Legacy Garden


The plants in Patagonia Library’s Legacy Garden represent those brought to the area by early homesteaders and area residents. Women quite often brought cuttings from the homes they left behind in the east.

Specimens of these plants are still found growing at many of the old homesteads and ranches as well as within the town of Patagonia. This garden is a tribute to those hardy pioneers whose endurance is symbolized by their plants.

In the 1940s, as a child living in the apartments at Cady Hall, Mildred Daulton Pundt recalls climbing the Mulberry to collect and eat its berries.

In the 1950s Gilbert Quiroga lived in four rooms at Cady Hall with his mother Maclovia and eight siblings. His childhood memories include playing with rubber GI Joe soldiers and building forts in the Mulberry tree.

In the 1960s, the Patagonia Woman’s Club decided to make one of their meetings a monthly family potluck. The Lenon kids (Bobby, Janet, and I) were often the only children at the potlucks and would take our food to the empty lot beside the Library. The Mulberry tree seemed large to me at that time and we liked to play under it. We didn’t have any big trees in our yard, and we certainly did not have any tree that produced fruit. It was fun to eat the mulberries and be outside where we could be noisy.

As told by Mildred Daulton Pundt, Gilbert Quiroga & Jeannie Lenon Ecker

My grandmother Minnie Amerman Bond brought Iris bulbs when she relocated from New Jersey to Alto in 1906. It took about 3 months to make the trip as my Uncle Joe was born in Wichita Falls, Texas in late 1905. Anyway, the Iris bulbs made the trip.

At one time Minnie had a large area planted in Iris, just up the hill from the Alto Post Office. She was very happy to allow anyone who wished to dig up bulbs. My mother, Catherine Minnie Bond Ellefson, carried on that tradition. Ramona Benedict and my mother were good friends and I am sure that some Iris at the Benedicts came from Alto. I remember my mother planting Iris bulbs at Mrs. Henderson’s house just behind the Library.

My mother planted Iris at my father’s grave out at Fruitland Cemetery (just north of Elgin). My mother believed these Iris were white until the early 1940s at which time purple began to appear. Purple were always fairly rare though.

As told by Chris Ellefson & Mary Ann Cresswell Mynard

Emmigrants Antonia Torres from Spain and Adelberto Arandules from Greece met and married while attempting to immigrate to the United States. Unable to disembark in the U.S., they landed in Mexico. They arrived in Arizona prior to statehood and ranched in the San Pedro Valley.

Their daughter, Rita, met her first husband, Dennis Duane Walsh in Harshaw and in 1929 they came to live in Patagonia. Rita later married Arthur Smith whom she met in Patagonia. Rita learned vegetable gardening and received rose cuttings from her neighbor, Dr. Eva Henderson. Dr. Henderson, b. 1871 d. 1965, earned a degree of Osteopathy in Kirksville, Missouri in 1902 and was Patagonia’s early doctor. Eva taught Rita to start her rose cuttings by inverting a glass jar over the cutting and watering the cutting when moisture evaporated from the inside the jar.

As told by Jennie Walsh Ashcraft

Ramona Sauceda was born in 1924 in Alto, Arizona. She married Fred Herdia Benedict who was born in 1909 near the Santa Cruz River in Nogales, Arizona. They raised a family of four, grandparented seven, and later enjoyed their seventeen greatgrandchildren. Through it all, Ramona found fulfillment nurturing Ruda, Epazote or Pigweed, Iris, Lilac and other plants in her garden. Her children and grandchildren recall how upset she became when, with no ill intentions, family members “tidied up” the yard and inadvertently damaged many plants.

As told by the Benedict Family

Michael Moore in Remidios de la Gente confirms the Benedict family‘s use of Ruda to treat earaches, sometimes by steeping the plant in oil and sometimes by rolling the leaves in cigarette papers and blowing the smoke into the ear.

Fay was born April 6, 1900 in Midland, Texas. In 1919, she met and married Wirt David Parker while he was stationed in El Paso, Texas. They left El Paso and came to Arizona where they bought and ran the McBeth Ranch in the Santa Ritas. The McBeth was sold and the Parkers bought and ran the Apache Springs Ranch. After several years, they sold Apache Springs and bought the Salero Ranch. At that time, they also built a home in Patagonia.

Apache Springs had “good water”, as was said back then, and Fay was able to garden. She was an avid gardener but was never able to do so as water was always a problem One shrub which grew well at Apache Springs was Spiraea. When Fay moved to Patagonia, she did not bring any of the shrubs with her. She did, however, share a piece with Mary Peace Douglas. Many years later, Mary Peace shared a piece with me, Barbara, to start at my grandparent’s home here in Patagonia. Every February it bursts into tiny white flowers.

As told by Barbara & Lindsey Russell

descendants of ramona and fred benedict
hale family
lenon family
mildred daulton pundt
gilbert quiroga
fay parker family:
barbara and lindsey russell
mary peace douglas
jennie walsh ashcraft
descendants of the d. a. sanford family

descendants of minnie amerman bond:
chris ellefson and
mary ann creswell mynard
robert schmalzel
jim sullivan: sonorascapes
cliff hirsh: desert care llc
bob and lenore perna:
second nature design
all the incredible volunteers who dug in
at the library
the town of patagonia
cady hall restoration committee
friends of the patagonia library
patagonia woman’s club
santa cruz county community foundation
john h. kendall

owen and arlene mccaffrey
francis bergier memorial
mary lou harris memorial
l. allyn watkins memorial
matthew c. brown
zay hartigan
duangruetai (maeploy) schwartz
abbie zeltzer
brochure design: darlene kryza
greenhouse graphic design llc
This project was supported with funds granted by
the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public
Records Agency under the Library Services and
Technology Act, which is administered by the
Institute of Museum and Library Services

Patagonia Public Library

Physical Address: 346 Duquesne
Mailing Address: PO Box 415
Patagonia, AZ 85624


Mon - Fri : 10.00 am. - 5.00 pm.
Sat : 10.00 am. - 2.00 pm.
Sun : Closed

Tel. 520.394.2010
Fax. 520.394.2113

Email: info@patagoniapubliclibrary.org

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