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by Mary Kasulaitis The Eliases were a part of what historian Tom Sheridan calls the Mexican elite of Tucson who had roots that went back to the Spanish era. Prior to the coming of the railroad in 1880, Tucson’s political scene was fairly integrated… Continue Reading “RANCHO EL SÓPORI, PART 5”


by Mary Kasulaitis The path of ownership, occupation and development of the Sópori Ranch after the 1860s is not easy to follow, because of the long period of wait for the land grant to be adjudicated. In 1881, the Sópori land claim came before… Continue Reading “RANCHO EL SÓPORI, PART 4”

Rancho El Sópori, Part 3

by Mary Kasulaitis Captain Juan de Anza, and his father before him, ran cattle on the Sópori and although he didn’t live there, he maintained a mayordomo and vaqueros there. Perhaps he was issued a government land grant, which has not remained. When he… Continue Reading “Rancho El Sópori, Part 3”

Rancho El Sópori, Part 2

by Mary Kasulaitis Story continued from last month’s Connection: When the Jesuits established themselves at Guevavi Mission in the 1730s they went forth to the rancherias where native people were living. Preaching and teaching, they baptized and married the local folk and tried to… Continue Reading “Rancho El Sópori, Part 2”

Rancho El Sópori, Part 1

by Mary Kasulaitis Down on the Sópori. Four words that somehow convey the size and expectations one have regarding what is today one of the largest and arguably the oldest cattle ranch in the Santa Cruz Valley. It begins in the west, along the… Continue Reading “Rancho El Sópori, Part 1”

Screwworms: an endangered (thank God!) species

by Mary Kasulaitis A recent article on screwworms in Arizona Wildlife Views, put out by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, inspired me to do a little reminiscing about that dreaded insect. Once upon a time I overheard some folks in Arivaca complaining about… Continue Reading “Screwworms: an endangered (thank God!) species”

Doctors of Arivaca (and Oro Blanco and Ruby)

by Mary Kasulaitis Next month we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Arivaca Clinic, for which current Arivaca Area Health Services past Board President Julie Beal has produced a most interesting history. (Let her know if you would like a copy). But before the… Continue Reading “Doctors of Arivaca (and Oro Blanco and Ruby)”

Don and Carolyn Honnas: Ranching on the Pocahonnas

by Mary Kasulaitis Long time rancher Donald Honnas passed away this month in Sahuarita, where he and his wife Carolyn had retired after having lived for many years at Arivaca.  His positive influence on Arivaca for so many years merits a story, so that… Continue Reading “Don and Carolyn Honnas: Ranching on the Pocahonnas”

George W. Cheyney and Montana Camp

by Mary Kasulaitis Most of us are familiar with the heyday of Ruby in the 30s, when there were tents all over the hills, four roomfuls of children at the School and the regular shift changes at the mine. Back in the 19th century,… Continue Reading “George W. Cheyney and Montana Camp”

Phil and Gipsy Clarke: pioneer rancher and teacher

by Mary Kasulaitis In the first half of the 20th century the Clarke Ranch, now known as the Montana Ranch and owned by the USFWS, anchored the headwaters of Arivaca valley. Phil and Gipsy Clarke were true pioneers who left home and family and… Continue Reading “Phil and Gipsy Clarke: pioneer rancher and teacher”