Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 9th, 2009. The Friends of Agua Caliente Park (FOAC) recently purchased a plaque to commemorate the event and it will be unveiled in front of the Historic Ranch House during the ceremony on October 30 at 1 p.m. District 4 Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll and several key Pima County Parks and Recreation representatives are expected to attend. The public is invited.
As a former board member (3 years) I can attest to the beauty of this park and the years of hard work it took to get this park on the historic registry. Congratulations to the current board & officers, as well as everyone else who helped with this worthy preservaton project.
Check the FOAC website (http://www.friendsofaguacaliente.org) for further information on the park & its membership opportunities/events. Contact President Jim Knoll at email@example.com or Phone: 520-760-7609.
History of the park from the press release:
The Friends of Agua Caliente (FOAC) was formed in 1993 in an effort to save a historic site in the Tanque Verde Valley [Agua Caliente Park] and was successful in saving three of the park’s original five buildings. FOAC has been formally recognized three times by the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission for its involvement in the preservation of existing buildings and saving the pond site. FOAC was instrumental in securing a Heritage Fund Grant for the renovation of the Bunkhouse (opened in 1997) and has since worked with Pima County on paved walking trails, signage, benches, and other amenities at the park. The Ranch House was renovated and opened to the public on April 17th, 2004. The Friends of Agua Caliente is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation.
Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park contains a natural hot spring the flows through faults between gneissic rock and has been a long-inhabited settlement. Archaic projectile points found within the park boundaries date back to 5500 years ago, suggesting the site was used by hunters and gatherers. Around 1150 AD, a Hohokam village, referred to as the Whiptail Site, was established that extended into a portion of Agua Caliente. Peter B. Bain established a formal claim to 160 acres in 1873 and James P. Fuller purchased “Agua Caliente Rancho” in 1875, establishing an orchard and cattle ranch on the property. Gibson DeKalb Hazard purchased the property in 1935, operating it as a working ranch while also growing fruit and alfalfa. In 1951, Art & Clare Filiatrault and their family took over the ownership of Agua Caliente. Local businessman Roy P. Drachman donated over $200,000 in 1984, providing the incentive for Pima County to acquire the property and establish Agua Caliente Park.
photo of historic ranch house, courtesy of Susan Knoll