What town: Sonoita
Telephone Co. Name: Qwest
Electric Co. Name: Sulpher Springs Valley Electric Co-op
Gas Co Name: Propane delivered by several companies - no natural gas
Cable Co. Name: No cable - just satellite systems or antennas
City Trash Name: A private company picks up trash in some areas, others burn their trash or take it to the dump.
City Water Name: Water and septic are provided by private wells.
Sewer: Each house has its own septic tank.
Hospital Name: Nearest hospital is in Sierra Vista - 35 miles east
Parks and Rec.
Newspaper Name: The Bulletin, 520-455-4776
Chamber of Commerce: Sonoita-Elgin Chamber of Commerce
Convention & Visitors Bureau: None
Station type of work -
Sonoita Station (520) 455-5051
We work in the mountains, so be able to hike at 8-10,000 feet elevation. We patrol, there are no x's. The Check Point isn't up year round. We rotate shifts ever four pay periods, you will work days, swings and mids. The temperature in the summer does not get above 100* and there is some snow in the winter, but it never stays around for more than a day or two. We have the best weather for an AZ station.
Shopping - Small shops mainly for tourists. Bigger shopping is available in Tucson or Sierra Vista
Eateries - Just a few local Steak Houses, and Cafe's.
Cellular Telephone - AllTel, Verizon
Local Internet Providers - Satellite, AOL, Dakotacom.net, TheRiver.com, and NetZero.
Other Services - Stockmen's Bank, 3 Beauty Shops, Auto Service Shop, 4 Churches, Dentist, Physical Therapist, Drug Store, Accountant and Lawyer
Any other information that you would like to add:
There are very few housing options in Sonoita. There are no apartment complexes. There are a few rentals but Sonoita is a very popular place to live so those get taken quickly. Your options are to buy or rent a place in Sierra Vista or Tucson. Most agents live in Sierra Vista (30 min), Tucson (45 to 60 min depending on what part) or Sahuarita (45 min).
The Santa Cruz County Fair and Rodeo Association puts on 4 major events each year: Horse Races on the last weekend in April and 1st weekend in May; Quarterhorse Show in May; Rodeo on Labor Day Weekend; and County Fair in September. This is a membership organization open to all in the community and events are manned by volunteers. The settlements of Sonoita and Elgin were founded when the Santa Fe Railroad built an 88-mile-long line that ran the full length of Sonoita Creek, from Benson to Nogales, in 1882. Walking the elevated berm upon which the Railroad Trail is built is one of the many attractions of the area.
The Sonoita area’s 4,970 foot elevation, high rolling grasslands, surrounded by spectacular mountains and canyons, provide some of Arizona’s most beautiful weather and landscapes. Mount Wrightson, one of the tallest peaks in Arizona, dominates the horizon.
A rich and varied human history is a magnet for archeologists, anthropologists and others tantalized by the historical mosaic. Limited archaeological investigations have revealed the presence of several prehistoric cultures including Archaic sites dating from 2000 BC to 500 BC, Hohokam sites from 900 to 1400 AD, and possible Sobaipuri sites.
Sonoita and Elgin’s rich ranching history dates back to the 1800s when as many as 3,000 head of cattle a day were shipped from local ranches by rail to markets in the East. Fort Buchanan and Fort Crittenden were established in the area in 1857-1867 to protect settlers from marauding Apaches. Ranching is still an active industry with some families working the same land for five generations.
Filmmakers have chosen the charming old west atmosphere and beauty of the Sonoita area for several films including, “Oklahoma,” “Red River,” and more recently, “Tin Cup,” “The Young Guns,” “The Fantastiks,” “Broken Lance,” “Tom Horn” and television series such as, “The Young Riders” and “Gunsmoke.”
Sonoita, Arizona’s Wine Country, is home to several wineries that offer some of the best wines found outside of France. These vineyards represent a rapidly growing industry, which began some four decades in the Sonoita Valley. Each vineyard produces unique vintages which reflect the personalities and attitudes of their owners, from colorful picnic-style wine to serious award winning varietals.
The Empire Cienega Ranch, once one of the largest and most prosperous cattle operations in the southwest, is now managed by the Bureau of Land Management as an antelope preserve, which is open to the public. Its historic building and corrals, including the ranch house which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, are being restored and preserved in order to understand the culture and history of ranching life in this area.
Plan your visit to include one or more of the annual events. In April, the Blessing of the Vineyards takes place at Sonoita Vineyards. Sonoita Quarter Horse Show, in spring, is the oldest Quarter horse show in the nation. The Santa Cruz County Fair takes place the last weekend in September and features exhibits, food vendors, family entertainment and carnival rides.
Modern Sonoita has the charm of the old west with some of the finest restaurants and shops in Arizona. Shoppers will find classic authentic Native American jewelry, fine apparel, Mexican pottery, and wonderful eclectic gift shops. Travelers will experience scenic splendor and enjoy the peace and charm of the west while staying at one of the local elegant bed-and-breakfasts locations. In Sonoita/Elgin, the grasslands are vast and dotted with vineyards, and cattle, Brahma bulls, pronghorn antelope, and horses complete the landscape. The communities are diverse, yet the binding ideals are an appreciation of the beautiful countryside and a deep respect for individuality. Two of Arizona's Top 100 restaurants—Cafe Sonoita and The Wine Country Caffe—are located here, as are locally owned shops that feature distinctive Native American jewelry and unique gifts.
The area's wide open grasslands are surrounded by a half dozen mountain ranges, and flanked by two large ranches: the third generation, family-owned San Ignacio del Babacomari Land Grant and the Empire Ranch. Annual events center around horse shows, wine tasting's, and events at the County Fairgrounds, located just south of the crossroads at Hwy 82 and Hwy 83. The Santa Cruz County Fair (last weekend in September), Sonoita Quarterhorse Show (the oldest in the nation), and the Sonoita Rodeo (Labor Day weekend) are just a few examples.