Early Oracle Snapshots was funded in part by the Arizona Historical Society. This introductory hallway exhibit on the region’s history covers the period from the first days of the Hohokam, Sobaipuris and Apache through the rise of cattle ranches and tuberculosis health resort hotels of the early 1900s. This exhibit draws on the Society’s extensive photo archives, and offers a window onto the mutli-racial pioneer world of early Oracle and the surrounding region.
A display of paintings by cowboy artist Lee Kannally and an array of historic cowboy and other ranching artifacts are also displayed inside the Museum.
Oracle’s role in the rise of the tuberculosis and other lung ailment sanatoriums is explored in Health Seekers In Oracle: Tuberculosis and Treatment, 1890s-1940s.
The exhibit, made possible with a grant from the Arizona Historical Society, was curated by local history author Catherine Ellis and fabricated by architectural designer Chuck Sternberg. A generous loan of medical equipment and other artifacts from McFarland State Park made it possible for OHS to give visitors an idea of what it was like for TB patients at the Acadia Ranch 100 ago, when fresh air and a good diet were the only front-line treatments.
In 2011, OHS was selected as a one of six Arizona sites to host the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit, Key Ingredients: America by Food, a Smithsonian “Museum on Main Street” Traveling Exhibition that explored the ways in which history, tradition and culture have shaped how Americans enjoy food. OHS developed a rich complement of programs, including its own regional food exhibit and community cookbook/memoir, wild food tours and cooking demos, a workshop on making a clay oven, kids quilting and cooking activities and two talks, one on the Harvey Girls and one on Arizona food during the Depression.
The OHS companion exhibit, Let’s Have a Picnic! Outdoor Eating from Wikiups to Homesteads to Hotels, focusing on regional food traditions remains on display in the annex room next to the Museum kitchen. The exhibit was funded by a grant from the Arizona Humanities Council.
During the Smithsonian exhibit, OHS produced a cookbook that includes local family recipes, photos and stories. Family Feasts: Recipes and Stories from the Galiuros to the Catalinas is currently available for purchase at the Acadia Ranch Museum.
Other previously featured exhibits included: The Forgotten ‘C’: Arizona Citrus and the Artwork It Inspired, which also visited the Tempe Historical Museum and Sahuaro Ranch Park; Dudes & Cowboys: 100 Years of Rancho Linda Vista, an exhibit devoted to the first Arizona dude ranch that catered to Hollywood; and The Rossis: Three Generations of Arizona Artists.
The exhibit Oracle in 1912 was created with the help of a grant from Arizona Historical Society to celebrate Arizona’s Centennial. Featuring a 3D diorama of Oracle in 1912, as well as historic photos and maps, the exhibit highlights many of the notable and nationally known figures who sought out Oracle at the turn of the last century, both as a cure for lung ailments and as a refuge from the worlds of commerce, politics and Hollywood. This exhibit was curated by history writer Catherine Ellis and architectural design / history expert Chuck Sternberg.