The Spirit of Pine Valley

A Unique Community Living with Nature

Rose Marie Licher

Pete and Judy Mandeville, the couple in the yellow rain jackets,were the owners of the Pine Valley Water Company then (around 1983); Max Licher (left) and Doug Howland (right) were starting to build Rose Marie’s home.  Judy’s son, Lance Wischmeier, owns the PV Water Co. now.

By Rose Marie Licher

2990 Valley Vista Drive

I was working in Los Angeles when my son Max and his friend, Doug, borrowed my car to come looking for land in Arizona. Max (he was on a motorcycle then) called me to fly over, and they picked me up at the Phoenix airport to come up and see Pine Valley (PV).  I moved to PV in 1976 and rented a house in the Village of Oak Creek (VOC). My son and his two buddies built my house and Max lived with me for a while, then got his own place.  Doug and Terry each lived in a tent with small wood stoves down by the wash. When the house was part built, I moved in, moving from room to room as the house was completed.  The boys built a wood bathtub out back and we took turns in the tub Saturday night. I have lived here ever since, although for several years I lived in Mesa during the week and worked at Boeing Aircraft plant, coming home on the weekend.

Solar Home Tour comes to Pine Valley; photo of Rose Marie Licher’s home, October, 1983.Rose Marie Licher (PV Lot 198) shows a Solar Tour visitor her home, October, 1983.When I came, the roads were all dirt, including Jacks Canyon. The ones in the east end of PV were unfinished and some almost impassable. The mailman only delivered mail to Longwood Drive, so there were a bunch of mailboxes there. Two realtors owned a lot of lots, all on the west side, and they were anxious to sell them, and so they started the PVPOA. Paving the roads would help them sell their lots, they thought. It was another decade before we finally got the east side of PV paved and 4 or 5 years before the west was finished.

Bob Larson (Lot 17) installing solar water heater in the roof at Rose Marie Licher’s home (Lot 198), March, 1983.

They asked me to be Secretary and one of the realtors was President. I guess they figured that, being new, I didn’t know what was going on so they could run the organization. They sent out a letter or notice about paving the roads – but only sent it to those they knew wanted them paved. They waited a week to send it to those not in favor. Since I was Secretary, I should have been involved and sent the letter. Jaine Smith, who lived at the top of Sedona Road, and I didn’t like what they said and did. So we wrote our own letter, pointing out other viewpoints. When the time came for the PVPOA meeting, the realtors did not show up and I, as Secretary, had to run the meeting.

I have been active in the PVPOA since it was first started and was President in 1976 and have had other jobs over the years. I still have a filing cabinet of old records that are ready to go in the trash.

What I love about Pine Valley is everything: most of the people who live here, the wildlife, the land and trails.