Richard and Lupita Ochoa Home Site #16


Built in the 1930's, this house has been home to four generations of Ochoas. Refugio Ochoa, Richard's grandfather, immigrated from Sonora in the late 1800's to farm near Sabino Canyon. Late in life, he married Mercedes Olívas, a member of another early Fuerteño family. Their son, Ricardo was born in 1894. Soon the family moved to the abandoned Fort buildings, near other Fuerteños, and Isidro was born there in 1902.

Initially Ricardo joined his brother Isidro in the construction business, but he soon decided it was not for him and became a farmer, like their father. He worked for many years at Hill Farm, moving to this house early in the 1940's. It was here that his son Richard grew up, surrounded by the many cousins who also lived in the barrio.

In those days, El Callejón looked much like the Sonoran villages from which the people had come. Corbett Ditch provided water for gardens, most of the cooking was done outside and impromptu fiestas were frequent. Children attended San Pedro Chapel for Catechism classes and walked across the desert to Fort Lowell Elementary School, by then located on Pima Street.

Shortly after their marriage in 1963, Richard and Lupita moved to El Callejón. Life in the country was a shock to Tucson-born Lupita. But under her mother-in-law's tutelage, she mastered the wood stove which stood under a mesquite tree in the yard, soon becoming famous for her tortillas. Their two daughters were raised in this house, as their father had been, and now there is a granddaughter. Though El Callejón and all of El Fuerte have seen many changes in the past 60 years, the Ochoa family history serves as a link to an earlier time.