Open Up the San Rafael House

I read the article on the Ranch House in Lochiel (“State Prepares to Restore Historic San Rafael Ranch”, April 2023)that was previously owned by Mrs. Sharp and later her children. My question is why are only a select of individuals deciding what is to come of the property? The individuals who reside in Lochiel and have for many of years should have an input.

My father, as a young man, worked for Mrs. Sharp as a ranch hand as well as my grandmother, Cruz De La Ossa, who often baked for Mrs. Sharp. It would be my hope that the home is restored and should become a bed and breakfast as well as offer trail rides for those who take interest in the experience. 

I cannot fathom the idea of allowing such a historic home and all its beauty to not be shared for the sake of fear that something may or may not happen to the home if people have access to it. By charging a rate for people to stay, it will also allow for income to continue to make the necessary improvements. 

The De La Ossa’s have homesteaded in Lochiel for many of years. All my uncles and aunts attended the little red school house in Lochiel as well as the Patagonia High School. For what it’s worth, allowing such an amazing place to sit in Lochiel for years as it has, is disappointing and very sad as far as I am concerned. Hoping for a positive outcome and for all who would sincerely love to experience the beauty of the area and the home.

Deborah De La Ossa


Water Safety

May is National Water Safety Month!

Let’s take time to review water safety rules as we enter our warm weather season when people will be hitting the pool and the lake. According to the American Red Cross, drowning is one of the leading causes of death in children.“It only takes a moment. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line or apply sunscreen. Death and injury from drownings happen every day in home pools and hot tubs, at the beach or in oceans, lakes, rivers, and streams, bathtubs, and even buckets.”

The Red Cross also recommends the following layers of protection around water: Even if lifeguards are present, you (or another responsible adult) should stay with your children.

Be a “water watcher” – provide close and constant attention to children you are supervising: avoid distractions including cell phones.

Teach children to always ask permission to go near water.

Children, inexperienced swimmers, and all boaters should wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets.

Fence pools and spas need adequate barriers.

Always swim with a buddy even if you are a strong swimmer.

Don’t use alcohol or drugs.

Ensure that the whole family learns how to swim.

For more information, check out the free, online class offered by the Red Cross, “Water Safety for Parents and Caregivers.”

Erin Botz


A Note to Our Readers

Writer Kat Crockett’s “History of Winemaking in Sonoita/Elgin” series will resume in the June issue of the PRT.

Errors and Omissions

In the April issue of the PRT, Vince Pinto’s column was incorrectly titled. The correct title should have been “April’s Pollinator Paradise.” 

Also in the April issue, the date in the cutline for the photograph of the nuns arriving in Arizona was incorrect. The nuns arrived to establish the Santa Rita Abbey in 1972.

We apologize for these errors.

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