This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

Sahuaro Ranch in Glendale, Arizona

If you've ever been on the campus of Glendale Community College, you were on a corner of an original 640 acre ranch which was begun by Henry Bartlett in 1886. His property was a square mile from Peoria to Olive and from 67th Avenue to 59th Avenue.

The main entrance to the house was at Olive just west of 59th Avenue. Along this half-mile "driveway" were planted decorative palm trees which are native to Arizona and California, Washingtonia filifera (California Fan Palm). Many of these trees are still there, well over 100 years old, along with the more common Washingtonia robusta (Mexican Fan Palm). If you're a history buff, and a "tree hugger" like me, you can see the original road, and the original palm trees, between the northeast edge of the GCC parking lot and the Glendale Fire Station. When the campus was originally built, in 1965, the buildings were built around the historic palm trees. Over the years the need for more buildings and more parking has erased most of them. But a few are still there!

In addition to raising all types of crops, the Bartletts had a spectacular rose garden, part of which still exists. The palm trees by the rose garden, by the way, are not decorative, they are date palms (Phoenix dactylifera), although there weren't that many planted. But the ones that remain are among the largest, and oldest, in the valley, rivaling even the ones at 44th Street and Camelback.

The Sahuaro Ranch (which is typical of the misspelling of 19th Century Phoenix) was not a homestead. The owner did not live there. There is a main house and a guest house. There is also a house for the foreman. And, like everyone in Phoenix at the time, they tried to grow just about everything. Some crops were more successful than others. And ultimately, the most successful crop was suburbia.


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