By Kelly Vaughn Kramer | Photo by Paul Markow
On June 3, 1914, José María Ronstadt — better known as "Pepe" — purchased a big blue house at the corner of Tucson's Sixth Avenue and University Boulevard. As postmaster of Tucson, a county supervisor and owner of the Santa Margarita Ranch, which served as headquarters for the Baboquivari Livestock Co., Ronstadt was well acquainted with the well-heeled Tucson lifestyle. And he decorated his inn accordingly. After Ronstadt died, he left the house to his wife, Hortense, who remained there until her own passing in 1965. After several additional changes of ownership, the Big Blue House ultimately landed in the hands of Leona Marie Ramsey in 2005. Under her careful supervision, the house has undergone several renovations, including the preservation of its door frames and original woodwork, painting, and the restoration of the porch railing. Today, the inn features seven rooms, as well as a separate cottage where guests are served breakfast.
Big Blue House Inn is located at 144 E. University Boulevard in Tucson. For more information, call 520-891-1827 or visit www.144university.com.