The R.O.T.C. Stables (PWA)

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The R.O.T.C. Stables (PWA). Lew Place got a passing grade

The R. O. T. C. Stables was another PWA project, designed by Roy Place and built by the M. M. Sundt Co. It is located on the north side of Warren Avenue, north of the University of Arizona Medical Center, next to the old UA polo field. It was completed in March, 1936. Original cost was $24,342. Later, $2,853 was spent on corrals, a riding hall, and a fence.

Roy Place designed stalls for 92 horses for the R. O. T. C. Cavalry unit. There was room for hay storage and a barracks for U.S. Cavalrymen, who took care of the horses and taught UA students to ride and perform cavalry formations.

Lew Place, in 1932, was a UA student and a member of the cavalry training program. He tells of one experience: "The horses were pastured during the summer at Carlos Ronstadt's Santa Margarita ranch. They were herded down to the ranch in May and then were driven back to the UA stables in the fall.

"In 1932, I was in trouble in R.O.T.C. In order to get a passing grade, I was offered the opportunity to help take those horses from the university stables to Ronstadt's ranch. There was a major at the stables who was in charge of the cavalry unit. They got 30 riders together to take the horses to the ranch some 70 miles away.

"The ranch was located down towards Sasabe, and you turned off the Ajo Road at Three Points. We left the stables at daybreak riding one horse and leading two. It was trot and walk, trot and walk and then get off and lead them for a while. All the way to the Ronstadt ranch before dark.

"We ate lunch at the Palo Alto ranch and then went on. Carlos sent a Mexican cowboy out about ten miles from his ranch to show us a short-cut across some open land. He was really confused, having never seen the U.S. Cavalry operate.

"He'd watch us go at a brisk trot - he had a western saddle of course and wore chaps - and he had to stand up in the stirrups with his hand on the horn. Of course we were all posting up and down, then we'd walk the horses and he would walk with us. "Then we all got off and walked and he was absolutely dumbfounded; he couldn't figure out what was going on and thought we were all loco. But I got a passing grade in R. O. T. C."

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