Spring Newsletter

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Oro Valley Historical Society Spring Newsletter

George Pusch at the Pusch House!

Thank you to Franz Fauley for his portrayal of George Pusch on February 18. Our February exhibit “Arizona – The Road to Statehood” included George’s role in the Arizona Constitutional Convention. Franz/George shared that history with exhibit visitors. Thank you, Franz!

Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events!

Saturday, March 11, 18, and 25 Pusch House Museum Exhibit: Courageous, Resilient, Determined Women of Oro Valley and Beyond. Open 9 to Noon at Steam Pump Ranch.

Please note! Due to building restoration at Steam Pump Ranch, the third Saturday tours WILL NOT be available in March and April! Construction activity will make it too difficult to navigate the property.

Monday, March 13 @ 2:00 – Author Jan Cleere will present “Following the Bugle”, a history of military wives in AZ in the 1800’s at the Oro Valley Pima County Library.

This is the last speaker’s event for this program year. Thank you to Jim Williams for setting up our Speaker’s Bureau events!

April Exhibit: Oro Valley – The Making of a Town Saturday, April 1 and April 8 from 9 to Noon at the Pusch House Museum at Steam Pump Ranch.

The Oro Valley Historical Society program year ends on Saturday, April 8 (see above) and will resume in September. See you then!

The Oro Valley Historical Society’s handy man extraordinaire, Denzil Walker, gave our donation box a “restoration”. It’s a replica of the Pusch House. Can we get it on the National Registry?



Board Briefs

  • OVHS* raised $4251 from the fundraising event “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” – How Sara Plummer Lemmon Reached New Heights!” on February 19. The Board thanks all the sponsors, donors, and attendees and OVHS volunteers for making it a success. OVHS also thanks Wynne Brown the speaker who gave a wonderful presentation!
  • The TOV is framing an agreement allowing OVHS use of storage space in the new Parks and Recreation office at Steam Pump Ranch.
  • The board Treasurer is working on the 2023 OVHS budget.
  • In response to the TOV “senior survey”, OVHS will coordinate its educational

    events with the TOV when OVHS plans the next program year.

  • TOV advised OVHS that the restoration of “Carlos’s Barbeque” and the Bunk

    Houses will begin in March. Areas of the property will have limited access.

  • OVHS requested that the TOV review the “Deed of Preservation Easement” for

    Steam Pump Ranch. OVHS has concerns that some of the restrictions for

    property use, restoration, and the Master Plan might be getting overlooked.

  • Basis School will be using a program that was instituted by OVHS Heritage

    Garden Chair, Joyce Rychener. Details for Garden use with Basis are currently

    being worked out.

  • Several private tours are lined up for Steam Pump Ranch and the Pusch House.
  • Bylaws changes were reviewed and accepted by the board. They will be presented to members at the Annual Meeting on March 30th at 3:00 p.m.                                             *TOV – Town of Oro Valley   *OVHS – Oro Valley Historical Society

Thank you to Sherri Graves Photography for photographing our February fundraising event.

Be sure to check the NEW “Videos” tab on the website…see some of the talks you might have missed. Thank you to Jim Horn, Devon Sloan and Paul Loomis for working on the videos and getting them on the OVHS website.

Volunteers Denzil Walker and Craig Colmar moving treasures from the Bunk House

Private Tour with PEO Chapter at Steam Pump Ranch


Thank You Volunteers!

OVHS thanks the volunteers who made the fundraising event a success: Otton Suarez, Annette Munoz, Tina Zogott, Kathryn Hull-Butkus, Denzil Walker, Sue Chambasian, Sherri Graves, Twink Monrad, Devon Sloan, and Teri Colmar.

Thank you to docents, booth hospitality, researchers, writers, and hands-on help volunteers! Shirley Pinkerton, Tina Zogott, Annette Munoz, Kathryn Hull- Butkus, Anne Keeler, Cheryl Leiber, Barbara McIntyre, Denzil Walker, Lori Harrison, Bob Kellar, Devon Sloan, Otton Suarez, Jack Holmes, Kate Cusumano, Bill Morse, Pat Spoerl, Jim Williams, Mikki Douglas, Shelley Solomon, Carol Bagley, Sherri Graves, Twink Monrad, Jim Skalicky, John Munden, Roxy Johnson, Sue Chambasian, Paul Loomis, Joyce Rychener, Henry Zipf, and Teri Colmar

Volunteer Appreciation Day will follow the Annual Membership Meeting on March 30 @ 3:00 p.m. at the Pusch House at Steam Pump Ranch.

Summer Volunteer Opportunity!

The Heritage Garden is active during the summer months. Do you have a green thumb?

