology by cutting down the many saguaros. Hunt commissioned a bass fish hatchery in the park as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project during the Great Depression, which was used to store bass and other fish for Arizona’s waterways. Despite its grand appearance and prominent location, the tomb is modest in size.
Unlike many personal monuments of the time, Hunt’s Tomb is not didactic. It makes no mention of Hunt’s achievements, especially his long tenure as governor, which spanned seven terms.
“Dubbed “King George VII,” he was a friend of the common man and a foe (sometimes) of the railroad and mining trusts, which he referred to as “coyotes” and “skunks,” according to Roadside America. His pyramid has plaques proclaiming that he was a descendant of an unknown “Revolutionary War patriot,” that he allowed women to vote in his state eight years before the rest of the nation, and that he was elected governor of his state.
Phoenix, Arizona is blessed to be the home of so many amazing historical landmarks. Here’s a short list of our favorites:
- Camelback Mountain
- Arizona State Fair
- Heritage Square Phoenix
- Chinese Cultural Center
- Canaan in the Desert
- Gila River War Relocation Center
- Steele Indian School Park
- Tovrea Castle
All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location located at 7319 North 16th Street in Phoenix, Arizona! Stop by for a visit anytime!
By Azwatchdog – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5816262