Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ History To 1980 – A Rich Southwest History

oro valley az

The Oro Valley AZ area has been inhabited for nearly two thousand years. Hohokam tribes inhabited in what is now three Honeybee neighborhoods for nearly 700 years. Honeybee Canyon, Honeybee Ridge and Honeybee Estates.

These Honeybee neighborhoods sits in the Tortolita Mountains just north Oro Valley AZ. Artifacts continue to be discovered on many properties in the area. 

Tribes known as the Apache arrived in the southern Arizona including Oro Valley Az in the early 16th century. These tribes inhabited the region only a few decades prior to the arrival of the Spanish Conquistador.

The Spanish established forts in the area, including the Presidio at Tucson (1775).

Beginning in the 19th century, Americans increasingly settled in the Arizona Territory. After the Mexican-American War and subsequent Gadsden Purchase settlements increased in the area.

George Pusch Rancher

George Pusch, a German immigrant, settled Oro Valley Az in 1874. He established a cattle ranch. This ranch was unique because it utilized a steam pump to provide water.

His ranch became known as the Steam Pump Ranch. The ranch was located on the Cañada del Oro. It can still be seen to the west of Oracle Road just North of First Avenue in Oro Valley Az.

Gold Discovered In Tucson Area

Gold miners arriving into the American West also were attracted to southern Arizona. Gold was said to be in abundance in and around the Santa Catalina Mountain north of Tucson.

Fueled by the legend of the lost Iron Door Gold Mine many came to the area to seek their fortunes. They trekked through the Oro Valley Az area focusing their attention along the Canada del Oro wash bed in their search for gold.

After World War II, the Tucson area experienced dramatic population growth. This growth also impacted Oro Valley Az.

Early Development

In the early 1950s the Oro Valley Country Club opened at the base of Pusch Ridge. While it may not have been intended, the country club affirmed the area’s future as an affluent community

One tract housing development was built in the area in the early 1950s. However, the majority of homes in the Oro Valley area were built by individual land owners on large lots.

The community continued to grow. With growth area residents increasingly desired local control of the land in the area. In the late 1960s, incorporation became a greater focus in Oro Valley. A petition to incorporate began circulation in Oro Valley in 1968.

The Pima County Board of Supervisors officially refused to allow Oro Valley to incorporate. That lead to litigation between Oro Valley Az and Pima County.

Ultimately, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of incorporation. In 1974 the Town of Oro Valley Arizona was incorporated with only 2.4 square miles.

The original town limits included the Linda Vista Citrus Tracts, Campo Bello Estates, Shadow Mountain Estates, and Oro Valley Country Club Estates. Activity in Oro Valley centered primarily around the Oro Valley Country Club and Canyon del Oro High School.

While originally referred to as Palo Verde, town founders proceeded with incorporation efforts with the official name of Oro Valley. It was felt the name Oro Valley would garner support from influential residents of Oro Valley Country Club. The Town began with a population of nearly 1,200.

Oro Valley Schools

Oro Valley families are served by the Amphitheater School District. The Amphi School District is one of the statistically highest performing public school systems in Arizona. Search for an Oro Valley Home By School.

From the early 1980’s to day, Oro Valley Az has continued to grow. READ More About Oro Valley Arizona – 1980 to Today.


Town of Oro Valley Arizona Website

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