Gilbert Historical Museum

It’s important to remember the past. This week the Liv Northgate Blog is heading over to the Gilbert Historical Museum to explore Gilbert’s history. In this post, we are featuring our past through several of the exhibits at the museum. Gilbert has an important history as first an agricultural center, then as a railroad town, and today as a growing and thriving city. We are going to highlight three exhibits that feature different aspects of life in Gilbert, AZ through the years.


Occupations Exhibit

From the website: “Just like any other American town, early Gilbert residents had to make a living. In the Occupations Exhibit you’ll discover our town’s deep agricultural roots. Did you know that Gilbert was once known as the Hay Shipping Capital of the World? Alfalfa, cotton and dairy farms were vital to the success of the town in the early 20th Century.

As with any agriculturally-based community, a number of professions and businesses sprouted up to support Gilbert farmers in their work. As the community grew, so did the variety of professions. Retail stores, auto garages, a pharmacy and a post office soon offered employment to local workers.”


Town Exhibit

From the website: “Gilbert was named after land speculator William (Bobby) M. Gilbert, who sold his land to the railroad. The railroad established a siding at the site, around which the town started to grow. Unfortunately the town’s railroad depot, built in 1905 just north of the tracks and west of Gilbert Road, was torn down in 1969.

In the Town Room visitors can see two dioramas of our community at different stages of its development (c1917 and c1944) and imagine what life was like! Examine the huge aerial photos of the Gilbert area taken decades ago; try to find where your home now sits, it was probably farmland way back when…”


Model Train Exhibit

From the website: “Gilbert wouldn’t be Gilbert without the railroad; in fact if it wasn’t for the track we wouldn’t be here! The sound of train horns blasting are constant reminders of Gilbert’s railroad past.

Our Model Train exhibit is a work in progress; we partnered with the Gilbert Model Railroad Club a few years ago and work continues every week. Our exhibit depicts the railroad as it was around WWII, showing the trains’ route to and from Gilbert. The Gilbert Model Railroad Club welcomes new members year round.”


Thanks for reading today’s post! Have you ever visited the Gilbert Historical Museum? What was your exhibit? Let us know in the comments.

Gilbert Historical Museum