Contact Joyce Rychener to volunteer in the garden Joyceholloway2@gmail.com

Thank You to our Event Sponsors!

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The Oro Valley Historical Society greatly appreciates the support of the Lisa Bayless Team at Long Realty for contributing to the “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough!” fundraising event at the Master Gardener Level of $1000 and The Colmar Family Foundation at the Gardener Level of $500.

Proceeds from the event will allow the Oro Valley Historical Society to fulfill its mission to promote research, preservation, education, and dissemination of history related to the Greater Oro Valley Area.  It will allow OVHS to continue exhibits, lectures, tours and programs in service to the Oro Valley community.

We thank the Lisa Bayless Team @ Long Realty and the Colmar Family Foundation for helping with this effort!

The Road to Arizona Statehood!

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The Road to Arizona Statehood was a long trek!  On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 1912 it became the 48th State of the Union and the last state to be admitted to the continental United States.

Discover the details of statehood and how George Pusch is connected.  See a flag with 48 stars on display in the exhibit.

The museum is open on Saturdays from 9 to Noon.  A $5 donation is requested.

Fundraising Event: Wynne Brown Presentation

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Don’t miss a great opportunity to hear a great presentation!

“Ain’t no mountain High Enough!”

How Sara Plummer Lemmon Reached New Heights

Mount Lemmon towers above Oro Valley but what do you know about its namesake?  Sara Plummer Lemmon’s life will be subject of a presentation given by author Wynne Brown based on her book:  “The Forgotten Botanist, Sara Plummer Lemmon’s Life of Science and Art”.

The event will benefit the ongoing programs of the Oro Valley Historical Society and take place at the Oro Valley Country Club (300 W. Greenock) on Sunday, February 19 at 3:00 p.m.

Tickets are $75 (non-refundable) and include a buffet dinner and a Door Prize raffle ticket.  Tickets purchased  February 5 OR LATER are $85.  .÷TICKET CAN BE PURCHASED ON THIS WEBSITE.  GO TO THE HOMEPAGE AND LOOK FOR THE RED TICKET.  Tickets can also be purchased at the Oro Valley Historical Society booth at the Farmer’s Market at Steam Pump Ranch on Saturdays from 9 to noon.

This is a perfect read and outing for book clubs and local history loving groups!  Wynne will be available to sell and sign books at the event. (And many thanks to Wynne for taking the time to do this event!)

There will also be fantastic raffle prizes (tickets for purchase at the event) including an overnight stay with spa service at El Conquistador, A Hilton Resort (many thanks to the El Conquistador for their generous donation).

One of the comments OVHS docents hear most often during exhibits and tours:  “I had no idea the Oro Valley area has such a wealth of history.”  Now you can learn the history of our beloved mountain and the woman who reached new heights!

Traditions, Toys and Trains!

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Get into the holiday spirit and visit the Pusch House Museum.  Beginning December 3, the Oro Valley Historical Society will feature “Traditions, Toys, and Trains” in the Pusch House Museum.  Discover a variety of holiday traditions, walk through the history of some of our favorite toys, and see how trains connect to the holiday season and influenced the Greater Oro Valley area.

The Pusch House Museum is open on Saturday, December 3, 10 and 17 from 9 a.m. to Noon and located in Steam Pump Ranch Historical Park at 10901 N. Oracle Road, Oro Valley.   Walk to the far south end of the the property past the Farmer’s Market.

DON’T MISS the “LETTERS TO SANTA MAILBOX” on the porch of the museum (Saturdays, Dec. 3, 10, and 17) AND a visit from PAPA NOEL (the German Father Christmas) on December 17 from 10 a.m. to Noon!

Steam Pump Ranch Walking Tours!

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Proctor Leiber House

You might have driven along Oracle road and passed Steam Pump Ranch a thousand times and wondered….what is that?  You might have visited the Heirloom Farmer’s Market and never gotten past the last food truck to see the Pusch House Museum.  You might not know that Steam Pump Ranch is an “Historical Park” and on the National Registry of Historic Places.

You might not know that walking tours of Steam Pump Ranch are available and can answer many of the questions you have about the property!  The Oro Valley Historical Society offers walking tours of the property on the THIRD Saturdays of November (17), January (21), February (18), March (18) and April (15).

Tours are conducted from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and leave every 15 minutes.   Sign-up at the Oro Valley Historical Society booth at the south end of the Farmer’s Market.  Look for our banner!  Please note the docent guided tours are about 45 minutes on uneven terrain. Dress for the weather!

We hope to see you and answer all your questions about Steam Pump Ranch Historical Park!

Suggested donation $5.

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