Keeping Oracle Historacle: Happenings at Oracle Historical Society

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The Tack Room at the Acadia Ranch Museum is one of the Oracle Historical Society’s newest acquisitions, given to them by Nancy Patten. The Tack Room was recently featured on the cover of the Nugget as part of the “Getting Lost in the Copper Corridor” series. John Hernandez | Crier

Oracle Towne Crier

The Oracle Historical Society (OHS) was busy in 2013. Thanks to some grants received in 2012 from the International Questers and the Arizona Historical Society, OHS was able to complete restoration work on the Acadia Ranch Museum porch and the Ice House. The Ice House is a two room structure attached to the Acadia and was originally built around the late 1880s or early 1890s. An original 18” high porch railing once ran around the entire Acadia Ranch building porch. The railing was reproduced plus another 18” upper railing was added above the reproduction for safety purposes. Chuck Sternberg spearheaded both projects.

The American Flag Ranch once home to the first post office in Oracle has undergone significant restoration and improvements. Thanks to a donation from John Rendall the barn at American Flag Ranch has been restored and made more stable while maintaining its historic look. Thanks to a number of hard working volunteers, the exterior of the American Flag Ranch building has been completed with the interior of the building scheduled to be finished early in 2014. Kevin Armbrust has led the renovation project for the past 18 months. John Medley and Brian Kirkpatrick have worked week by week with Kevin. Other volunteers working on the project are John Wasley, Jack Assini, and JoAnn Stine. Phil and Jo Ann Stine have been living on the grounds of the American Flag Ranch and have done a lot of work fixing up the landscaping as well as acting as caretakers for the property. Special thanks went out to Committee members: Chairman Kevin Armbrust, John Wasley, Jack Assini, Karen Lombardi, Cinnamon Schieck, Monica Chavez, John Rendall, Chuck Sternberg, and Brian Kirkpatrick.

Long time Oracle resident Nancy Patten donated part of the original Acadia corrals and stable property to the Oracle Historical Society. In 2013 the old adobe tack room building was given to OHS by Nancy. The Tack Room is located east of and adjacent to the Acadia Ranch Museum. Kevin Armbrust, Brian Kirkpatrick, and John Medley installed an access gate, cleaned up brush, removed old building materials and installed fencing around the property line. Chuck Sternberg will be leading a restoration project with a proposed completion date sometime at the end of 2014. A very heart felt thank you from the Oracle Historical Society to Nancy Patten for her gift. People involved in the work that made Nancy’s gift of property a success were John Wasley, Kevin Armbrust, Cinnamon Schieck, Helen Vinson and Scott McMullen.

Chuck Sternberg has been working on the next exhibition for the museum entitled “Oracle Between the Wars, the 1920s – 1930s”. It is scheduled to open Saturday, April 5, from 1-4 pm. It is a photographic journey through Oracle during the days of Prohibition, the construction of the Mt. Lemmon Road, dude ranches and the Great Depression. During these years the town of Oracle changed dramatically from a health resort destination to a community of dude ranches and new comers with new ideas. Some of the exhibition includes “Hollywood Comes to Oracle,” the filming of the motion pictureMine with the Iron DoorandHere Come the Dudes, the start of dude ranching in Oracle.

OHS is getting ready for the Studio Art Tour on April 12 and 13. The Acadia will be hosting four artists. On April 24 they will be hosting the Arizona Historical Society Docent Council as part of a two day tour arranged by Evaline Auerbach which includes the historical sites of Oracle, Aravaipa and the PZ Ranch.

On April 26, the 28th annual Oracle Spring Run and Car Show and Parade will take place in Oracle along with Oaks Festival and Oracle Library used book sale. This is one of the Oracle Historical Society’s biggest fundraisers of the year thanks to the hard work of Margaret Guyton and many volunteers. It is a popular event and a lot of fun!

John Hernandez (529 Posts)

John Hernandez lives in Oracle. He is retired and enjoys writing and traveling. He is active in the Oracle Historical Society. He covers numerous public events, researches historical features and writes business/artist profiles.


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