The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood

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Walking Tour
Corbett Ditch - Mesquite Bosque
Site #19

Sra Soledad Olivas from Ures, Sonora, washing clothes in Corbett Ditch ca. 1910 [24K]
Sra Soledad Olivas from Ures, Sonora, washing clothes in Corbett Ditch ca. 1910
Arizona Historical Society #66080

It's likely that this ditch predates Fort Lowell by about five years and was dug by ranchers and farmers; who settled here in the 1860s. Perhaps they followed traces of old Hohokam ditches. Known as the Corbett Ditch (after the Franklin Corbett family who ran a small dairy near Swan Road), it heads on the Tanque Verde in an area known as the "narrows" which is just above the confluence with the Pantano.

Water runs in the ditch eight to ten months of the year and supports the last of the old mesquite bosque (forest) that once filled the entire Rillito Valley. Felled for wood fuel, clear-cut for farming, now struggling for existence because of development and the dropping water table, this bosque is a lone survivor of the old forest.

Mormons - maintained this ditch in the early to mid-1900s. The ditch carried water to Binghampton, a small -Mormon community near what is now the intersection of Dodge Boulevard and Fort Lowell Road.

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Drawing of the Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Center

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