In Culture

Here in Glendale, we take pride in the historical significance that is integrated into our city. Today, we want to share with you some insight into one of our city’s historical icons, The Sahuaro Ranch.

William Henry Bartlett founded the Sahuaro Ranch in 1886. Bartlett’s keen interest in developing a western frontier began when he homesteaded the Sahuaro Ranch and continued until his death in 1918. By 1891, Bartlett controlled over 2,000 acres of farmland near our city and was one of the largest ranchers in the region.

Bartlett had many buildings constructed on the Sahuaro Ranch. Residences for ranchers, superintendents, family, and friends were built in a park-like setting landscaped with hundreds of rose bushes, palms trees, and other plants. Having never actually lived at Sahuaro Ranch, Bartlett hired superintendents to manage his ranch operations, supervise improvements, and advise him of local conditions.

In 1890, Harry W. Adams became the second superintendent. Under Bartlett’s direction, Adams continued to plant fruit orchards and grain crops on Sahuaro Ranch. Adams experimented with growing date palms for commercial purposes and planted about 20 seedlings in 1891. The Fruit Packing House was built during the summer and completed in time for the fall harvesting and brought date production to our city.

After Bartlett, other owners of Sahuaro Ranch continued to farm the ranch and diversify its use, P.E. Bradshaw, owner from 1913 to 1927, planted the first long-staple cotton in 1915. He also grazed sheep and cattle on alfalfa pastures at the ranch. Richard W. Smith purchased the ranch in 1927 and planted large citrus and pecan orchards and a commercial date grove.

In 1966, Mayor Max Klass began the application process for a federal grant to purchase Sahuaro Ranch. It took years for the purchase to be finalized, but in 1977, the city acquired 80 acres of the original 640 acres. We began the process to register 17 acres that include the historic structures on the National Register of Historic Places shortly after. The crown jewel of our city’s park system, Sahuaro Ranch Park offers visitors both a recreational and historical experience. Visitors can picnic, play on the playgrounds, smell the roses, view peacocks, explore the old ranch grounds or play a ball game.

Here at The City of Glendale, not only did we make a financial commitment to preserving the Sahuaro Ranch, but we believe in continuing to preserving this historical landmark for generations to come. For more information about the Sahuaro Ranch, please click here.

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