Category: Uncategorized

Paul and Irene bell

By Mary Kasulaitis Although it was only there a few years, you old-timers may remember Bell’s Bar as a stopping place on the Arivaca Road.  Paul and Irene Bell are recalled by many more of us as the Sopori School bus drivers in the… Continue Reading “Paul and Irene bell”

Half Way Station

by Mary Kasulaitis From the 1950s through the 1970s, the place to eat Mexican food in the Santa Cruz Valley was the Half Way Station, one mile north of the Cow Palace. Angelina Jaurequi cooked, her children waited tables and husband Felipe (Phil) welcomed… Continue Reading “Half Way Station”

Sopori Ranch, Part 8

By Mary Kasulaitis In 1941 Carmen O’Neill Lee sold the Sopori Ranch to Emanuel Lycurgus (Eman) Beck, a native of Indiana, graduate of Franklin College and Indiana Law School, who had lived in Mexico City since he was a young man. Born in 1875,… Continue Reading “Sopori Ranch, Part 8”

Sopori Ranch, Part 7

by Mary Kasulaitis In Southern Arizona in the 1920s there was an era of large ranch building, wherein homesteaders sold out to a few wealthy entrepreneurs who expanded their properties exponentially. Regular homesteads and Desert Land entries were augmented by the Stock Raising Homestead… Continue Reading “Sopori Ranch, Part 7”


by Mary Kasulaitis The story of any ranch is the story of the acquisition of various parcels of land that, when put together, become a working ranch. Prior to around 1900, obtaining property was relatively simple, but became more bureaucratic as time went on,… Continue Reading “RANCHO EL SÓPORI, PART 6”


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”