By | Editor's Pick, Education, Events, Members Update, Newsletter, Volunteer | No Comments

If you haven’t checked the Oro Valley Historical Society (OVHS) calendar lately you might be missing something special!  For all upcoming activities and details check out “Events” on this website.

Here are some highlights:

The remaining Saturdays in February will feature “Letters from an Army Airman” at the Pusch House Museum at Steam Pump Ranch.  The exhibit features correspondence written during WWII from Henry Zipf (grandson of George and Mathilda Pusch) to his mother, Gertrude Pusch Zipf.  The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and is located at Steam Pump Ranch on Oracle Road.

Thursday, March 12 is our BIG ANNUAL event!  $$Priceless$$ – An Antiques Appraisal Event will take place at the Oro Valley Country Club at 5:00 p.m.  The event will feature Catherine Baron, M.A. of Catherine’s Estates and Appraisals.  Formerly on the Antiques Roadshow, Catherine will evaluate lap-sized items brought in by ticket holders.  The event includes dinner (no host bar) and Catherine’s presentation highlighting some of the items brought to the event.  Tickets are $75 and can be purchased through www. Search Oro Valley Historical Society.  Last day to purchase tickets is March 6!  You can also contact Peg O’Connell for further information at  All proceeds go to OVHS for ongoing projects.

On Monday, March 9 at 2:00 p.m. Peter Spooner of Arizona Coins and Collectibles will discuss “Tokens in Arizona History” at the Oro Valley Public Library.

On Thursday, March 26 at 8:00 a.m. Jim Williams will lead a hike through Oro Valley Country Club Estates.  Jim will discuss the historic role of  OVCC Estates during the early development of Oro Valley.  Contact Jim Williams at to sign up.

Stop by The Oro Valley Historical Society booth on Saturdays at Steam Pump Ranch during Farmer’s Market hours (9 to 1).  We can answer your questions about membership, volunteering and getting involved!


Thank You for Supporting OVHS!

By | Editor's Pick, Events, Members Update, Newsletter | No Comments

We wish to thank all of you volunteered at the Christkindlmarket booth, visited the Pusch House, purchased items from our booth and gave donations!  We had record crowds touring the Pusch House on Saturdays from November 9 through December 21.  Some tourists were “first-time” visitors while others were regulars who enjoyed seeing the new displays.  Most often, folks commented that the Pusch House Museum and Steam Pump Ranch are Oro Valley’s hidden gems and that they would like to see more activity/events at the property as well as continued restoration.

Please let the Historic Preservation Commission, the Town of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Department and Town Council members know if you would like to see more progress at Steam Pump Ranch.  In the meantime, the Oro Valley Historical Society will continue our liaison with the town and offer new exhibits and tours TWICE a month on the Second and Fourth Saturdays of each month through April.  Check the calendar and our Facebook page for further information.


History Hikes!

By | Editor's Pick, Events, Newsletter | No Comments

History Hikes for January – March 2020

Oro Valley Historical Society


Wednesday, January 22 – Honey Bee Canyon and Homesteader Ruins. Meet:  8:30 am at Honey Bee Canyon parking lot on Rancho Vistoso Blvd.

Participants:  Limit of 20. Sign up on a first come, first served basis.  All must sign an OVHS waiver at the meeting place.

Contact to sign up:  Jim Williams at by January 20.

Hike:  3-4 miles total with 200’ elevation change.  Walk in sandy Honey Bee Canyon and then along the CDO Wash.  Hear about early settlers in the area. Return the same way.   Time about 3 hours.

Gear: Wear hiking boots and a hat. Bring water and sunscreen.


Wednesday, February 19 – NW corner of Catalina State Park. Meet: 8:30 am – Equestrian Center, Catalina St. Park

Participants:  Limit of 20. Sign up on a first come, first served basis.  All must sign an OVHS waiver at the meeting place.

Contact to sign up:  Jim Williams at by Feb 17.

Entrance fee to Catalina State Park: Participants pay – $7 for a maximum of four persons in a car.

Hike:  Walk 3-4 miles (elevation change 50’) on sandy soil to the historic Elias homestead and back.  View and hear about homesteads and ruins.  Time: about 3 hours.

Gear: Wear hiking boots and a hat.  Bring water and sunscreen.


Thursday, March 26 – Oro Valley Country Club Estates. Meet at 8:00 am at Holiday Inn Express, Oracle Rd.

Participants:  Limit of 20. Sign up on a first come, first served basis.  All must sign an OVHS waiver at the meeting place.

Contact to sign up:  Jim Williams at by March 24.

