Sahuarita was founded in 1911 and incorporated in 1994. Sahuarita is a town in Pima County, Arizona, United States. Sahuarita is located south of the Tohono O'odham Nation and abuts the north end of Green Valley, 15 miles south of Tucson. The population was 25,259 at the 2010 census.
Sahuarita contains the master planned communities of Rancho Sahuarita & Resort, Sahuarita Highlands (east), Quail Creek (southeast) and Madera Highlands (south) in addition to the residential neighborhoods of La Joya (southwest), Valle Verde del Norte (established in 1979), Los Colonias and Los Arroyos (west). The town has 92 acres of public and private parks and recreation facilities, with approximately 125 acres more parkland proposed.
"I live here and work here. I KNOW Sahuarita!!"
Sahuarita, incorporated in 1994, is a primarily a residential community. Roughly 15 miles south of Tucson by an easy drive on I-19, and just a few miles north of Green Valley. Sahuarita roughly translates to "little saguaro" for the famous cactus found in the Santa Cruz Valley. It population is approximately 25,000, and is growing rapidly. Sahuarita is still growing, although the down turn in the housing market did slow it down some over the past few years.
The largest neighborhood in Sahuarita is Rancho Sahuarita. Rancho Sahuarita, is a master-planned community surrounded by mountain ranges and pecan groves designed with today's lifestyle in mind. Its has a 15-acre lake, paved walking and biking trails, picnic ramadas and neighborhood parks. Its ammenities include a 15,000 sq. ft. swim and fitness complex which has free-weights, an aerobic and dance studio, teen room, sports club with billiards, and outdoor tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. Rancho Sahuarita's water park features an 8-lane, 25-meter lap pool; water slides and spa - the perfect answer to those hot days! Rancho Sahuarita has a full-time Community Activities Director, hosting a wide range of activities and fun-filled neighborhood events for residents.
Rancho Sahuarita began with the foresight and vision of its developer, Mr. Bob Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe moved to Tucson and formed Sharpe & Associates in 1981. In the early 1990’s, Sharpe purchased an old cotton farm in a community known as Sahuarita. With the vision of a creating a highly amenitized community, Sharpe compiled a team to help form the Town of Sahuarita, and begin the process of planning Rancho Sahuarita. In 1996, Sharpe and a group of key pioneers in Sahuarita cultivated a vision of “Sahuarita 2020”. This document contains ideas and designs for what the team one day planned for the development in the coming years. Now, almost 20 years since its creation, much of the “Sahuarita 2020” and the dreams for the community within it have been achieved.
Since Rancho Sahuarita opened in July 2001, over 5,000 homes have been purchased and more than 15,000 people now call this innovative community home, making it one of the top selling master-planned communities in the country. And the rest of the story behind Rancho Sahuarita is history – history in the making.
Sahuarita is comprised of many additional neighborhoods. Everyone is sure to find the ideal community, just for them. If you want a home on acreage with no immediate neighbors, Sahuarita has that too!
Sahuarita has a long and interesting history. From 200 AD -1450: The first known human inhabitants of the Sahuarita region were the Hohokam people, which may be the ancestors of the modern day Tohono O'odham nation. The Hohokam were known for their highly innovative and extensive use of irrigation. The Sobaipuri were possibly related to the Hohokam, and occupied the Southern portion of the Santa Cruz, with the Pima to their North and South. While Coronado passed just East of Sahuarita in 1521, it wasn't until Eusebio Kino's 1691 journey along the Santa Cruz River that he met the leaders of the Sobaipuri people. Kino was a true champion of the indigenous Indians, opposing forced labor in mines by Spanish overseers. Kino would later go on to found the Mission San Xavier del Bac in 1699, just north of Sahuarita. In 1775, Francisco Garcés would follow the same path, laying the groundwork for the founding of Tucson. In 1854, following the Gadsden Purchase, Sahuarita would become a part of the Territory of New Mexico, in the United States of America. Sahuarita was part of the Confederate Arizona Territory between 1861 and 1862 before being captured by the Union and incorporated into Arizona Territory in 1863. The earliest known reference to the town can be found on a German map from 1875, which labels the town "Sahuarito". The first known US map to list the town came in 1879, by the US Department of Interior, calling the town "Saurita". In 1879 Sahuarita Ranch was created by James Kilroy Brown. Brown choose the name Sahuarita due to the preponderance of saguaros in the area. The ranch was used as a staging area between Tucson, Arivaca, and Quijotoa. A small community developed in the area named Sahuarito, while the railroad laid tracks through the area (which remain to this day) and established a station and post office.
The Continental Farm of Sahuarita plays a central role in town history. In 1915, worried about the possibility of a German blockade of rubber imports, Bernard Baruch, Joseph Kennedy and J.P. Morgan founded the farm along the Santa Cruz River with hopes of growing guayule: plants that provide rubber. The project was abandoned after the end of World War I, and in 1922, was sold to Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands. The Queen rented the land to cotton farmers, in what would be the primary crop for the following four decades. In 1948, R. Keith Walden relocated the Farmers Investment Co. (FICO) from California to Arizona, buying the Continental Farm lands from the Queen. In 1965, over fears of a fall in demand for cotton resulting from the advent of synthetic fibers, Walden switched his crop to pecans. Today, the FICO pecan orchard is the largest in the world, with over 6,000 acres and 106,000 trees.
During World War II, Sahuarita was home to the Sahuarita Airstrip which was used to train bomber pilots for service in the war. Camp Continental, a labor camp for German prisoners of war was also located in Sahuarita. The location of the camp was around what is now Continental Ranch, West of the Nogales Highway and the Quail Crossing Boulevard intersection. Sahuarita contains the Titan Missile Museum, built in 1963 during the height of the Cold War, which is the only Titan Missile site in the world accessible to the public. The actual Titan II missile, the most powerful nuclear missile on standby in the US, remains in the silo for visitors to see.
SOURCE: Wikipedia and Local Sources.