When we travel most of the time our trips include fabulous architecture. Some people like to visit art museums; Barry and I like to drive ancient neighborhoods. It’s icing on the cake if we can actually get inside the buildings we see. This trip we hit the jackpot. We went to Rancho del la Oso (www.ranchodelaosa.com) an original hacienda built in the early 1800’s less than a mile from the Mexican border.
Father Kino built a mission outpost on the ranch in the 17th Century that was used for more than a century for trading. Today it is used as the Cantina. Rancho de la Osa is part of the original three million acre land grant from the King of Spain to the Ortiz brothers in 1812. The ranch fell into the United States after the Gadsden Purchase. Later Civil War Colonel William Sturgis began renovations on the main house and made it the head quarters of his large cattle ranch.
In 1921 Louisa Wetherill turned it into a Guest Ranch. It attracted such notable guests as Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt, author Margaret Mitchell, Lyndon B Johnson, movie star Tom Mix, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and Hubert Humphries. William Clayton wrote the Marshall Plan that restored Europe after WW II in one of the casitas.
The ranch was purchased by Richard & Veronica Schultz in 1996. Still in operation when they purchased it many of the buildings were suffering from neglect. They have lovingly restored and preserved it. Today there are 18 private casitas; each of them unique. There are horses available for trail rides. Meals are prepared by the ranch chef and reflect the cuisines of Spain, Mexico, and Native Americana. Some organic ingredients come from the ranchos gardens. Every evening the old adobe cantina is open for cocktails before dinner. It is a unique opportunity to enjoy the sunsets amid the quiet of this 278 year old building, reputed to be the oldest building in Arizona.
Original hacienda built in the 1830’s & lovingly remodeled over the years.
Main entrance as it is today. We don’t believe this arch was original to the building.
The smaller informal dining room set for our lunch.
One of many small rooms in the original building; great for coffee & reading.
Built in the 17th century and reputed to be the oldest building in Arizona. Notice how the winds have impacted this building – nothing is straight or level.
The hacienda compound is a large quadrangle; this building housed many of the notable guest who have stayed here over the years. most of the rooms have fireplaces.
The building on the right contains the guest suites all with fireplaces. The building on the left is the office & staff quarters.
The original entrance with adobe columns and iron gate. Abandoned many years ago probably because it is so narrow.
Some of the horses available for trail rides. We rode all morning in the rain – it was magical.