The Stevens/ Duffield Houses are located west of the Main Museum building and are connected to the Edward Nye Fish House. Today, they serve as gallery spaces and the home of the Museum’s award-winning restaurant Café a la C’Art. Interestingly, both of the properties and their original owners of the buildings have intriguing, intertwined histories.
Hiram Stevens first came to Tucson in 1856 and purchased property for a house in April 1865 for $50. He was well known in Tucson and throughout the country for his business acumen and political success in the state legislature as well as local government. It is known that he was once a post trader for the Army, miner, sheep rancher, hotelier, and was elected to U.S. Congress two times.
His home was one of the grandest in the area. It was located on Calle Real, today’s Main Ave, north of Edward Nye Fish’s home. The house included an aviary, grape arbor, carriage house, and hay barn. He lived on the property with his wife, Petra Santa Cruz. During the course of their marriage, the Stevens entertained in grand style, hosting events as diverse as political parties and town weddings.
Milton B. Duffield, a hot-tempered man, purchased the one-room building adjacent to the Stevens home. He came to Tucson in 1863 as U.S. Marshal in Arizona and served for two years. For a time he was employed as a special postal agent, and in 1870 he became engaged in a heated mining claim. Duffield was shot and killed by the man with whom he was engaged in the property dispute.