Hike: Walk 5 miles on paved streets (elevation change 200’) in a beautiful, historic neighborhood and hear its history. Time: 3 hours.

Gear: Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat.  Bring water and sunscreen.


Cost: a suggested donation of $5.00 per person to the Historical Society, payable at the parking lot.

Cancellation: in case of bad weather, the hike leader will send you an email by 7:00 am.

Leader: Jim Williams, local historian and author of Claiming the Desert








We Want You!

By | Editor's Pick, Newsletter | No Comments

Calling all current and new members or those interested in volunteering with OVHS. Our first quarterly meeting will be on Wednesday, January 9 at 1 p.m. at the Pusch Ranch House in Steam Pump Ranch. If you love local history and want to learn more about opportunities to serve your community, join OVHS. There are opportunities to become a docent, fundraiser, collections assistant, and much more! Check our Facebook page (Oro Valley Historical Society) and this website for further updates. All are welcome and encouraged to attend.

For further information contact Carol Bull at

December – January 2018-19 Newsletter

By | Editor's Pick, Newsletter | No Comments


December-January, 2018-19 Newsletter

Oro Valley Historical Society

P.O. Box 69754, Oro Valley AZ 85737

Upcoming Events 

January 9

Volunteer Training 1:00 pm to 2:30pm

Learn how you can help at OVHS!  This informational meeting will be held for current members and those interested in volunteering.  Meet at the Pusch Ranch House at Steam Pump Ranch.

Additional training will be held quarterly throughout the year on 2nd Wednesdays (January, April, July and October) and will continue in 2020.

Become a member and join in the effort to “Keep Oro Valley History Alive”.

January 12

Second Saturday at Steam Pump Ranch.  A variety of activities from 9 to noon including tours of the Pusch Ranch House, children’s craft and demonstration in the Heritage Garden, the Heirloom Farmer’s Market, and more!

The Second Saturday in January will feature information and a display on the Tully/Ochoa raid.  Stop by the Pusch Ranch House from 9:00-noon and discover local history.

OVHS Website

For up-to-the-minute information about the Society’s activities, be sure to visit our website:, and our Facebook page: Oro Valley Historical Society. “Share” the OVHS Facebookpage on your Facebook timeline!

We are in the process of improving our website and would like your feedback. Also, if you would like to submit a story, photo or event information, contact Teri Colmar at
Thanks to Teri for her work on the website!

Holiday Sales

The Holiday Sale has netted $ 159.00 thus far. All remaining items will be for sale on December 8th. After that, they will be donated to the Golden Goose. Thanks to Jo Di Gennaro for organizing these sales




Paul Loomis at our information booth

More Important News

News from the November Board Meeting

Jo Di Gennaro volunteered at the Town of Oro Valley’s Hayride event and received $ 85 that was donated to the Society…Al Efron has donated $ 5000 to the Society for engineering studies to be completed at Steam Pump Ranch. Thank you! … Joyce Rychener recently hosted a home school group for local history education at Steam Pump Ranch over a two-week period. The students ranged from 2nd grade through high school. Joyce noted that the wintercrops have been planted in the Heritage Garden…. Jim Williams donated $1200 from sales of his book, “Claiming the Desert”.

Collections Corner

The OVHS was recently notified by the Arizona State Historical Society that it is the recipient of an AHS Small Grant in the amount of $820 for the preservation and display of collection items.

Peg and Sue met with Kate Stewart – the Tucson Arizona Historical Museum Archivist – to review how to organize, catalog, file, store and preserve OVHS archival materials. Kate will visit the Tack Room in January 2019 to view the Collections and evaluate their past work.

New Oro Valley History Available

Board member Jim Williams has published a new history of Oro Valley from 1865 to 1965 entitled Claiming the Desert. This book is currently available on and at the Western National Parks Association.

Profits from the sales of this book go to the Oro Valley Historical Society.

For more information:


Thanks to Helen Cates for her presentation on the history of a platform cradle and child’s rocking chair at the Second Saturday in November and for her kind donation!



What’s in your storage?

By | Donations, Editor's Pick, Newsletter | No Comments

Are you cleaning out a closet, garage, or Grandma’s attic?  Perhaps you have an antique that’s too good to throw away but doesn’t have a home with you any longer.  The Oro Valley Historical Society’s Collection Committee is seeking items that might have some local historical significance from the early 1900s that could be displayed at the Pusch Ranch House and/or the Oro Valley Public Library or used as reference materials to do historical research.

Please contact Sue Chambasian at to set up an appointment to have your item reviewed by one of our Collections committee members.  Thank you for keeping Oro Valley history alive!

Oro Valley Historical Society
Join the History Revolution
We don't SPAM. It's not in our nature.