Our Vision For Pancho’s

It all began with a visit to the Hacienda de Los Santos in Alamos, Sonora, Mexico…

On that trip, Lorraine and Dennis Rowden, owners of Pancho’s, fell in love with the true style of Old Mexico, of the Spanish Colonial influences found in the graciously refined elegance of our neighbors to the south.

Dennis was a refugee from the corporate world, while Lorraine moved seamlessly from real estate and remodeling to resource and design. A move from San Diego to Tucson brought them into the world of Southwest style, and eventually to a discovery of its precursor, Spanish Colonial, where finely, and sometimes ornately, carved wood is mated with uniquely wrought iron, beautiful handblown glass and myriad of vivid colors that define the word elegance.


That is Pancho’s!

“Extraordinary Eclectic”


That’s how Lorraine describes the store, which combines hand selected furniture, accessories, lighting, rugs, patio décor and so much more from Mexico, India, Indonesia and South America into a dazzling display, a feast for the eyes. It is hard to imagine, standing amidst all of this luxury, that the building itself was once the barn on the Otero hacienda, the walls of which date back to the late 18th century!

It took quite a leap of faith when Joyce & Ron Allred, already big fans of the Rowden’s fine taste, suggested they renovate the building and create a retail establishment to offer their wares to the world. Of course it helped that the Allreds commissioned the Rowdens to furnish the entire Tubac Golf Resort after the re-model, which led to many good connections in Mexico. Doing business across borders can be fraught with problems, but the Rowdens have been able to overcome the obstacles through the excellent connections they have made over the years they have been in business.

History of Tubac and the Otero Family

The first Spanish land grant in Arizona was awarded to Don Toribio de Otero on January 10, 1789. Held by the Oteros for nearly 140 years, a few of the original buildings still exist including the family home, silos and stables. Today, the property is owned by the Tubac Golf Resort.

It was after the Pima Indian Revolt in 1751 that the Spanish began to establish presidios or garrisons to protect their missions, people and holdings in New Spain. Tomas Beldarrain was the first commandant of the Tubac presidio, and he was followed by Juan Bautista de Anza who is famous for leading a group of colonists across the Arizona deserts to found the city of San Francisco. Nicolas de la Erran commanded the garrison in 1787, and on behalf of the King of Spain, he granted a house site and four farming lots to Don Toribio de Otero just north of the village of Tubac. In return, Otero was obliged to plant fruit trees and to supply trained soldiers, arms and horses on demand to protect the presidio. This 400-acre land grant formed the core of what later became the largest cattle empire in Arizona and is today the Tubac Gold Resort.

Unrelenting attacks by Indians, Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821, and occasional years of drought caused the little town of Tubac to be abandoned several times. The Gadsden Purchase brought this part of Arizona into the United States in 1853. Toribio Otero’s grandson Sabino became head of the family in 1863 at age nineteen. The American Civil War brought Tubac briefly under the control of the Confederacy, but the absence of troops brought on a fierce wave of Indian attacks. For safety, Sabino took his family across the border to Buzani and it was there that he became interested in cattle raising. Returning to Arizona in 1870, Sabino began to build up his herds and to supply the garrisons established to fight Geronimo and the Apaches. Ranching became ever more profitable as the railroads provided access to larger and larger markets. Sabino’s partnerships and connections on both sides of the border earned him the title of “Cattle King of Arizona,” and he was instrumental in the founding of St. Mary’s Hospital of Tucson. When he died in 1924, Sabino owned seven ranches and his cattle were to “graze on a thousand hills.”

Sabino’s younger brother Teofilo inherited this vast estate, but a series of droughts and increased competition made the cattle business less and less appealing. Teofilo sold off all the ranches except the old family land grant, traveled frequently to Europe, and, in general, enjoyed the good life. He is said to have thrown parties that went on for a week at a time, and he had a penchant for beautiful women and fine cars, especially the 12-cylinder Lincoln Zephyrs. But Teofilo was also good to Tubac and deeded a parcel of land for a new schoolhouse that still stands near the old presidio.

The ranch changed hands several times after Teofilo’s death in 1941. Among its owners were Joanna Shankle Davis, an early aviator who flew in the famed Women’s Air Derby of 1929 and colorful local banker and real estate baron Wirt Bowman. In 1959, a group of businessmen acquired the Otero Ranch, and with the late, great Bing Crosby as the Chairman of the Board, began the operation, which is today Tubac Golf Resort. The property was purchased by Ron Allred in 2004 and is currently owned and operated by the Tubac Golf Resort. The presence of generations of Oteros can still be felt throughout the property.