This week, I will try not to get off on a tangent, but I thought you might like a look at a different part of our town’s history when something jogged my memory about those parties.
So this week, I’m going to remain on task and write about the initial growth boom during our community’s first six months.
In addition to work starting on Dell Trailor’s 220-unit residential complex called Fontana in the northeast part of Fountain Hills, individual builders were being attracted to Fountain Hills as well.
Cocopah Construction Co., a Scottsdale-based firm, started the first two homes in the fall of 1971. One of the two homes that were built as models was sold to a first-grade teacher from Apache Junction. Her name at that time was Sally Ballee. (Her last name is now Atchinson.) She and her two children, Steven and Sheryl, were the first residents to move into the community. The home is located on Calaveras Avenue across from what is now the Boys and Girls Club.
Dickenson Construction Co. of Mesa built the next two occupied homes in Fountain Hills for Mr. and Mrs. Warren Bunting and Mr. and Mrs. Elmo Robinson. The Robinsons were the first buyers of property in Fountain Hills when sales opened in 1971. Elmo served on the first School Board when it was established.
Jeff Mowry, the first person hired for McCulloch Properties’ Fountain Hills sales staff, sold the Buntings their lot. So there you have all of the “firsts” involving the first residents.
Cocopah Construction Co. immediately went to work on an identical home to the one purchased by Sally Ballee to have two models ready for potential home buyers to view.
One was a three-bedroom Spanish–style and the other was a traditional four-bedroom Arizona ranch-style. Both homes sold for slightly less than $29,000 including a desert landscaping package, wall-to-wall carpeting, a built-in oven and range and a disposal.
Dickenson followed on Cocopah’s heels and broke ground in March 1972 on five model homes on Grande Boulevard and Rosita Drive. Prices on the three- and four-bedroom homes started at $35,000.
Can you believe those prices? Before you go off and think I’m crazy with those figures, remember, this was a time when gasoline sold for less than a quarter a gallon
In the March 1972 issue of The Fountain Hills Times, we had stories and photos of the first two duplexes built in the community.
The first was built by Savittieri Construction Co. of Phoenix. He would later move his operation to Fountain HiIls, and he became one of the new community’s busiest builders.
The second duplex was built by John Klug, a Scottsdale resident, who moved to Fountain Hills upon completion of his duplex.
It had two bedrooms on each side. Klug lived on one side and he rented out the other side. He was a familiar sight building his home as people drove down Saguaro Boulevard in those early days of Fountain Hills.
Next week I will be talking about the development projects of McCulloch Properties in that first year.