Cave Creek Museum and Town of Carefree to honor Gerry Jones

The Cave Creek Museum and the Town of Carefree will honor Gerry Jones, renowned architectural designer, in a ceremony and commemorative plaque installation on Saturday, March 6, 2021 at 10:00am at the Carefree Sundial in Carefree Desert Gardens. “Mr. Jones pioneered Extreme Terrain Architecture in the Southwest in 1953, designing residences that respect and incorporate their natural surroundings, many of which perch on seemingly impossible homesites, clinging to mountainsides or blending in amidst the massive boulders,” according to Images Arizona Magazine.

“Carefree, for me, is like a child,” says Gerry. “I was here at its inception. I watched it grow. I’ve seen it fall down, stumble and scratch its knees. I’ve seen it do some unique things, and I’ve seen it make mistakes. But when I sit here today in my studio, looking east at all the development since 1959 … if you look at it like that, you realize that Tom and KT produced something of true value. Today, I am the only person alive involved in the inception of Carefree.”

“Between 1957 and 1959, Gerry laid out all the roads and lots. He did it on foot, walking and climbing every inch of the land,” explained Images Arizona writer Shannon Severson. “Humorously, some of my friends called me Moses,” says Gerry, “walking through the desert with my staff, leading the bulldozers. I knew exactly where I wanted the road to go. The bulldozers just followed me.”
“The commemorative plaque, commissioned by Cave Creek Museum, was made by Howard Bertram of Bertram Signs & Graphics. Fittingly, the handsome boulder on which the plaque is situated, was selected by Gerry Jones from his Carefree mountain property,” said Suzanne D. Johnson, Interim Executive Director of the Cave Creek Museum, in describing the installation. “The Town of Carefree donated the space and planted the foliage that surrounds the plaque. Thank you, Gary Neiss, Town Administrator, for guiding us through this process. Tom Nichols Excavating provided the crane and Charles Nichols picked up the boulder and put it in place at the Sun Dial, all pro bono.”

The Saturday, March 6 dedication ceremony is open to the public, no rsvp is necessary. The Cave Creek Museum encourages those who attend to “mask up,” practice social distancing, and follow CDC-recommended practices. Visit for current requirements. If you have any questions, please contact the Cave Creek Museum at (480) 488-2764 or email:

The Mission of the Cave Creek Museum is to preserve and interpret the natural resources and cultural heritage of the northern Sonoran Desert. The Museum is located at 6140 E. Skyline Drive, Cave Creek, Arizona, 85331. Follow us at: