About & History

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Lea Ramsey – The Big Blue House Inn
Lea Ramsey – The Big Blue House Inn
Lea Ramsey is a successful Tucson businesswoman and a 30 year veteran of the hospitality & service industry.


After having been a “Troubleshooter” for Best Western International and a training supervisor for several franchise hotel organizations, Lea worked as an independent Hospitality Management Consultant for many years. She was at the forefront of hotel property management & computerization in the 1990s.

As General Manager of many establishments, Lea had the rare opportunity to grand-open and train the management and staff under a dozen different flags. Her accomplishments range from carving a resort out of the raw Central American Jungle in Belize, to operating the most upscale of Wedding Properties in California’s Napa/Sonoma Wine Country.


Her diverse range of experience in the hotel industry uniquely qualifies her to build and operate her own lodging concept, resulting in the “Boutique Inn” tag that was an original concept pioneered in the late 1900s. “Tucson Boutique Inn”.

Lea built and operated “The Shark Bite Grill” a beachfront bar & grill on the sand in Destin, Florida. Lea was trained in her own seafood restaurant by the most cantankerous delta Louisiana born cajun cook you would ever not-want to meet. The “Bite” became quite famous serving cajun seafood featuring fresh shark directly off the boats of the little fishing village of Destin, Florida in the early 1990s. This experience combined with her home grown Indiana farm-girl heritage… makes her a darn good cook.


Since October 2005 she and her immediate family have devoted themselves to the appropriate historic restoration of the previously neglected Trost historic gem. All proceeds and profits are reinvested into the preservation of one of only a few Victorian Bungalows ever designed my famed architect Henry Charles Trost.

An Amazing Coincidence!


Both Ramsey families originating from Pennsylvania in the late 1800s!

When Leona Marie Ramsey (Lea) purchased This historic home in 2005, she has no idea that the original owner was named Anna Marie Ramsey. Upon research at University of Arizona Museum she discovered the fact. The coincidence in the two women’s name was immediately striking and intriguing but until recently Leona (Lea) had no information to believe they might be related. That suspicion has been confirmed by the family elders. They are related.

Leona Marie Ramsey

(current owner) and Anna Marie Ramsey (original owner) may related since both families originated from Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. Leona Marie Ramsey is part of the infamous Ramsey’s of Bourbon County, Kansas.

Anna Marie Ramsey

(original owner) married John Gardiner in Pennsylvania and after supervising construction of the 1876 Centennial Exposition moved his family to Tucson in 1879 where he became the Pima County Surveyor. Anna Marie Ramsey owned all of “Gardiner Terrace” she partnered with another female pioneer; Ada Humphries

Tucson’s Historic Corner: University Boulevard & 6th Avenue.
“Surrounded by Tucson History”

Sheriff Wakefield’s Tucson House


Stately on the NE corner of University Blvd & 6th Ave


The first house to be built in The West University Historic District. The Wakefield house was built prior to 1895. The Current picture was taken in 1899 only 4 years after The University of Arizona held its’ first day of classes, with Lymon Wakefield personally with his family on the front porch. Lyman Wakefield was the 13th sheriff of Pima County. and served 1899-1900.. It is noted that “great advances in law enforcement in the realm of crime prevention were made during his term,”

The Historic Charles H. Bayless Tucson Home


Awesome on the NW corner of University & 6th Ave.


The Bayless family were pioneers in Arizona. William H. Bayless and his sons, Charles and John, were involved in cattle and sheep ranching in Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota before coming to Arizona in 1883. With Jehiel W. Berkalew, they established Bayless and Berkalew to manage land holdings and ranching operations in southern Arizona. J. F. Shields was a Civil War officer with the 13th Kansas Volunteers.

Historic Ramsey / Gardiner House


“The Big Blue House on the corner”

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One of the most unique and historic homes in Tucson Arizona. Designed by the famous architect Henry Charles Trost. Built of solid Redwood and Maple by the master craftsmen of Gardiner, Worthen & Goss in the summer of 1899.

“Throughout his career Henry Trost demonstrated his ability to work in a variety of styles, including Art Deco, Mission Revival, Prairie, and even Pueblo Revival.

Many of the buildings designed by Trost & Trost display an influence from the Chicago School of architecture, especially the work of Louis Sullivan. Henry Trost had lived in Chicago between 1888 and 1896, and worked as a draftsman for the firm of Adler & Sullivan during that period. At Adler & Sullivan Trost worked adjacent to Frank Lloyd Wright.

Pepe Ronstadt live in the house until his death in 1933

Ronstadt, the son of Federico A. Ronstadt, was born in Altar, Sonora, in 1879 and came to Arizona in 1885.  Early in his career, he was the Tucson Postmaster and a county supervisor.  With brother Fred and brother-in-law Jesus M. Zepada, he started F. Ronstadt Company.


Ronstadt owned the Santa Margarita Ranch, which was the headquarters for the Baboquivari Livestock Company.  He was president of that organization, as well as of the Ronstadt Commission Company, and was a director of the Southern Arizona Bank and Trust Company.


Ronstadt died in 1933, leaving the house to his wife, Hortense, who died in 1965.


Yes, this is Linda Ronstadt’s Family (the famous singer is from Tucson, Arizona) The Ronstadts were famous for their wagon and carriage making skills. They used the railroad to distribute their wagons worldwide. The Ronstadts are an important part of Tucson’s History and have several Tucson Locations and landmarks named for them.

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