— at Sahuaro Ranch . . . —
When Sahuaro Ranch was built, and for some years afterward, water and electricity had to be provided by the owners themselves, often at great expense.
Drinking water was obtained from a groundwater well located in the back yard of the Main House, underneath what is now the wood-frame rear addition. In 1898, when the addition was built, the well was enclosed and storage tanks and a windmill were erected atop the roof. This gave the Main and Guest Houses indoor plumbing well before most other Arizonans were able to enjoy such a luxury.
Electricity came later to the ranch. Sometime around 1901, a gasoline generator is believed to have been installed to supply power for lights and fans in the two houses. After the Smith family took over the ranch in 1927, they built this Pump House (directly ahead of this sign) and installed a generator that produced all the electricity used on the farm.
On the Ranch Today
Today Sahuaro Ranch receives its drinking water from the City of Glendale, so the well inside has been covered and is no longer usable. Electricity is now supplied by SRP, which began service to the ranch around 1930.
[Photo captions follow]
The above view of the rear of the Main House, taken sometime in the early 1900s, shows the windmill and water tanks that once were installed on the roof. The windmill powered the well pump, and the elevated tanks helped raise the water pressure and ensure that the plumbing system never ran out of water. They were torn down sometime before 1927. The Guest House is visible on the right. (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Historical Foundation, W.N. Campbell Photograph Album, DW-84-2).
The Pump House, above on the right, was restored by the City of Glendale in the 1980s. (Photo courtesy of Glendale, Arizona Historical Society).