- Your Voice
While crops harvested, town studies Steam Pump funds
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Joyce Rychener volunteers her time at Steam Pump Ranch, where she has nurtured a working reproduction of a Native American garden.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, The 1870s-era Pusch house at Steam Pump Ranch is in need of roof and plaster repair. The entire 15-acre property was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places last year.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, A squash in its early stage of growth.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Prior stabilization work had been done to the building that housed the original steam pump that gives Steam Pump Ranch its name. The remnants of the building today are wrapped in plastic tarps to protect from the elements while awaiting restoration work.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Seeds for the 90-day blue corn came from Kewa (formally known as Santo Domingo Pueblo). Stalks of the corn reach 12 to 15 feet high.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Joyce Rychener cheers while Pat Spoerl shucks an ear of corn, revealing the deep blue color of its kernels. Rychener and Spoerl volunteer at the ranch to grow a Native American garden.
Randy Metcalf/The Explorer, Ledgers, address books, legal documents and photos were among the trove of items found buried in the dirt of a collapsed chicken coop at Steam Pump Ranch. The town of Oro Valley has worked with a historian and archivist to sort and catalogue the found items.