Continental, Arizona
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Continental is a
populated place In biology, a population is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be represen ...
located about south of
Tucson Tucson (; es, Tucsón; O'odham The O'odham peoples, including the Tohono O'odham, the Pima Pima or PIMA may refer to: Places * Pima, Arizona, a town in Graham County * Pima County, Arizona * Pima Canyon, in the Santa Catalina Mountains * Pima ...
, in
Pima County Pima County ( ) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William a ...
,
Arizona Arizona ( ; nv, Hoozdo Hahoodzo ; ood, Alĭ ṣonak) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...

Arizona
, near the town of Sahuarita and the retirement community of Green Valley. Once a center for
cotton Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective case, around the seeds of the cotton plants of the genus '' Gossypium'' in the mallow family Malvaceae. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. Under natural condition ...

cotton
production, Continental is now nearly surrounded by large
pecan The pecan (''Carya illinoinensis'') is a species of hickory native to northern Mexico and the southern United States in the region of the Mississippi River The Mississippi River is the List of longest rivers of the United States (by main s ...

pecan
orchard An orchard is an intentional plantation of tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree ...

orchard
s and Green Valley subdivisions. It is also the closest town to Madera Canyon, a premier
birdwatching Birdwatching, or birding, is a form of wildlife observation in which the observation of bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaw ...

birdwatching
area and tourist attraction located in the
Santa Rita Mountains The Santa Rita Mountains ( O'odham: To:wa Kuswo Doʼag), located about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Tucson, Arizona Tucson (; es, Tucsón; Oʼodham language, O'odham: ''Cuk-Ṣon''; Navajo language, Navajo: ''Tó Oostsʼąʼ'') is a ci ...
.


History

Continental was founded during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
in 1916, after
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a Chief Executive Officer, chi ...

President
Woodrow Wilson Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856February 3, 1924) was an American politician and academic who served as the 28th from 1913 to 1921. A member of the , Wilson served as the and as the before winning the . As President, Wilson chang ...

Woodrow Wilson
asked the Intercontinental Rubber Company of
Bernard Baruch Bernard Mannes Baruch (August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965) was an American financier and statesman. According to historian Thomas A. Krueger: :For half a century Bernard Baruch was one of the country's richest and most powerful men. A great specu ...
,
Joseph Kennedy Joseph Patrick Kennedy Sr. (September 6, 1888 – November 18, 1969) was a prominent American businessman, investor and politician. He is known for his own political prominence as well as that of his children and was the patriarch of the Irish-A ...

Joseph Kennedy
, and
J. P. Morgan John Pierpont Morgan (April 17, 1837 – March 31, 1913) was an American financier An investor is a person that allocates capital with the expectation of a future financial return (profit) or to gain an advantage (interest). Through this a ...
to grow guayule. Guayule is a plant that produces latex and can be used to make rubber if, as many Americans feared, the
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
navy were to cut off shipping lanes and imports of rubber from the
Far East The Far East is a term to refer to the geographical regions that includes East and Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeaster ...
. In 1916, Intercontinental established the Continental Farm seven miles south of Sahuarita and immediately east of the present-day Green Valley, along the eastern banks of the Santa Cruz River and the
Southern Pacific Railroad The Southern Pacific (or Espee from the railroad initials- SP) was an American Class I railroad Rail transport (also known as train transport) is a means of transferring passengers and goods on wheeled vehicles running on rails, which a ...
. Over the next few years, a small town was built to accommodate the workers at the farm. In addition to several large
adobe Adobe (; ) is a building material Building material is material used for construction Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form Physical object, objects, systems, or organizations,"Construction" def. 1.a. ...

adobe
homes that were built for the farmers around 1918, and the fields and the processing facility built for the guayule, the town of Continental had a post office that opened in 1917, a schoolhouse that was built in 1918, a church, a
general store A general merchant store (also known as general merchandise store, general dealer or village shop) is a rural or small-town Retailing, store that carries a general line of merchandise. It carries a broad selection of merchandise, sometimes in a ...

general store
, and its own cemetery. The guayule project was abandoned after the end of World War I. In 1922, of the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
bought the farm and rented the fields to cotton farmers until 1949. In 1926, an
Arkansas Arkansas () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Arkansas
farmer named James B. Bull acquired a 160-acre plot in between Continental and Sahuraita. Naming it the Bull Farm, James raised alfalfa, vegetables, and grains until 1975. At its peak, Bull Farm was one of the largest in the area with its 6,150 acres. In 1939, the Bull Farm was used in the filming of '' The Westerner'', starring
Gary Cooper Gary Cooper (born Frank James Cooper; May 7, 1901 – May 13, 1961) was an American actor known for his strong, silent, and understated acting style. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award prese ...

Gary Cooper
. During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
, in late 1944, the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
established a
prisoner of war A prisoner of war (POW) is a non-combatant—whether a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and m ...
camp for German POWs next to the farm. Camp Continental, as it was called, was built to house 250 inmates and forty guards. Because of a labor shortage caused by the war, the prisoners were put to work in the nearby fields. Although very little is known about the history of the camp, on more than one occasion the American guards had to use billy clubs to "quell disorderly prisoners as they were prone to pro-Nazi uprisings." Nothing remains of the camp and in 1989 the site of the Bull Farm became the present-day Quail Creek retirement development center. In 1948, R. Keith Walden relocated his Farmers Investment Company (FICO) from California to Arizona and purchased the Continental Farm to use as his headquarters. In the 1950s, Keith grew concerned that competition from synthetic fibers would threaten the cotton market and in 1965 he transitioned his farming operation to pecans as an alternative crop. Keith chose pecans because of their compatibility with the climate of the Sonoran Desert. FICO is still owned by the Walden family and their orchards combine to form the largest pecan grove in the world. Today, several of the old adobe homes in Continental are still in use. The old Continental School was replaced in the 1990s by a new facility located about one mile to the east. The old school was refurbished and now serves as the Continental Community Center. The Continental Cemetery is located northeast of the old school, and is now completely surrounded by the Madera Reserve subdivision. Considered to be a holy site by local Indians, the cemetery has been in use since 1903, and the oldest marked grave is from 1918.


Gallery

File:Continental_Community_Center_Sign_Arizona_2014.jpg, Signs in front of the Continental Community Center File:Continental_Cemetery_Pima_Country_Arizona_2014.jpg, Graves at the Continental Cemetery with the
Santa Rita Mountains The Santa Rita Mountains ( O'odham: To:wa Kuswo Doʼag), located about 65 km (40 mi) southeast of Tucson, Arizona Tucson (; es, Tucsón; Oʼodham language, O'odham: ''Cuk-Ṣon''; Navajo language, Navajo: ''Tó Oostsʼąʼ'') is a ci ...
in the background File:Old_Tractor_Bull_Farm_Continental_Arizona_2014.jpg, The remains of a farm wagon in an abandoned field near Quail Creek File:Old_Tractor_Continental_Arizona_2014.jpg, Abandoned reel and chute of harvesting equipment File:Old_Canal_and_Bridge_Continental_Arizona_2014.jpg, The ruins of a canal and a small bridge in the field


See also

* Santa Rita Experimental Range and Wildlife Area * United States home front during World War I * United States involvement in the Mexican Revolution * Arizona during World War II


References


External links

{{Pima County, Arizona Populated places in Pima County, Arizona Populated places in the Sonoran Desert 1916 establishments in Arizona History of Pima County, Arizona