Steam Pump Ranch

Oro Valley itself is a relatively young community in the sense that it was only incorporated as recently as 1974.  However, that doesn’t mean the area isn’t choc full of history that is fascinating to learn about, and Steam Pump Ranch gives you the opportunity to do exactly that in true, authentic western fashion.

Historic photo of Steam Pump Ranch in Oro ValleySteam Pump Ranch, which is located in what is now Oro Valley, AZ, dates back to the days of the old west in 1874 when two German immigrants established it as a critical way point in the cattle industry of southern Arizona.  Using their entrepreneurial ingenuity, they made use of a steam engine as a state of the art method for pumping water out of the ground to create a lush oasis in an otherwise rather arid landscape.

By 1933, a man by the name of John “Jack” Procter moved to the area from southern California to manage the historic Pioneer Hotel in downtown Tucson.  He recruited the Steam Pump Ranch to essentially be the pantry for the high-class hotel menu, providing meat, eggs and produce to the kitchen.

Even though today the ranch is found in a busy commercial area just a stone’s throw from the Oro Valley Retail Center and The Fairway At Oro Valley Country Club on North Oracle Road, when you step onto the property, you’ll find that much of the original structures are more or less intact.  Fortunately, the city of Oro Valley together with Pima County, purchased the ranch in 2008 ensuring that the important history played by this property will remain available to the public in a way that preserves its authenticity.

In addition to the historical significance this landmark plays, it also makes itself available for plenty of enjoyable current events.  For example, the Oro Valley Farmers Market is held on the grounds here every Saturday of the year. And as of 2013, a program called “Second Saturdays at Steam Pump Ranch” was introduced that combines both aspects mentioned above; historical tours of the property along with cultural presentations while simultaneously having the Farmers Market activities of food, vendors, live music and more.

With over 100 reviews on Google alone averaging a score of 4.6 out of 5, it’s a pretty safe bet that you will find something valuable and enjoyable should you decide to visit the ranch.  For example, C. Ward, a Google Local Guide had this to say, “Good farmer’s market on Saturdays year round and other events through the year. Just went to their haunted hay ride, great for young children….not so much for adults. Nice to have a piece of history preserved here in Oro Valley.”

Another reviewer, M.  Kugler said, “Very nice down home atmosphere with the Farmer’s Market and all kinds of goodies to buy. Then there’s a nice peaceful grass area to hang out under the trees and the kids can play in a safe place. There’s always nice birds singing and flying through the trees as well. Also because it is outdoors, it is pet friendly. One of our favorite places to visit on a Saturday, grab some fresh fruits and veggies, some Artisan French breads, let the kids get some wiggles out and have a relaxing morning.”

YouTube is always a great way to get a feel for where you might be interested in going.  To save you the trouble, here is one video of an event at our wonderful Steam Pump Ranch:

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Looking for a new outdoor activity?  Check out the Oro Valley Archery Range

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