SUMMARY – Constructed 1899
Historic Use: Residence
Present Use: Target Practice
National Register Status: Not Listed
The 1899 Arcadia Jones House is significant for its association with Tempe agricultural history as a onetime rural farmhouse. It is also significant as a local variant of National Folk-style residential architecture.
During the first half of the twentieth century, the Tempe area east of Rural Road, south of Apache Boulevard, and west of Farmer Avenue was an agricultural landscape of orchards and field crops, tree-lined canals, and rural farmhouses located on unpaved section line roads. Tempe farms produced agricultural commodities—grain, alfalfa, cotton, citrus, dairy, livestock, and an array of fruits and vegetables—that formed the basis of the region’s economy before 1950.
Arcadia Jones, the widow of Dr. Wilson Walker Jones, a pioneer Salt River Valley physician, acquired the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 17 from its original homesteaders, Jose and Felicita Gonzales, in 1899. In a family history, Arcadia’s granddaughter indicates that Mrs. Jones built the house soon after acquiring the property; the 1900 U.S. census shows Jones and five of her seven children, age 9 through 22, living at the house, along with two field hands who helped manage the farm. Arcadia mortgaged the property to the Farmers and Merchants Bank in 1921 but passed away in 1923; her daughter Laura Curry inherited the property but lost it in a 1924 judgment, whereby the Maricopa County Sheriff sold the property at auction to A.T. Hammons, State Superintendent of Banks, who in turn sold to Andrew Martin. In 1965 the farm was acquired by Cook Christian Training School and the Arcadia Jones House was integrated into the school's campus. In recent years the school's administrators have allowed the Tempe Police Department to use the property for SWAT training exercises.
The 1899 Arcadia Jones House is a one-story adobe house. Irregular in plan, the house sits on a crawlspace foundation with plastered walls topped by a low-pitched, hipped roof with overhanging eaves and exposed rafter ends. Windows are wood casement and aluminum sliding; some windows are boarded up. The building may have undergone remodeling after initial construction, but aerial photographs indicate that the house’s overall massing retains its footprint from at least 1930.
Janus Associates, Inventory Number 175, January 1983.
D. Parmiter, Survey Site Number T-136, 01 August 1996.
U.S. Census records
Property records on file at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office
Maricopa County property ownership maps
USGS topographical maps
1930 view of Arcadia Jones House, facing south, with Bell Butte in the background.