REDFIELD CANYON CLIFF HOUSE
Not all cliff houses were built by the Anazasi (The Ancient Ones). There is a cliff house in Redfield Canyon in the Galiuro Mountains that was built by a cowboy named Chick Logan. Chick worked as a cowboy gathering wild horses in Redfield Canyon in the 1930s. During a trip to Reno Nevada, he met and married Harriet, a divorcee with two children. The new family returned to Arizona and started to build a house into a cliff in Redfield Canyon in 1936. It took three years to complete the house. The Logan Family lived in the house for a short time but it made a lasting impression on one of Harriet’s sons. Frank Logan wrote a short novel, “A Cave House Ranch”, based on the family’s experience in Redfield Canyon.
Also during the 1930s, a young lady by the name of Hope Iselin came to Arizona. Although she was only in her 20s, she started buying up land around Redfield Canyon and also bought the house from the Logan Family. She initially bought the place to raise horses and let them run wild. She was from a socially prominent Rhode Island family who were wealthy financiers and who also owned thoroughbred horses. Her familiarity with horses might explain her love affair with the West.
Hope married a cowboy named Honeycutt Jones and they had a son, Archer, before they were divorced. For a while, Hope raised the boy in the remote cliff house. She lived in the house for over a decade but eventually divided her time between Redfield Canyon and a small horse ranch on the east side of Tucson. The ranch that Hope operated in Redfield Canyon was called the C-Spear Ranch. The Bureau of Land Management eventually made her stop running her horses on BLM rangeland and the ranch became exclusively a cattle operation. A cowboy who worked for Hope lived in the cliff house with his family for two years (timeframe is not known).
Hope’s son Archer married and moved to Rhode Island. He retired in 1988 and returned to Arizona. He died of a heart attack while hiking in the Santa Rita Mountains.
EPILOGUE: As of 2001, the C-Spear Ranch still operated in Redfield Canyon, managed by cowboy Johnny Lavin. Hope Jones turned 94 in 2001 and was living in an apartment in Tucson. She also still owned the small horse ranch close to Tucson and periodically visited it. The cliff house has been vandalized over the years but it still remains a hauntingly beautiful surprise for anyone with the fortitude to search it out.
Summarized from “The House of Hope” an article that appeared in the January 2001 issue of Arizona Highways. Photographs by T. Johnson
Additional Material: GVHC Library File 89