It is unknown when the countess of Suffolk first came to Tucson, but in the early 1930s she purchased land just east of Oracle Road, north and south of Magee Road. A Tucson Daily Citizen article on July 4, 1936 said a large home, designed by Tucson architect Richard A. Morse was being built as her winter home. The article said it would be a “two story home ... being done in ‘International’ ... style. There will be five master bedrooms, servant’s quarters, and a four-car garage. Chauffer’s quarters will be a separate cottage near the garage ... the building will be air-conditioned.”

She modeled the house after her home in England and called the 293-acre estate Forest Lodge. In 1956, the estate was sold to three men including Herman Rasche, manager of the St. Lukes-in-the-desert tuberculosis sanatorium. The following year, the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary bought part of the estate. They turned 20 acres of land and the buildings into a boarding school, kindergarten and nursery, which became part of the Immaculate Heart Academy. The main house is now a convent and the group of buildings is the Immaculate Heart School.

That same year, Lady Suffolk bought a ranch a few miles southwest of the town of Oracle and built a Spanish-style winter home, complete with pool, servants quarters and a garage. The house, originally called Casa Del Oro but now known as Suffolk House, is adjacent to Biosphere 2.

By 1958, the Lusk Corporation, founded by Robert Lusk, developed the Suffolk Hills subdivision on 320 acres, most of which was Lady Suffolk’s former Tucson estate. The subdivision name and its main street, Suffolk Drive, were named in honor of the American born noblewoman. Other streets have names related to England: Royal Court, Cambridge Drive, Arundel Drive, Andover Drive, Eton Drive, Chelsea Court and Sussex Court. Village Avenue, which runs north and south through Suffolk Hills, was named during the development of the Catalina Village No. 3 subdivision, south of Suffolk Hills, in 1953.


To learn more about the homes the Lusk Corporation built, visit this article from RealTucson.com.