This week I am wrapping up our work on the historic townsite of Feldman, Arizona, on the lower San Pedro River. Using funding by ASARCO, LLC, we are working in partnership with the University of Arizona Drachman Institute to provide an architectural documentation of the historic ranch house and associated buildings, along with a historic context study.
Once part of the sprawling ranch holdings of George Pusch, Feldman was the eastern end of Pusch’s ranch. The Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley marked its western end, a distance of 35 miles. The main ranch house has always been a source of fascination for me and many others who have seen it. Though reportedly built in the late 1800s, when it served as a hotel and stage stop, our research unfortunately has failed to turn up an any documentation to that effect. In fact, we are still struggling to determine when it was built. Some records suggest it may have been as late as 1919.
Nonetheless, it remains a magnificent—albeit deteriorating—structure that typifies the Late Transitional architectural style, defined by Dr. Harris Sobin (University of Arizona) in his architectural study of the town of Florence. Dating from the late 1800s, this style continued to embrace the regional adobe building materials of the Sonoran architectural style, but added the gabled roof, dormers, and wrap-around porch.