By Mila Besich Lira
The shining sun accompanied by a light breeze helped more than 1,000 guests enjoy the Sixth Annual Superior Chamber of Commerce Home Tour. Cars were filling up parking spots on Main St. and the local restaurants and shops were filled while guests on the tour enjoyed a variety of events including historical presentations, the antique show and art sale along with the home tour. Many locals and former residents also took part in the activities and many locals contributed to the success of the event by volunteering during the event.
This year the six homes on the tour featured homes that have served multiple generations of families in Superior and several of the homes on the tour also showcased how different material can be recycled and reused for another purpose.
The Casillas house has recently been renovated by Pete Casillas. The home features a library, deck, several unique seating areas and a wine cellar/man cave. Casillas has also acquired many recycled movie set components which he has incorporated into his home. The fire pit benches were used in the movie “Rush Hour 3” and the deck railing came from “There Will be Blood.”
The home of the late Coochie Smith was featured on the tour and has been renovated by his grandson Chris and his wife Lori Ketron. The Ketrons have completed almost a full remodel of the 1956 ranch house. One signature piece of construction was the fireplace that had not been used in 30 years. The Ketrons used an old beam of wood found on the property to build the mantle and a screen found at the Copper Gecko completed the decor of the home.
The apartment of Valerie Macias was originally constructed by the late Andy Besich. While the overall construction and remodeling has been completed by Bill and Sue Anderson, Valerie has put many artistic touches in her home including a wide array of colors and fabrics that added much decorative flair to her home. On the tour this home was called the recycled house because when it was first built by Mr. Besich in the 1950s, he primarily used recycled materials from the mine. Valerie along with her father Tommy Macias created several wrought iron pieces to frame a door way.
Mr. and Mrs. Pat O’Donnell opened their home which most recently served as the art studio for the late artist Ms. Leslie West. West was a prolific artist who moved to Superior from California. Several of West’s paintings were on display in the home. Originally West’s studio belonged to the Besich family who sold the property to the Wests in the early ‘90s. The home was recently renovated and is being rented by the O’Donnell’s. The two bedroom bungalow features a deck and rich dark wood floors and pained windows that showcase the views of Superior.
Doc and Merry Darr also opened their home on the tour. Their home featured a display of great craftsmanship and a life well traveled. Bright turquoise cabinets and kitchen countertops made of pennies, has earned the Darr home the name of the copper house. The fireplace was completely resurfaced with rocks the couple has collected over the years.
Resident artists Chuck Davidson and David Betancourt opened their art studio. In every corner of the home there were pieces of their art work on display. The quaint studio/house will soon be available to rent for daily or weekly stays.
The delightful weather allowed for tours to the Historic Pinal Cemetery to be conducted. Tonto National Forest Historian, Steve Germick provided a presentation on the history of the cemetery along with some history on Mattie Earp who was laid to rest at the Pinal Cemetery. David Lira provided a history of the Magma Mine and Magma Mine Railroad Company (MARRCo). Both Germick and Lira will be return speakers on Feb. 8 to the Legends of Superior Eco Tourism Festival.
“Thanks to all of the people who made the Home Tour possible,” said Superior Chamber of Commerce President Sue Anderson. “It was a great weekend for the Town of Superior. Over 800 people attended the tour, with approximately 200 others that visited the antique show, art show, listened to historical speakers, enjoyed live music, the Copper Corridor Mobile Visitor Center, Bob Jones Museum, and were fascinated by the Mata Ortiz pottery. Many people ‘Discovered Superior’ and all went home happy.”