Tempe, Arizona

Governor Hunt's Pyramid Tomb

The unusual burial monument of Arizona's first governor. 

A stark, white-tiled pyramid stands out against the red desert of Papago Park. It’s not an Egyptian homage, but rather the grave of Arizona’s first governor, George W. P. Hunt, who served between 1912 and 1933.

Known for his mustache, bald head, and impressive girth (he weighed nearly 300 pounds at the height of 5’9”), he was referred to as “Old Walrus.” He’s almost ubiquitously seen as a good man, even by modern standards. He was a proponent of women’s suffrage, as well as the abolition of child labor. He did all the grocery shopping for his household in an era when this was an uncommon chore for men, and knitted scarves for soldiers abroad during World War I. 

Like most powerful men of the period, Hunt was a freemason. So it follows that he designed his own burial marker after the masons’ favorite symbol, the pyramid. Hunt was interred in it in 1934, one year after he left office. His wife’s remains, as well as her parents’ and her sister’s, are buried here too.

The pyramid sits atop a steep hill overlooking Papago Park. The hill provides a scenic view of the desert and the Phoenix Zoo, as well as a couple benches upon which visitors can sit and provide their respects to one of Arizona’s founding fathers.

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