GSN NEWS STAFF
The homes may cost a lot, but people who buy into the blooming Heirloom at Morrison Ranch subdivision in Gilbert won’t just get nice amenities.
They’ll get a piece of Gilbert’s past.
Camelot Homes broke ground recently for a 56-home development on Higley Road just north of Warner Road and said the Morrison Family’s four grain silos will remain part of the permanent landscape.
“These mark the location of the original farm headquarters, and were used to mix grain for the cows housed in the feedlot just west of the tanks,” a spokeswoman said. “Though empty today, they will remain as a reminder of the agricultural roots of Morrison.”
Morrison Farms forms one of the great chapters of the East Valley’s agricultural and overall history.
The family tended the 3,000-acre farm for more than 80 years, growing cotton, corn and alfalfa and running a dairy with the help of 13,000 cows at its zenith.
The family’s website lays out the origins of the farm:
“Young Howard and Leatha Morrison trekked a thousand miles west from Oklahoma in the early 1920s, only to find that times were just as tough for dirt farmers in Arizona. Even so, they dug their roots deep into the small farming town of Gilbert.”
The site also notes that the family eventually built one of Arizona’s biggest farming operations, “including several square miles of cropland and one of the world’s largest dairy farms, as well as one of Arizona’s largest ranching businesses, grazing cattle on over 400 square miles of state and leased land stretching from Flagstaff to the Verde River.”
For years now the family has been steadily turning the old homestead into the master-planned Morrison Ranch community, though it has aimed for “a community that harkens back to its agricultural roots while actively promoting community amongst the residents.”
Hence, the silos will remain a reminder of those roots.
Camelot Homes plans to have single- and two-story houses ranging from 3,000 to 5,400 square feet on quarter-acre lots. The houses will be priced from the low $700,000s to the high $800,000s.
The developer apparently anticipates no problem selling the homes at that price range.
Right now the development is in presales and models are expected in a few months.
The first homes should be occupied by the end of the year, a spokeswoman said.