Nancy Patten Land Donation
The Oracle Historical Society was fortunate to have Nancy Patten gift a portion of her property to OHS in 2013. This property has an old adobe building that was once the tack room for the corrals and stables that served the Acadia Ranch property, which was owned by the Trowbridge family in the early 1920s. Ben and Nancy Patten at one time were caretakers for the Triangle L Ranch that was also owned by the Trowbridge family. In 1963, Katherine Trowbridge gave the Pattens three acres which included the tack room. OHS is extremely grateful to Nancy for her kindness and generosity.
Trowbridge Tack Room Project
The Tack Room property is east of and adjacent to the Acadia Ranch Museum. Since the property was gifted to the museum, the approximate 13,000 SF piece of land was fenced and a new gate to Mt. Lemmon Road was installed. The site has been cleaned of old debris and many of the trees have been trimmed and brush hauled away. The old adobe building is being measured and photographed for historical records and documentation. OHS has applied for a grant from the Arizona Historical Society to fund stabilization and restoration of the building. Restoration priorities include replacing a good portion of the rafters and roof supports, repairing doors and door frames, window repair, removing and replacing the stucco on the old adobe walls and diverting the drainage around the building. Chuck Sternberg and Kevin Armbrust will spearhead the restoration of this building and intend to complete the project in 2014.
Ice House Restoration
With a generous grant from the Sonoran Searchers Chapter of The Questers International, OHS was able to undertake the restoration of the Acadia Ranch Ice House, a historic structure that once boasted 4-foot-thick adobe walls, which had “melted” over time. Under the direction of architectural preservationist Chuck Sternberg, the work was completed in the spring of 2013. During regular museum hours or by appointment, visitors may tour the exterior and interior of this fascinating restored building and exhibit. Please call (520) 896-9609 to schedule an appointment.
Acadia Ranch Renovations
The intensive efforts of Chuck Sternberg and volunteers allowed the Society to undertake major renovations to the Acadia Ranch Museum’s historic structure. Most recently the Ice House was completely restored, and a replica of the historic porch railing installed. In 2011, both the kitchen and adjoining dining area were restored and the Acadia’s building trim repaired and repainted in the original historic forest green. In 2009, the Acadia Great Room was renovated and the original fir floor uncovered, repaired and refurbished.
Other past efforts include major roof repairs and the restoration of the Acadia Bath House, including its exterior adobe walls and chimney. This work was funded by an $8,000 grant awarded by the Southwestern Foundation in 2005. In addition, water run-off has been diverted to mitigate impact on the exterior structure and other important steps have been taken to ensure that the property’s historic stone walls are preserved.
Collections & Archives Updates
In 2010, OHS received a $2,000 grant from the Arizona Historical Society to purchase historically appropriate materials and containers that ensure the proper storage and preservation of OHS historic artifacts, documents and photographs.
Other recent efforts include the updating and weatherproofing of the collections storage facility, made possible by an Arizona Historical Society grant, and the acquisition of state-of-the-art software and computer on which to house the digital archives, which was underwritten by the Sonoran Searchers of Questers. The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records and Arizona Historical Records Advisory Board awarded OHS a grant to purchase two locking steel cabinets that securely store historically significant documents from the OHS collections.