Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Stone Cabin On Dove Mountain

Much of the land along Dove Mountain Boulevard in Marana, just north of Tucson, was once a part of a 1300 acre parcel owned by rancher Eugene "Cush" Cayton. The Cayton ranch, known as the T Bench Bar Ranch, was sold for development in 1985 but vestiges of the ranching years are visible in the Tortolita Mountains.

Here's a little stone structure, a cabin with a chimney, doors, and windows that overlooks Dove Mountain Boulevard. Constructed of stone with masonry filling, the cabin is hard to spot during the day when the colors of the stone blend into the hills and boulders around it.

In the evening when the sunlight slants low in the sky, the cabin is lit up with the warm sienna and ochre tones of evening light.

In the photo above, the cabin can be seen within the darkened oval area. One account of the Cayton ranching years says that the cabin was built by Cush Cayton's brother who lived there. Another source said that Cush Cayton built the cabin for his wife Inez. The Caytons were known for their entertaining. Cush Cayton was a cowboy and a poet, according to stories about him.

As I walk on Dove Mountain Trail, along the road, I often look for the Cayton cabin and wonder about its story. It seems to be located in a spot where if you looked southwest from the cabin, you would have a commanding view of the Twin Peaks over in the Tucson Mountains. One can imagine lovely winter evenings, sitting by the fire in the Cayton cabin, watching the sun setting over the majestic Tucson basin.

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