Relax under clear blue skies and enjoy a piece of the historical old west. Rancho de las Osa is one of the last great Spanish haciendas still standing in America. Its history has been lovingly preserved in the beautiful buildings that rest comfortably in the rolling grasslands of the high Sonoran Desert near Tucson, Arizona. Relax and catch some shade under one of the property’s majestic eucalyptus trees, swim in the pool or set out by horse to explore the land on riding trails that have been traveled for over a hundred years.
Whether used for a Guest/Dude Ranch, horse farm, family retreat or event facility, Rancho de las Osa offers ample sleeping quarters, cooking facilities and recreation. Previous guests of Rancho de la Osa have ranged from Hollywood stars like John Wayne and Cesar Romero to Past President, Lyndon B. Johnson. Tour this majestic piece of western history and discover why so many people have chosen to hang their hats here over the past century.
Notable Guests from the Past:
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell
Hollywood cowboy star Tom Mix
Western Author, Zane Gray
Supreme Court Justice William O Douglas
William B. Clayton (who drafted the Marshall Plan in one of the casitas in 1948)
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Former Presidential Candidates, Hubert Humphrey and Adlai Stevenson
The Hacienda – Building 1
Hacienda (main house) is built of adobe bricks created on the ranch back in 1889. Written about in The Arizona Daily Star as “the most grand hacienda in the territory,” this grand abode of 5,000 sf includes a commercial kitchen, main dining room that seats 30, four sitting rooms with three fireplaces and two bathrooms. It has been featured in many magazines and books including Architectural Digest and Hip Hotels.
The Cantina – Building 2
Historically, the Cantina was built as a mission outpost in the early 1700s by the Jesuits sent from Spain. Used as a trading post becoming a Cantina, it is the “oldest building in AZ than has been continuously occupied and never abandoned.” It has been used for gatherings and recreation since 1924 when the ranch opened as a guest ranch. This building could be used as a gathering place, meeting room or a stand-alone studio or office.
Adlai Stevenson House – Building 3
Built in the 1920s as two residences, it was refurbished and made into one residence in 1982 with spectacular views of the Baboquivari Mountains. This 2BR/2BA dwelling with living/dining room, screened porch, and complete kitchen is very private and removed from the guest quarters.
Clayton House – Building 4
Built in the 1930s by William Clayton who helped draft the Marshall Plan, this cozy house boasts three fireplaces, 2BR/2BA with a large living area and two other rooms that can easily be converted to offices or a kitchen – or a ranch museum!
East Guest Wing – Building 5
Constructed of adobe bricks made onsite in 1928, Glenn Hardgrave, owner Kansas City Star and the Kansas City ice house, built this as a birthday present to his wife. It has 7 guest rooms and 7 baths. One of the rooms is large enough to convert into a separate apartment.
West Guest Wing – Building 6
Originally built in 1889 as the ranch church and school, subsequent guest rooms were added in 1928. An update in 2001 tripled the size of 4 rooms, adding a large king size bedroom and back porches with mountain views. It has 7 suites with separate sitting rooms/king sized bedrooms and tiled bathrooms, front and back porches and entrances.
North Guest Wing – Building 7
Completed in 1889 as an adjunct to the original hacienda, the North Wing has 5 guest rooms and 4 bathrooms. It has a view of the fountain courtyard.
South Wing – Building 8
Opposite the Hacienda, the South Wing has 3 bathrooms, an office and a manager’s apartment. It has also been used to add 2 additional guest rooms if needed.
Staff Quarters – Building 9
Completed in 1889 and remodeled in 2004, this building has the laundry room and three small staff rooms, each with a bath, bed and sitting room.
Multi- Use – Building 10
Built in 2004, the building has 3,000 square feet of usable space. Can be used as a teaching facility, gym, recording studio or a large storage building.
Location, Elevation, Water
Located on the Arizona/Mexico border, nestled into a bend of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Rancho de la Osa includes 239 deeded acres with a State Lease land of 350 acres.
