Thursday, April 29, 2010
Historic Sahuaro Ranch Park
The history of Sahuaro Ranch begins in the year 1885 when the Arizona Canal was finished and opened up 44 miles of canals, and about 100,000 acres of desert land for farming and homesteading. In 1886, 36 year old William Henry Bartlett and his brother Samuel became interested in investing in a fruit ranch. They saw the huge market for ranching and started their homestead just north of where Glendale would eventually exist. By 1918, Bartlett had the most prevalent ranches in the area which consisted of over 2,000 acres near Glendale.
On November 8, 1898, Bartlett moved to his family to the ranch after his youngest son, Willie, was stricken with tuberculosis. His doctor told him that moving him to a warm dryer climate would be better for his health. As time went on, electricity was added to the ranch along with an electrical generator to pump water from a well. Automobiles were added in 1905 and used to aid in the work done on the ranch. Bartlett lived on the ranch until his death in 1918.
Sahuaro Ranch Park has seen several owners after Bartlett. P.E. Bradshaw owned the ranch from 1913 to 1927, and then Richard W. Smith bought it in 1927. After Richard’s death in 1944, his son Richard Jr. acquired the exquisite ranch and grounds. By 1966, the mayor of Glendale, Max Klass, partitioned for a federal grant to have the ranch purchased by the City of Glendale. It wasn’t until 1977 when the city finally acquired the ranch making it an historical area.