We’re always pleased to hear from the Ladd family.

There’s something truly special and completely unique about a family that can trace its lineage back to the late 1800s. The Ladds established a dairy farm on a portion of the property they are still ranching today, making an almost daily trip by horse-drawn trailer to Bisbee where they sold very fresh milk.

The earliest ancestors hand-dug (like, with a shovel) a well, measuring about 80-feet deep, to bring water to the property.

They know the history of the area, because they have lived the history of the area. Today, the family’s spread measures more than 16,000 acres and includes property on both sides of State Route 92, all the way to the international border.

Mostly, they keep to themselves.

So we were very pleased to receive an email from Marguerite Ladd this week, answering our call for memorable restaurants in the area.

She writes: “Took awhile to remember 60 years ago. When we lived in Sierra Vista in the early ‘60s, Sue and Herb’s drive-in was the place to go, especially if you had young children. It was on the south side of Fry, east almost at the city limits.”

We can only imagine where Sierra Vista’s city limits were in the 1960s, just a few years after the community was incorporated in 1956. Did life exist beyond Seventh Street?

• • •

Benson is getting ready for its annual Butterfield Stage Days beginning tomorrow.

The weekend kicks off with a parade at 9 a.m. on the city’s main thoroughfare and includes something for everyone all weekend.

Highlighting both days will be the annual rodeo. On Saturday, the rodeo starts at 3 p.m. with kids’ events, followed by professional rodeo action at 5. Events on Sunday start at noon with events for youth competitors, followed by the pro rodeo at 1 p.m.

There will also be art exhibits, craft vendors, food vendors and plenty to enjoy in Benson this weekend.

The rodeo will be held at Arena Bar, 250 N. Prickly Pear Ave.

• • •

The Butterfield Overland Mail has an interesting history that ties Benson and Cochise County to national recognition.

You might say the Butterfield stagecoach puts Benson “… on the map.”

From 1858 through 1861, the Overland Mail route carried passengers and U.S. mail from two eastern cites, Memphis, Tennessee, and St. Louis, Missouri, to San Francisco, California.

John Butterfield, president of the stagecoach company, was awarded the contract in 1857 to accomplish the mail and passenger delivery. Mail Contract No. 12,578 for $600,000 per annum for a semi-weekly service was assigned to Butterfield’s Overland Mail Company and at the time was the longest mail contract awarded in the United States.

The route “divisions” operated by Butterfield’s company included a total of nine separate destinations from San Francisco to St. Louis totaling 2,795 miles and requiring more than 596 hours to accomplish.

Not exactly as convenient as traveling by airplane in today’s world!

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