Newsletter February – March 2019

By February 5, 2019Editor's Pick



February – March, 2019

Speaker Series

Local historian Bob Simpson will discuss “The Sutherlands of Oro Valley” at the Oro Valley Library on Friday, February 8that 2:00 pm.  Bob is completing a book titled From the Canada del Oro to the Tortolitas on the history of the Catalina and Saddlebrook areas, to be published this spring.  He will discuss the William Sutherland family, a group of pioneer ranchers who lived in and near Catalina State Park from the late nineteenth century to the 1920s. Bob is an engaging speaker and you are sure to enjoy this event.  Get there early to be sure of a seat!  The event is sponsored by the Historical Society and open to the public. There is no admission charge.

Tully-Ochoa Exhibit at Steam Pump Ranch

Come to the Second Saturday (February 9that Steam Pump Ranch and see an exhibit on the Tully-Ochoa wagon attack. Fourteen freight company employees and nine wagons were attacked in May, 1869, along the CDO Wash north of Oro Valley. The Collections Committee will exhibit items related to the attack in the Pusch House.

Volunteers Session Held in January

Volunteers chair Carol Bull held an informational session for new volunteers at the Pusch House at Steam Pump Ranch on January 9th. Volunteers from this meeting will meet at Carol’s house on February 6th. An additional informational session will be held on April 10th at 2:00 pm at the Pusch House.  The volunteer group is also working on scripts for volunteers to help docents to explain the history of the residents and buildings at Steam Pump Ranch.

Would you like to become an OVHS volunteer?  Please contact Carol Bull at carolpfc@icloud.comto sign up for the April 10thprogram or to discuss volunteering.

Items from the January Board Meeting

Sue Chambasian of the Collections Committee reported that the Society has received a grant of $ 850 from the Arizona Historical Society.  The Board agreed to contribute up to $ 350 to add to the grant to purchase rare book storage boxes, display posters and feet for the panels…. Joyce Rychener noted that winter crops have been planted in containers and are doing well in the Heritage Garden.  The Town has agreed to help with the rodent problem….Joyce has developed research questions for the Town’s Bill Adler Expository Writing contest….Roxy Johnson, Dick Johnson and Paul Loomis attended a meeting to develop a business plan at the Eller College at the University of Arizona.  They will work on this project during the coming months….The Society will participate in the April 15th Town birthday celebration at Steam Pump Ranch.  The Society may also have a table at the Wine Festival in February…The Town has set aside $ 10,000 to develop architectural plans for the Garage at Steam Pump Ranch, and the Society is contributing an additional $ 5000 to this effort due to the generosity of Al Efron.  Thank you, Al!…Al Efron, Matt Moutafis and Camella Koeller have resigned from the Board. We thank them for their service! Al generously provided a $ 1000 donation to the Society as a farewell….

Visit our Website

Visit the websitewww.ovhistory.organd Facebook for events and news and be sure to “LIKE” us.  If you have information to post, please contact Teri Colmar at

Oro Valley Historical Society

Keeping Oro Valley History Alive!

P.O. Box 69754

Oro Valley, AZ 85737


New Oro Valley History is Available

Board member Jim Williams has published a new history of Oro Valley from 1865 to 1965 entitled Claiming the Desert.  Do you want to learn about the earliest settlers, homesteaders and major ranchers who lived in our area? This book provides a picture of life in this area when less than 200 people lived here. Chapters focus on early schools, roads, ranching, homesteader life and much more! The book is available currently on  It is also on sale at the Western National Parks Association in Oro Valley.  For more information, contact Jim Williams at Proceeds benefit the Oro Valley Historical Society!Jim will have a table at the Tucson Festival of Books on Saturday, March 2ndfrom 12:00 to 2:00 pm in the independent author tent. Stop by!


Time to Renew Your Membership!

Our membership year runs from March to March, so it is time to renew your membership to the Oro Valley Historical Society!  Our society is an all-volunteer organization and we need your involvement and financial support!  You can join the OVHS on our website.  A PayPal account or credit card is all you need to become part of the team!  Click “JOIN” at the top right of the home page at



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