Before Renovations began
"My favorite color... the seam of a desert horizon."
~ Eileen Tabios
Ranching has been a rich part of Arizona’s history. The Spanish missionaries introduced ranching over 300 years ago, and it became one of the early reasons people came to Arizona. While Drinkwater Ranch has not always operated as a working ranch, it currently operates as a small gentleman's ranch in North Scottsdale, Arizona. There are stables onsite, adjacent to the guest casita but there are currently no horses or other ranch animals in residence, other than our two faithful canine companions, Koda (Labradoodle) and Faith (Golden Retriever (both live in the main residence and do not have access to the guest casita).
Drinkwater Ranch is a 6.8 Acre equestrian estate in North Scottsdale, Arizona. Located in the pristine Sonoran Desert, Drinkwater Ranch borders the McDowell Mountain Preserve and is near some of Scottsdale's world class golf club communities. The main residence sits ¾ up a desert mountaintop overlooking North Scottsdale's city lights, majestic Pinnacle Peak, and local hiking favorite, McDowell Mountain Preserve.
The home and guest casita were originally built in 1994 by Herb Drinkwater. We purchased the home and began renovating this stunning property in 2018. The guest casita renovation was completed in early 2019.
Herb Drinkwater, "Mr. Scottsdale"
In Old Town Scottsdale, sits an impressive sculpture of 'Mr. Scottsdale.' The 7.5 foot sculpture of Mayor Herb Drinkwater cuts an imposing figure wearing a Stetson, Western style jacket and blue jeans, ostrich boots, a bola tie, and belt buckle inscribed with his name, leaning against a fence post. By his side is “Sadie”, the family’s German shepherd. The sculpture was commissioned through donations from hundreds of citizens in appreciation of his 24 year service to Scottsdale.
Written on the plaque to the right of the sculpture:
“Serving the citizens of Scottsdale is the greatest job in the world.”
– Herb Drinkwater
“Mr. Scottsdale,” Mayor Herb Drinkwater, served the citizens of Scottsdale 24 years, 8 as City Councilman and 16 as Mayor. A one-man Chamber of Commerce, he never knew a stranger. He personified the city’s “West’s Most Western Town” image by dressing in Western suits, a bolo tie, and cowboy boots. Everyone considered him a friend. One of Arizona’s most popular politicians, he received a 96 percent citizen approval rating. During his tenure, he transformed the city into an economic powerhouse with more jobs than workers.
In 1993, Scottsdale was named “America’s Most Livable City” by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which validated Mayor Drinkwater’s vision that small town values could still exist and pull citizens together in a big city atmosphere.
His legacy includes Mayo Clinic Scottsdale, Tournament Players Club, and the All-Arabian Horse Show. Voters showed their support by approving a bond issue to build a new Scottsdale Stadium and expand the Civic Center
Mayor Drinkwater sitting on the patio of the main residence of now-named Drinkwater Ranch
He worked with the City Council to expand the Civic Center Mall with its fountains and bridge that connect City Hall to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Under his leadership, the McDowell Sonoran Preserve was established.
His heroism is well documented. He saved a life using the Heimlich maneuver, changed tires for strangers, helped a policeman subdue a suspect, administered life-saving CPR to a man struck by lightning, and prevented a bull from charging into a group of children at Parada del Sol Rodeo.
In 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Jackie. She taught sixth-grade in the Scottsdale School District, while he was assistant business manager. He later owned Drinkwater’s in Sundown Plaza. Their two children, Jamie and Mark, continue the Drinkwater legacy as community and business leaders.
Scottsdale’s patriarch, Man of the Year, and Man of the Century, was known for his steadfast faith, solid handshake, effervescent personality, spirit, and love for the city and its citizens.