Please note that the first 4 pictures are ours; the rest belong to the Arizona Inn. Here is our story...
Historic, romantic hotels are found throughout Arizona and many go on summer sale as the winter tourists flee and Arizonans “hunker-down” for another blazing summer. But that extreme heat brings ‘fire sale” rates to these historic places and from now until September 30th the 4-Diamond Arizona Inn of Tucson can become the perfect summertime escape.
It was 1926 and Isabella Ferguson Greenway was living with her Rough Rider husband, John Greenway at their Ajo, Arizona mansion. John Greenway had become a major player in the copper mining industry of Arizona and a true political mover and shaker. He was sent by his doctors to New York City for some minor surgery, but minor became major when unexpected complications set in and John Greenway died. Isabella was now a widow with 4 children in a house that overlooked the Ajo open pit copper mine.
She soon decided to take her children to Tucson and turn the energy of her grief into business endeavors. She became the owner of the Double X Ranch near Williams, and of the Gilpin Airline of Los Angeles. But her greatest love and energy was spent helping the Tucson veterans of World War I.
She started a furniture factory, called the Arizona Hut, which employed many World War I veterans. When the Crash of 1929 came, Isabella refused to fire her veterans and decided to build a fashionable inn that would create a need for their furniture and thus keep her veterans employed.
Isabella Greenway’s Arizona Inn opened it doors to its first guest in December 18, 1930 and by this time Isabella was known around the state as “Arizona’s Sweetheart”. That nickname came about because of her amazing philanthropic spirit and her many civic activities in the Tucson area. In 1933 she became the first woman of Arizona ever to be elected to the United States House of Representatives. No other Arizona women matched her accomplishment until 1992.
But it was the Arizona Inn that was the passion of her life. Built on 14 hidden acres near the University of Arizona, the Inn served guests from around the world. The 95 rooms were all furnished with beautifully crafted furniture made by Isabella’s veterans and the grounds became a botanical gardens of ever-blooming flowers. Isabella lived at her inn so that she would know exactly what her guests were experiencing, she strove to bring to life her original mission statement: “to provide a sophisticated desert retreat offering privacy, quiet and sunshine to every guest.”
The Arizona Inn is made up of multiple buildings set among beautiful gardens and large trees enclosed within adobe walls. Most guest rooms have a private balcony or an enclosed patio that provides adequate privacy. Since the Inn was built in the time when travelers came with steamer trunks, the closets are more than spacious by modern standards.
Over the years many rich and famous guests escaped to this Tucson oasis but the Inn never released its guest list. The privacy of all is highly guarded.
The Arizona Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inn guests today can request to tour the on-site furniture shop started by Isabella for her beloved veterans. And if not rented, guests can even tour the casita that “Arizona’s Sweetheart”, Isabella Greenway, lived in when she too stayed in Tucson at her beloved Arizona Inn.
Here is a link to the Arizona Inn website - http://www.arizonainn.com/
|The amazing Isabella Ferguson Greenway.|