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Marana’s Dove Mountain Community

A rich blend of history and unwavering stewardship of the land

Like so many stories of early Arizona, the founding of the area which would become the master-planned Dove Mountain community was based on a quest for healthful surroundings and an invigorating climate.

Eugene “Cush” Cayton was no exception. In 1926, he left Missouri for Arizona seeking an environment that would improve his health.

After arriving, Cayton lived and worked at Sabino Canyon’s historic Flying V Guest Ranch. It wasn’t long before he was hooked. He fell in love with the Sonoran Desert and secured a homestead in hopes of raising cattle and building his own ranch.

An original home from the Cayton ranch stands as a reminder of Dove Mountain’s rich history.

The 1,350-acre claim was located at the base of Tortolita Mountains and extended nearly three miles into the picturesque Ruelas Canyon.

During the next 20 years he and his wife Inez would raise two daughters as they built their ranch amidst the stunning setting.

Building on a legacy

As the Caytons grew older, they began considering the future of their property. They wanted to pass it along to someone they could trust to continue their stewardship, respecting the land they treasured so deeply.

After seeing the community development of La Paloma in the central Catalina Foothills, they contacted developers David Mehl and his late brother George of Cottonwood Properties.

A shared passion

As Mehl’s son Carson tells it, “Both Cush and my father had a deep respect for the desert and shared a passion for the peacefulness and the incredible views the Sonoran Desert provides.”

Mehl said Cayton and his father had many meetings before ultimately transferring the property.

The integration and preservation of the lush Sonoran Desert is central to the Dove Mountain Community.

Over the next 15 years the Mehl family expanded the original property to include more than 6,000 acres in what is now the Dove Mountain community. In addition to the numerous amenities that have been developed within Dove Mountain, it is now more accessible than ever and shares a close connection with the broader Tucson metropolitan area.

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