If you’ve ever been near the intersection of Springfield and Staples Mill roads in western Henrico County, there’s one house that makes heads turn.
Saguaro Hill, which takes its name after a type of cactus, has been home to J.T. “Buz” and Chloe Pemberton for 35 years and is their masterpiece reflection of the couple’s love for everything Arizona.
A sombrero covers the face of a sleeping man on the sign leading to the gate, meant to help curious passers-by realize Saguaro Hill is not open to the public. Over the years, they’ve gotten meat salesmen, potential restaurant patrons and one man who confused the residence with The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen about 3 miles away.
I visited this estate, affectionately known as the ‘Cactus House,’ years ago for a tour to benefit the Henrico Humane Society, and it is indeed as impressive as it is unique. I still remember a huge turtle the couple had at the time that lived in a large sunroom.
Photo: Mark Gormus/Richmond Times-Dispatch