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Sahuaro Ranch History


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Contributed by Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area

Sahuaro Ranch was one of the first farms in the Glendale area and a reminder of Glendale’s agricultural beginnings. Started by wealthy Illinois businessman William H. Bartlett in 1886, the ranch was a commercial operation and became known as the “Showplace of the Valley.” Bartlett and later owners, such as the Smith Family, grew fruit, grains, and cotton, ranched cattle, raised stock, and dairy farmed. As farms gave way to houses, the City of Glendale purchased the remaining parts of the ranch in 1977. The City preserved 17 acres of the original ranch along with 13 buildings and a historic landscape of trees and irrigation ditches.

This collection has two components. It features images from the last private owner of Sahuaro Ranch, Richard S. Smith, as well as photographs from the early administration of this historic site by the City of Glendale. These images show Sahuaro Ranch in the 1930s and 1940s, and the transformation of the ranch into a historic site and city park in the 1980s.

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