Short History of Catalina Foothills Estate No.7
Following the stock market crash of 1929, John Murphey needed to
raise some much-needed cash. The Tucson developer turned to an Arizona
banker for help. Murphey owned several large tracts of land in the
foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains and he offered to sell
some of this land for ten dollars per acre. The banker refused the
offer and flatly stated that the land was worthless. Even Murphey,
who knew the land values and understood growth, would be astonished
to know that some of the acres he could not market for $10 in 1930
now command over $100,000 per acre.
Although Murphey begun buying much of his foothills property during
the 1920's his first development was not begun until 1935. Murphey
formed a partnership with Josias Joesler, as architect, and together
they begun constructing homes north of the Rillito near North Campbell
Avenue. Catalina Foothills Estates was one of the first planned
developments in the Tucson suburbs.
Catalina Foothills Estates No. 7 was started during the summer
of 1965. Lots were offered for $5,000 each near River Road and Via
Entrada. By that December, six homes had been built and protective
covenants established. In 1966, choice lots were being marketed
for $6,500 and as new homes were built, Via Entrada was lengthened.
Some of the first homes in Catalina Foothills Estate No. 7 were
constructed for less than $20,000 plus the cost of the lot.
Much care was taken when the lots were drawn and sold. Utilities
were buried and houses were placed in such a way to ensure quality
of life. Desert vegetation was protected to make certain the terrain
was unspoiled. The protective covenants and the commitment of the
people who have moved here make Catalina Foothills Estates No. 7
one of Tucson's best places to live.
John Murphey would be pleased.
-- Written by Larry Cox, April 1997