Arizona Nuthouse and the Demise of Nickerson Farms

Nickerson Farms Family Restaurant stood abandoned for decades before the structure finally collapsed in late 2013.

Abandoned Nickerson Farms Family Restaurant ruins near Picacho, Arizona

I decided to stop and have a look at the ruins since they were just off the freeway. I'm glad I did because there were two more abandoned places adjacent to it. The restaurant lay in a huge pile of rubble, but the red pavilion next to it was still standing.

Abandoned Nickerson Farms Family Restaurant ruins near Picacho, Arizona

And as an added bonus, a decaying billboard.

Abandoned Nickerson Farms Family Restaurant ruins near Picacho, Arizona

The Nickerson Farms franchise operated from the 1960s until the early '80s. At one point there as many as 60 locations, most of which were along interstate freeways in the Midwest. The franchise was born when a former franchisee of Stuckey's convenience stores decided he was fed up with the rules and regulations and struck out on his own.

Each Nickerson Farms consisted of a restaurant, gas station, and gift shop that sold honey made from bees on site. They even had a window into the beehive so customers could watch the bees as they went about their business.

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

Next door to the ruins of Nickerson Farms is the remains of another local attraction, The Picacho Peak Trading Post.

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona


The place burned down in 2002. A neighbor, who witnessed a sudden flash just as the fire broke out, attempted to fight the blaze with a garden hose until fire fighters arrived. Attempts to save the trading post were unsuccessful. Now all that remains is a stone foundation and part of the legs of the giant statue the once welcomed customers.

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

Here's what it used to look like:

Urban Exploration of abandoned Arizona Nut House and Nickerson Farms Family Restaurant ruins near Picacho, Arizona
image from http://roadsidepeek.com/roadusa/southwest/arizona/azroadside/azroadmen/index.htm

In the back of the property stands an abandoned trailer home, presumably the former home of the owners of Pichaco Peak Trading Post.

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

The place was in rough shape and the possessions left behind by the previous residents were scattered on the floor. 

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

Abandoned Pichaco Peak Trading Post Ruins in Arizona

Just down the street is Arizona Nut House, a cute touristy shop that appears to have been vacated somewhat recently. 

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

Thick bars cover every door and window. Remarkably, all the window panes were still intact. 

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

A semi trailer sat on the property, presumably containing furniture and supplies from the shop.

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

But when I peered through the windows, I saw that most of the fixtures still remained inside the store.

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

As well as some merchandise.

Abandoned Arizona Nut House near Pichaco

I headed toward Tucson, stopping to appreciate an abandoned restaurant and the beautiful sunset.

Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ


Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ


Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ

Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ

I was able to get a peek inside.

Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ

Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ

The place isn't entirely abandoned. Apparently a band is using it as a practice space. 

Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ

Abandoned Restaurant near Tucson AZ

Next week I'll tell you about my last day in Arizona, in which I got my first peek at an abandoned Titan missile silo and had another minor run-in with the law.

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4 comments :

  1. This web site Is Truly wonderful and amazing information maybe there is and looking so captivating... I look and feel good to generally be here... Keep sharing good things with buddies.. Thanks meant for sharing...

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  2. Hubby ( who is a professional musician) says musicians tend to like empty rooms for the acoustic sound that can be generated. I say they like cheap rent.

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  3. that's so sad about the trading post! used to stop there on my way back from tucson and they had the neatest stuff! from cool, unusual statures to unique t shirts to jewelry. I was heartbroken to hear it had burned. I was hoping they would have an online store but they are no more. Sad!

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    Replies
    1. I hadn't heard about the fire. Thanks for the info. It's sad to see a unique place like that meet its end.

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