Friday, December 28, 2007

Concern expressed for historic house in Pinal County

[Source: Mark Cowling, Casa Grande Newspaper] -- Preservationists were abuzz last week with reports that the historic James E. McGee house - better known today as the Pinal County Visitor Center - was slated for demolition. McGee was a former Arizona Ranger who had served several years as Pinal County Sheriff when he died unexpectedly after a short illness in 1914. But if the house is about to be razed, it's news to Pinal County, which owns the building, county government spokesman Joe Pyritz said. He said the building comes up for evaluation periodically, as do all county facilities, but there has been no decision to tear it down.

McGee still has at least one relative left in Florence. Dottie Borree's grandmother was a sister of McGee's wife, Mary, who was a two-term county recorder and the local postmaster for many years. Mrs. Borree said she was startled to hear last week that preservationists were calling the visitor center at 330 E. Butte Ave. the "McGee house." "I don't ever remember a McGee in that house," she said Monday. Rather, she remembered her Aunt Mary in a bigger house, facing the old courthouse, which the county tore down years ago. Yet historical sources such as the state "Historic Property Inventory Form" and the National Historic Register Information System call it the "James E. and Mary McGee House."

[Note: To read the full article, click here. Photo source: Casa Grande Newspaper.]