La Loma Homestead

La Loma Homestead: The Gift

In 1916, Mr. Litchfield eyed the hill north of Goodyear Tire Company’s Litchfield Ranch as a unique place for a family retreat. In 1919 he purchased an 80-acre property including that hill, plus other adjoining land parcels to ultimately total 365 acres. He aptly named his desert property Rancho La Loma.

A visionary, Mr. Litchfield began grading land and planting trees and plants, cleverly irrigating the La Loma hill in arid Arizona with his irrigation invention. Not to be outdone, his wife, Florence had a beautiful rose garden near the main house and a unique cactus garden on the south side of the hill. The main resident (cottage #1) was completed in 1925. By 1932 four additional “cottages” were built on the property for family members, and over the years family reunions and holidays were often on “the hill.”

In the mid seventies, following the deaths of Paul W. and Florence Litchfield, their daughter, Edith Litchfield Denny, and her husband Wally, decided to move from Mississauga, Ontario, where Wally had been an executive with Goodyear; and retire in Litchfield Park. They initially lived in another house on Fairway Drive previously owned by Edith's parents; but soon the Dennys decided to renovate and add to the original main home at La Loma. With the help of architect William W. Christensen, Edith and Wally Denny created a seamless expansion in the same Spanish Southwestern character, but included an indoor pool and removed all steps to make access easier for everyone. According to Edith her dad brought a pair of peacocks to the hill shortly after the house was built, and new generations continue to nest west of the main house today.

Edith passed away in 2001 but her husband continued to reside at La Loma. With the death of Wally Denny in June, 2008, the 20-acre La Loma Homestead was offered to the City of Litchfield Park as a gift from the Edith and Wally Denny estate. At their May 20, 2009 meeting the Litchfield Park City Council formally accepted the gift.

Adapted from an article from the Litchfield Park Historical Society's Spring 2009 Litchfield Legends newsletter. Reprinted with permission from the Litchfield Park Historical Society.