In 1948, Dr. Milton Hyland Erickson moved with his family from Eloise, Michigan to Phoenix, Arizona. The warm, dry climate, he was told, could improve his health, so he settled in the Valley of the Sun where he lived and worked until in his death in 1980. The last 10 years of Dr. Erickson’s long and distinguished life were spent with his wife Elizabeth at a modest, ranch-style home on Hayward Avenue. The home is located near the majestic Phoenix mountain preserve (which encompasses Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak), one of Dr. Erickson’s favorite, local natural landscapes.
The Hayward house, now the Erickson Museum, is a snapshot of Mid-Century life in the Southwest–relaxed, functional, and charming. There is a main house as well as a guest house, or what came to be known as “the little house,” and both sit on a roomy double lot surrounded by the serene landscape of original, indigenous trees, cactus, and shrubbery. Dr. Erickson’s office in the guest house is “frozen in time,” but warmed with his essence; his green leather chair may be empty but is still filled with his spirit.
The Hayward house was tailored for Dr. Erickson’s ease of mobility–outfitted with rails, ramps, and handicap accommodations. During the final decade of his life, Dr. Erickson conducted his private practice at the house, wrote, and held many teaching seminars. He generously invited several students, who became his intellectual heirs, to stay in the guest house at no charge. Mrs. Erickson was also known for her generosity and graciousness.
Throughout the home there is memorabilia and significant and cherished items donated from family members and Dr. Jeffrey K. Zeig who was gifted many items from Mrs. Erickson and the Erickson family. The museum also featured items given to Dr. Erickson by admirers, colleagues, and patients.
Mrs. Erickson, Dr. Erickson lifelong companion and professional partner, continued to live in the Hayward house until her death in 2008. In 2010, the Erickson Foundation purchased the house and set in motion plans to preserve it and establish a museum honoring Dr. and Mrs. Erickson’s contributions to the fields of psychotherapy and clinical hypnosis.
The Hayward house Erickson Museum now offers visitors a glimpse into the professional and personal life of Dr. Erickson. We have strived to keep his spirit alive by preserving his legacy with authenticity and integrity. We hope all visitors to the Erickson Museum have a wonderful experience.