|The View at our future winter homesite.|
|Andy and Nanci Spear|
|In 1833, the Mexican government approved a petition from Tomas and Ignacio Ortiz. They soon gained ownership of 8,677 acres near where Arivaca is today. The brothers built the Aribac Ranch and raised cattle and horses. "La Aribac" is an Indian word meaning "small springs."
In 1856, the Ortiz brothers sold the land to the Sonora Exploring and Mining Company. The company worked several mines in and around Arivaca and the town of Tubac. The Aribac Ranch soon became the site of the reduction works for one the mines called the Heintzelman. When the mines played out and closed, those working the mines left. The area was abandoned.
Charles Poston known as the "Father of Arizona" acquired the property in 1870. Poston eventually asked the United States Government to recognize his right to the land. Unfortunately, the United States surveyor general did not. The government, however, did not take any action toward Poston.
Later on, Poston's rights were transferred to the Arivaca Land and Cattle Company. The company in turn, asked the United States Court of Private Land Claims to approve Poston's land claim. The court refused, stating it was impossible to find the origin of the land grant. The United States Supreme Court also upheld the decision in 1902. The land became public domain.
Arivaca's first post office was established in 1878. Today, it is unincorporated and is the home of about eight cattle ranches. The region is ideal for cattle grazing and orchards. The town itself has a mercantile, two bars, medical clinic, post office, community center, two tennis courts, two softball fields, library and a whole lot of cows. In Arivaca, cowboys still ride horses
After some 38 years of Alaska winters, it's time for something a little different.
Nanci and I have been sailing from Alaska to Ecuador for several years. In Mexico we were doing our charter boat thing, but that was getting a little old as well. So we decided to get a place where we could stage our winter adventures and Arivaca, Arizona turned out to be it.
Once you are in our little town (the oldest inhabited town in Arizona), and past the La Gitana (the oldest bar in Arizona) you keep to the right and drive another 2 miles to 18170 at the 10 mile marker on the Arivaca Sasabe Road. Right there is a road ("Spear's Run") that heads off to the east northeast and you'll be there. Look for the 18170 sign and of course, the Panama Canal Rock
|An Arivaca Monsoon
When it rains it
|Some folks think that Arivaca is Spanish for "dry cow", but there were people here way before the Spanish, and the word Arivca means "little waters". That's because we have it and it even sits on the surface which in southern Arizona is something wonderful. We even have lake... with fish in it.|
|Our neighbors come to visit.|
|Arivaca Stop Sign|
|This is the ownership map around Pima County and most of it is National Forest, Wildlife Refuge or Arizaona Trust lands. Click on the map above and we live right there where it says (erroniously), Borns Road.|
|It's a big country and the flying is great. We like to fly our little Cessna 170 to visit friends and see the country. A 170 with 8.00s is like a float plane in Alaska.|
|This is the "Longhorn" (really) and dispite it appearance, the food is pretty good there and the staff are always great.|
|The current house is constructed of rammed earth (actually mine tailings) and was used as a laboratory to test ore and core samples for gold. It was in pretty rough shape when we bought it, but with the help of Bob Williams, Tim Brown and the Molerat, new stucco was appled and many repairs made. Cowboy and Dennis Crary rebuilt the electrical panels and Donovan Townsend worked with Andy to rebuild the insides of the house. Andy continues to work on it today... and probably forever.|
|The old stucco covering the building was all but gone exposing the rammed earth to the weather.|
|The grounds were covered with trash and old mining equipment which Andy and Molerat removed over a period of weeks. Some heavy equipment work was required to restore the roads and grounds as well as aerobic rock work.|
|Thing are mostly finished and we have a comfortable place to warm up in the winter, but it's a nice retreat from the summer heat as well.|
|Sometimes it's not so warm
12 miles from the Mexican border!
|Our neighbors at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge keep things preistine and are trying to return tis area to its original "sonoran grassland" status.|
|With walls that are over two feet thick, temperatures in the interior spaces remain fairly constant while the sun blazes, wind blows and the water freezes outside. We only need a little heater and a very small air conditioner for the bedroom during the monsoon season. Although this house is a nice one, we are building another house at the new homesite (see above), where the unobstructed views stretch for miles and miles.|
|Yer average Arivaca sunset|
|Dateline Winter 2007: We have started work on our new home project. The roads are built, "impact fees" paid, the septic is in and the building area prepared. Also, we have taken delivery of one 40-foot "High Boy" shipping container which will be used to store building materials while the home is being built and then it will be converted to a living unit (guest house). Now, we will start the design process for the house. We have a zillion ideas, but the use of common shipping containers for part at least of the project is a good possibiity.|
|As above, here is a moring view from our new homesite.|
|Here's George Bartholomew and his bulldozer carving up the rock to create the building site.|
|Our first shipping container located on site with Babaquivari in the background. Looking the otherway, (South) is the view of Arivaca. To lessen the impact of our project we are looking at backfilling against the containers with local materials. Here the materials are being separated using George's "Rock Star" and stockpiled against the container. No defelction is noted on the sides of the container. A fair amount of engineering is going to be needed, but it looks like it will work.|
|Another south sunset from the container|
|As we progress, we'll post more pictures here. Until then, our very best to you,
Andy and Nanci Spear
|Was built on mining and ranching. The ranches are being cut up for development, but the mines are still there. Exploring these mines is dangerous so be careful!.|
|This is a 1,500 sqft house that has two bedrooms. It's|