(Professional photographers require permits - details in RED below)
Manistee Ranch Tours
The historic 1897 Manistee Ranch conducts tours on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from 12 PM to 4 pm - the last tour starts at 3 pm.
Manistee Ranch is located 5217 W. Northern Avenue (enter on west side off of 51st Avenue south of Northern)
Payment by cash, check, or Zelle.
The 2023-2024 tour dates are:
December 2 & 16, 2023
January 6 & 20, 2024
February 3 & 17, 2024
March 2 & 16, 2024
April 6 & 20, 2024
The cost is:
Adults ~ $5 Seniors (65 +) and Military (with ID) ~ $4
Children (ages 6-10) ~ $1 Children (under 6) - FREE
GAHS members are always FREE
** For group tours, plese contact the GAHS office **
Professional photographers are required to purchase Photo Permits for taking photos at Manistee Ranch. These are issued by Glendale Arizona Historical Society and are $25 for one day, or $100 for a season. Please print each of the 3 forms below ~ click each of the red links ~ fill in and return the Photo Registration Form to the GAHS office at Sahuaro Ranch Guest House with your payment. Keep copies of all forms for your records. Contact the GAHS office at 623.435. 0072 if you have any questions. Please be aware that GAHS Manistee Ranch Photo Permits DO NOT authorize you to photograph at Sahuaro Ranch.
Sahuaro Ranch Photo Permits are issued by the City of Glendale.
History of Manistee Ranch
Manistee Ranch was built by Herbert W. Hamilton in 1897 as a home for his family. The house is better known as the residence of Louis M. Sands, who purchased it in 1907 and named in Manistee Ranch after his hometown in Michigan.
The Manistee Ranch Historic Site consists of the main house, a barn (the granary), a garage built in 1912, an office building dating from about 1924, a small field with a farming/ranching exhibit and the date orchard which is over 85 years old. The house itself is a late example of the Queen Anne Revival style. It has three stories and a basement and is constructed of brick masonry and wood framing. Its most distinctive feature is the square tower, known as The Sky Parlor, rising above the center of the house that affords an unsurpassed view of surrounding areas. In 1925 Sands began two major alterations to the house. On the west he added a bedroom for his daughter, and on the east he removed part of the original porch to make way for an extension of the living room, basement and upper story. In 1947 John Sands enclosed the breezeway between the main house and the separate kitchen, forming a new kitchen and breakfast room.
In 1996 the Glendale Arizona Historical Society acquired two acres and the buildings from the family with the help of grants from the State Historic Preservation Office and the Sands family. At the same time the City of Glendale acquired the date orchard from the family with the help of a Heritage Fund grant.
Herbert W. Hamilton
A lumberman from Marinette, Wisconsin, Hamilton visited the Salt River Valley in February 1897, purchased a half-section of land in July, and by August began building the ranch house. Just who designed the house is unknown, but it has been suggested that a well-known Chicago architect, who designed the Guest House of nearby Sahuaro Ranch was the designer.
The Hamiltons occupied the house from December 1897 until 1903, during which time Mrs. Hamilton gave birth (in California) to their fourth child. While in Arizona, Hamilton was concerned with cattle-raising and land speculation, not lumbering. But in 1903 he moved to Eureka in northern California where he established the Hamilton Land and Lumber Company. Nevertheless, for more than a decade, Hamilton continued to have extensive land holdings in the Salt River Valley.
Louis M. Sands
Louis M. Sands, son of Louis Sands a Swedish emigrant and successful Michigan lumberman, moved to Flagstaff in 1900. There he became involved in lumbering with the Saginaw and Manistee Lumber Company. During the next few years he acquired timberlands in northern Arizona and used them as grazing areas for sheep, which were wintered in Paradise Valley.
In November 1906 Louis married Frances Porter, from Rockford, Illinois, and in March 1907 he purchased the ranch from Hamilton.
Renamed Manistee Ranch by Sands, the property became his home headquarters for his developing Arizona ranching and business activities.
Louis and Frances had three children, all born in the master bedroom of the house. The eldest, Louis Sands, Jr., was born in 1908. John Porter Sands was born in 1910, and Flora Sands in 1916.
Louis M. Sands died in Glendale on May 25, 1941, at the age of 65. His wife, Frances, outlived him by twenty-three years, dying in 1964 at the age of 91.
Touring Manistee Ranch
The house at Manistee Ranch is an exhibit in itself. It is a fully-furnished, historic home complete with the period furnishings and décor. Many of the pieces of furniture are original and were in the house when the Sands family lived there.
Manistee Ranch features several interesting, permanent collections including beautiful quilts, a Southwestern dollhouse, a school room, a golf room with its own putting green, a European tea service and many more fascinating items.
Outside, you will discover a farm equipment display that is behind the house and the office is to the east, an orchard and a beautiful rose garden.