Oro Valley AZ History And Community

Oro Valley AZ History

A Community at The Base of The Santa Catalina Mountain
Oro Valley AZ

Oro Valley AZ history dates back over two thousand years ago. The Hohokam tribe lived in what is now Honeybee Village. Honeybee Village is in the Tortolita Mountains in northern area of Oro Valley AZ.

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Early History of Oro Valley

The Hohokam inhabited Honeybee Village for over 700 years. Their story comes from the artifacts found in the area.

Apache tribes arrived in the southern Arizona in the early 16th century. These tribes inhabited the region only a few decades.

The Spanish established forts in the area, including the Presidio at Tucson (1775).

Beginning in the 19th century, Americans settled in the Arizona Territory. After the Mexican American War and the Gadsden Purchase settlements grew in the area.

The Late 1800’s Still Remains

George Pusch, a German immigrant, settled Oro Valley AZ in 1874. He established a cattle ranch. This ranch was unique because it utilized a steam pump to provide water.

His ranch became known as the Steam Pump Ranch abuts the Cañada del Oro wash. The ranch sits to the west of Oracle Road and North of First Avenue in Oro Valley Az.

Gold miners came to southern Arizona and the Santa Catalina Mountains.

Fueled by the legend of the lost Iron Door Gold Mine many came to the area to seek their fortunes. Miners focused on the Oro Valley area and the Canada del Oro wash bed in their search for gold.

After World War II Oro Valley Began To Grow

After World War II, the Tucson area experienced dramatic population growth. This growth also included Oro Valley Az.

In the early 1950s Oro Valley Country Club opened at the base of Pusch Ridge. With it, the area’s future as an affluent community was affirmed.

The community continued to grow. With the growth, residents wanted local control over their future.

In the late 1960s, incorporation became the focus in Oro Valley. A petition to incorporate began circulation in Oro Valley in 1968.

But the Pima County Board of Supervisors refused to allow Oro Valley to incorporate. That lead to litigation between Oro Valley AZ and Pima County.

Oro Valley Incorporated

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of incorporation. In 1974 the Town of Oro Valley Arizona incorporated. It was a mere 2.4 square miles.

The original town limits included the Linda Vista Citrus Tracts, Campo Bello Estates, Shadow Mountain Estates, and Oro Valley Country Club Estates.

Oro Valley families are served by the Amphitheater School District.

Town founders proceeded with incorporation efforts with the official name of Oro Valley. They felt the name would be popular to influential residents of Oro Valley Country Club. The Town began with a population of 1,200 citizens.

Through the 1980s and particularly in the 1990s Oro Valley experienced significant growth.

In 1990 the town had a population of 6,670, and by 2000 that figure had increased to 29,700 residents. Estimates for 2020 are around 50,000.

Developers worked with the towns govenment to establish several master-planned communities. La Reserve and Rancho Vistos were two notable ones.

Oro Valley was the fastest growing municipality in Arizona f or many years. And has received accolades as a “Best ….” Place.

Today And Tomorrow

Oro Valley strives to balance population growth and environmental preservation. It has attracted country clubs, golf courses, and national brand resorts. It is an affluent community with one of the highest median household incomes in the region.

Oro Valley Arizona presently encompasses approximately 34 square miles (2005).  Oro Valley provides an expanding public parks system, notable outdoor amenities and upscale retailing ventures. The Catalina State Park is located in Oro Valley and provides camping, hiking trails and horse trails.

Take A Quick Tour Through Oro Valley, AZ

Oro Valley Hospital, Schools And Shopping

The Oro Valley Hospital on Tangerine Rd services the residents of Oro Valley, SaddleBrooke and Northwest Tucson AZ

Oro Valley families are served by the Amphitheater School District which is one of the statistically highest performing public school systems in Arizona. Search for an Oro Valley Homes By School. One of the great new facilities in Oro Valley is the Aquatic Center.

Oro Valley Marketplace was completed in 2008 and brings additional shopping, dining and entertainment venues to Oro Valley AZ. And of course, the Oro Valley AZ weather is always outstanding.

Town of Oro Valley Arizona Website


Oro Valley AZ history is telling the story of the great southwest. From the Hohokam tribes to American Indians and the search for gold. These events shaped Oro Valley and its future.

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