Isidro Ochoa House Site #12


This house stands on the ruins of the post trader's storehouse and was a modern design when it was built in 1938. Isidro Ochoa, the grandson of two early Fuerteños was a prolific builder of adobe houses throughout El Fuerte. He built homes for his own family, for relatives and friends, and in other locations around the county. Here's how it went: for $50, he and his four-man crew would build a two-room house. They made adobes on site and erected the house; the whole process took about four weeks. Each man earned $10 for his month's work. Relatives and Fuerteños made up his crew.

Isidro was born in 1902 in the old Fort buildings. His father farmed north of the Rillito until his death in 1909. Following their marriage, Isidro and Florencia Ochoa lived in the active community on the hill by San Pedro Chapel. Their small house was just east of the Adobe House, with a well between the two.

In the mid-1930's, Isidro bought property along Fort Lowell and built the first of many homes for his family. Next he erected this house, adding a rock nicho in which stood a santo of San Francisco. For some reason, the house was called El Monte. The house was modified by later owners, but the original lines remain nearly unchanged to this day.

Isidro Ochoa built homes for los fuerteños which have outlived him. They provide a priceless link to an earlier culture and time.