Elevation: 3600 feet
Water source: The property contains two wells: one active well with a storage tank capacity of 10k gallons with a pressure tank of 1,000 and one inactive well being used for gray water.
- Guest/ Dude Ranch or Country Inn
Available Information for Buyer:
- 3300 Guest Contact Email List
- Prior Guest List
- Group Contact List
- Wellness Center or Retreat Facility
- Community Living Residence for Adults or Children
- Multi-Generational Home or Family Compound
- Permaculture – Personal or as Institute to Train Sustainable Practioners
- “Think Tanks” for Studying or Teaching
- Equestrian Center
- Wedding Ceremony or Even Facility
- Cycling Ranch (Tucson is known world-wide for biking)
A mission outpost was erected on the ranch property in the early 1700s by Jesuit Father Euseubio Francisco Kino’s traveling missionary priests. This structure was built to the west of the present Hacienda. It was used for over a century as a trading post to exchange goods with the local tribes and a place for traveling missionaries to rest.
The ranch was part of a 3 million acre land grant from Spain to the Ortiz family, extending from what is now Altar in Sonora, Mexico to Florence, Arizona.
The ranch property was included in the Gadsden Purchase, which became part of the Arizona territory.
Colonel William Spencer Sturges of Chicago, who established La Osa Ranch and built “one of the most remarkable structures in the territory” and as a large cattle ranching empire, Sturges spared no expense in the construction of the Hacienda, with imported wood floors and stained glass windows, as well as 10 acres of beautiful gardens.
1894 – 1924
Large cattle ranch in operation
Pancho Villa attempts to capture ranch for his own during the Mexican Revolution!
1923 – 1926
Jon and Louisa Watherill opened the Hacienda De La Osa Guest Ranch as a winter retreat for patrons for their Northern Arizona guest ranch, which was located in Kayenta, AZ. They officially opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1924 with 24 guests. Tom Mix and Zane Grey were frequent visitors during this time. A silent movie was made on the ranch by victor Fleming in 1926.
Mr. Arthur Hardgrave of Kansas City purchased La Osa Ranch as a birthday gift for his wife, Glenn. Mrs. Hardgrave had been a guest at the ranch in 1926 and wrote a series of articles about her experiences for the Kansas City Journal Post. She owned the ranch until 1935 when she sold it to a group of Eastern investors who incorporated as Rancho de La Osa, Inc. with E. Dickerson “Dick” Jenkins as president and manager.
The ranch closed for several years during World War II and reopened in the fall of 1945 when Dick Jenkins returned from 3 ½ years in the air corps. His twin sister Nellie came west from Maryland to help him run the ranch. Dick became chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party and many prominent Democrats were entertained at the ranch over the next decade such as LBJ and Adlai Stevenson. William Clayton drafted parts of the Marshall Plan while at the ranch. The Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe after World War II.
Dick Jenkins died suddenly from a heart attack while giving a speech at the Democratic Convention for Adlai Stevenson. Nellie stayed to manage the property until her retirement in 1962. Nellie died in Tucson in 1972 and both she and Dick are buried in the ranch’s pioneer cemetery.
A group of former ranch guests formed a corporation and purchased the ranch to prevent its demise. They operated it as a “working guest ranch” with a loyal following of guests returning year after year.
Mrs. Evelyn Livingston Hamlen of Wayland, Massachusetts bought out the owners and during the next ten years refurbished the casitas around the quadrangle and installed the swimming pool.
Ranch sold to Victoria Land and Cattle Company which operated the ranch as a guest ranch and cattle company.
Retired airline pilot Bill Davis, Sr. and his wife bought the ranch in October – and after major renovation work – re-opened to guests in November 1982.
1996 – Present:
Veronica and Richard Schultz purchased the ranch from the estate of Mr. Davis. Working and running the ranch over the last two decades, they restored the property to its former glory, adding color to white-washed buildings and furnishing the guest rooms and Hacienda with Mexican antiques. It operated as a guest ranch until July 2014 when the owners retired. The owners are maintain and living on property.
For more information call 800.434.1654.
Property offered at ABSOLUTE AUCTION – selling regardless of price!